Landmark Ruling in Namibia As Court Grants Citizenship to Gay Couple’s Son Born Through Surrogacy

Luehl and Delgado with their son Yona/ Photo by: Windhoek Express

In what will be remembered as a historic judgement, a Namibian court granted citizenship to the son of a gay couple born through surrogacy.

The boy, Yona was born to Namibian Phillip Luehl and Mexican partner Guillermo Delgado.

According to a report by the Associated Press, Namibia’s interior ministry had refused to grant Yona citizenship because he was born through surrogacy in South Africa.

The decision was also due to the prejudice against the LGBTQIA+ society in Namibia.

However, things took a turn as a High Court Judge Thomas Masuku granted Namibian citizenship to Yona.

Speaking after the ruling, Luehi said the ruling shows Namibia understands that families are diverse. He added that individuals who do not want to build families the conventional ways should be supported.

“This ruling is an acknowledgement that families are diverse,” Luehl said. “We can celebrate this diversity of families and that the nation will give them the support and protection that is needed, per the constitution.”

Despite the landmark judgement, the couple still have one more legal battle to pursue as they seek to reclaim the same ruling for their infant twin daughter born in April, also through surrogacy in South Africa.

After an initial denial and forceful separation of the families, Paula and Maya were finally issued travel papers in May to travel to Namibia to their fathers,

The couple’s lawyer, Uno Katjipuka-Sibolile making a call for a repeat of the landmark ruling said, “It is very important to win because it recognizes citizenship by descent for children born via surrogacy to Namibian citizens.

“It is very important to children born by same-sex couples because this court recognized them both as parents.”

Luehl and Delgado with their twin daughters Paula and Maya

With the exception of South Africa, homosexuals in African countries including Namibia have sadly been at the receiving end of scorn and laws that challenge their sexuality.

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