A court in Puerto Rico has allowed adoption by same-sex couples for the first time in the country’s history.
Judge Ladi Buono De Jesús today answered Ángeles Judith Acosta Rodríguez’s request to adopt her partner Carmen Milagros Vélez Vega’s biological child Juliana. The minor will remain in the national registry under both women’s surnames, according to Vanguardia.
This was the second time that the couple attempted the claim. Two years previous they were unsuccessful, being told that Juliana could only be adopted if Carmen renounced her claim as Juliana’s legal mother.
The family’s case became known in 2013, after several years of being debated in Puerto Rico’s Supreme Court. Juliana will now be known as Juliana María Acosta Vélez.
The Secretary of the Department of Justice Cesar Miranda said that it “represents a new achievement for the civil rights of Puerto Ricans.”
“This case illustrates the determination and will of the parents of this girl and is a recognition of the struggle waged through the history of human rights in Puerto Rico,” he said in a written statement.
In addition, this decision is, in his opinion, “a triumph for the welfare of children, who are also entitled to be recognized as children of parents, regardless of gender, that have decided that by adopting them to give unconditional love during their growth.”
“More importantly, this case is irrefutable evidence that in the end, love defeats any obstacle that stands in its way. Puerto Rico is an easier place to live in, it’s more caring and encourages people to use their rights,” he concluded.
Until recently, Puerto Rico prohibited marriage between gay couples and the recognition of such unions. However, the government dismissed these laws after the U.S. Supreme Court carried out a historic decree last June in which all states are obliged to recognize same-sex marriage.
Previously, Governor Alejandro Garcia Padilla approved orders that allow transgender people and transsexuals to change the gender on their driver’s licenses and protect their rights when seeking medical services.
Puerto Rico’s LGBT community was delighted by news of the adoption.
“Today the first homosexual adoption took place in Puerto Rico! Although they have always been family, now they have received the recognition they deserve in the eyes of the law. We congratulate Ángeles Acosta and Carmen Milagros Vélez the two mothers who have fought tirelessly for Juliana. It is an historic victory, ” the community said in a release.
Puerto Rican superstar, Ricky Martin, also expressed his joy over the ruling; a cause he has been campaigning for over recent years.
Qué alegría mi gente!!!! Tremenda notica Puerto Rico!!! https://t.co/zytScELJdS
— Ricky Martin (@ricky_martin) December 9, 2015
“So happy my people!!!! Excellent news Puerto Rico!!!”