Young Boy Looks to European Court of Human Rights for Justice

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Young Boy Looks to European Court of Human Rights for Justice

A four-year-old boy is making his way to the European Court of Human Rights to find justice for his two fathers, triggering an instantaneous wave of support. The child’s zealousness is propelling both him and his attorney to fight for equality.

European court of human rightsThe child’s quest for justice began this past May when Switzerland’s highest court ruled that only the boy’s biological father could be listed as his legal parent, leaving the other without any parental rights, striking down the decision of Switzerland’s St. Gallen administrative court.

According to Gay Star News, the child has hired top-tier Austrian attorney, Helmut Graupner, for representation.  Graupner is also the president of Rechtskommittee Lambda, a regarded LGBT organization.

Reporter Stefanie Gerdes wrote that the boy’s, “…proud dads conceived their child with the help of an anonymous egg donor and a surrogate in California.  They are now suing for discrimination and intrusion into private and family matters, according to German website queer.de, because Swiss authorities are failing to recognize both men as the legal parents.” She continued, “In May, the Swiss Federal Supreme Court, Switzerland’s highest court, returned a two to three verdict on the matter, ruling only the man whose sperm was used to fertilize the egg could be listed as the legal parent.”

Graupner is fighting before the European Court of Human Rights so that his client’s fathers can both be legally recognized as his parents. This little boy has impressed many, including myself, in wrangling with the justice system.  His resolve is admirable and a reminder that one is neither too young nor too old to fight for what they believe is right.

The fathers have hired their own legal counsel, as well. According to their attorney, they believe that the recent court’s ruling is punishment for his clients having gone to the United States for surrogacy, as surrogacy remains illegal in Switzerland.

Gerdes writes, “But, under the Swiss legal code, the lawyers argue, the courts can’t ‘punish’ them despite what they did, as the surrogacy was in the U.S.”

California’s comprehensive law surrounding gestational surrogacy allowed the men to obtain a birth certificate listing them both as the child’s parents, and they hope to achieve the same legal recognition of their parental status in their home country.

Graupner is crafting a strong case for his client. His dispute highlights that the boy is only entitled to care and inheritance from his biological father and would be denied those same rights from his other father, depriving the child of an official bond.

The reporter adds, “Under Swiss law, same-sex couples can’t adopt children together, meaning that, should the legal father come to harm or die, his partner would not be able to adopt his own son.”

Let’s hope that Graupner’s winning streak continues for this special four-year-old boy. He deserves to have his two fathers legally recognized as such.