In a historic court ruling, same-sex couples can now adopt children in Colombia, the Constitutional Court of Colombia decided Wednesday.
With six votes for and two against, the high court ruled that same-sex couples can enjoy the same rights as their heterosexual counterparts and that they can adopt children by following the same procedures as stipulated by Colombian law.
The reporting Judge Jorge Ivan Palacio, explained that the adoption processes should make sure the applicants are suitable without “the assessment of the sexual orientation of the parents, since this would constitute a criteria of discrimination.”
The main argument used to justify the ruling was protecting the rights of children. The judge said that "the adoption of children by people with diverse sexual orientation, in general, and for same-sex couples in particular, in itself does not affect the interests of the child; nor does it negatively compromise their physical and mental health, or their development. "
Palacio went further in his speech and argued that the rights of children should prevail. He said that denying an abandoned child the possibility to become part of a family just because it is headed by a same-sex couple is discriminatory and goes against to the right to a home, news agency El Colombiano reported.
The resolution was endorsed by the documents submitted by the Colombian Family Welfare Institute (ICBF) and the Ministry of Health.
The ruling represents a major step forward in the expansion of rights for the country’s sexual minorities.
In July, the Interior Minister Juan Fernando Cristo and Justice Minister Yesid Reyes called on the judicial institution to rule in favor of same-sex marriage, considering Congress had failed on various occasions to do so.