Colombia’s constitutional court has passed a ruling allowing same-sex couples to adopt children, a victory for the country’s LGBT community.
Previously couples could only adopt a child if it was the offspring of one of the partners, but after hours of debate a 6-2 vote was made in favor of adoption.
Debate has been raging since 2010, when gay journalist Chandler Burr was granted custody of a minor he had adopted some time previously. After a new ruling being laid on the table during 2014, it took some eight months for the court to rule in favor of granting same-sex couples rights equalling their heterosexual counterparts.
“A person’s sexual orientation or gender are not in and of themselves indicative of a lack of moral, physical or mental suitability to adopt,” said the chief justice of the Constitutional Court, Maria Victoria Calle Correa, the BBC reports.
“If the constitutional court hadn’t ruled in favor of same-sex adoption it would have seriously affected couples rights’ to have a family and bring up a child in a loving and protective setting, which a family nucleus offers,” Marcela Sánchez director of LGBT rights organization Colombia Diversa told RCN radio.
Adoption on the wane
In 2014 alone, 1.148 children were placed up for adoption in Colombia, 23 more than during 2013, a drop from the 3,058 children registered in 2010. October figures this year recorded 368 adoption requests for children aged between 0 to 6-years-old from Colombian families, El Tiempo reports.
Despite the adoption ruling being passed, same-sex couples are as yet able to marry, despite civil unions being legalized in 2013.