Son of Namibian gay couple in citizenship limbo after court ruling

Published: 21/Mar/2023
Source: Africa News / AFP

Namibia’s Supreme Court on Monday overturned a decision by a lower court to grant citizenship to a gay couple’s son who was born in neighbouring South Africa through surrogacy.

In 2021 the High Court had granted the child citizenship after the interior ministry had denied it on technical grounds.

The government then appealed, saying the couple had failed to comply with the law by registering the birth with the Namibian authorities within one year, as legally required.

The paramount court agreed, saying on Monday that the High Court had « misdirected itself ».

« Since the birth… was not registered in terms of… the Citizenship Act, it was not competent for the High court to grant the relief it did to the respondent, » it said.

« Because there was non-compliance with… the Citizenship Act, the minister was correct in not granting the minor child citizenship by descent, » the court said.

The child, Yona, now aged four, has a South African birth certificate identifying his parents as Phillip Luehl, a Namibian, and Guillermo Delgado, a Mexican.

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Themes: Acquisition par les enfants, Discrimination, Sexuelle
Regions: Namibie
Year: 2021