A Bulgarian court on Monday (16 May) ordered city hall authorities in the capital Sofia to issue a birth certificate to the stateless baby of a same-sex couple from Bulgaria and Gibraltar.
The case concerns a girl who was born in 2019 in Spain where she was given a birth certificate that lists her two mothers as parents. But she could not receive Spanish citizenship as neither of the women is Spanish.
The Gibraltarian mother also could not pass on her British citizenship to the baby as she was not born in Britain or Gibraltar.
Bulgarian citizenship remained the only option which would allow the baby to travel. But since Bulgaria does not allow same-sex marriage and does not recognise same-sex marriages conducted abroad, the authorities refused a request for citizenship.
They insisted that for a Bulgarian identity card or passport, the baby needs a Bulgarian birth certificate, which cannot include two people of the same sex and should only list her biological mother.
The two women have declined to reveal which one of them gave birth to the girl, who could not leave Spain without having a passport.
“The Sofia Municipality… must issue a Bulgarian birth certificate to reflect the name of the holder, date and place of birth, sex and origin of both parents of Baby Sarah,” the Deystvie LGBTQ rights organisation announced in a statement, citing the Sofia administrative court ruling.
“Bulgaria may not refuse to recognise Baby Sarah’s descent from both her parents on the grounds that national law does not provide for the institution of same-sex marriage,” the ruling added.
The court decision followed a similar recommendation of the Luxembourg-based Court of Justice of the EU last December.
The mothers’ lawyer Denitsa Lyubenova hailed the decision as landmark for the LGBTQ community.
“Today, the LGBTQ people can rejoice. After years of tireless work we have won a step in the fight for equality, after years of perseverance we have proven that we are right and that EU law treats citizens equally,” she said in the statement.
The baby’s mothers meanwhile said they were “extremely happy” about the decision and that their baby would be finally able to leave Spain.