High court: same-sex couples cannot be legal parents in Poland

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TVN24 News in English, PAP
High court in Warsaw: constitution does not forbid same sex marriageTVN24 News in English
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TVN24 News in EnglishHigh court in Warsaw: constitution does not forbid same sex marriage

The Supreme Administrative Court (NSA) has rejected a complaint over refusal to register foreign birth certificate having two women mentioned as parents. Based on this case, the NSA had adopted a resolution in December 2019 stating it was impossible to have a woman registered as father in the Polish document.

"Panel of seven judges answered the question and passed a resolution in which they clearly stated that our law does not allow a transcript of foreign birth certificate showing two people of the same sex as parents. For today's adjudicating panel the standpoint expressed in this resolution is binding" - judge Małgorzata Masternak-Kubiak said in the substantiation to Tuesday's ruling.

She added that due to being bound by the resolution the NSA had not been allowed to ask the EU Court of Justice for opinion - for which the plaintiff's attorneys and the Human Rights Commissioner representative had been asking.

Furthermore, according to the judge, the December's resolution already underlined that the question of birth certificates with same-sex parents was highly significant and would require lawmakers' intervention. "The court does not create the law, the court issues rulings in individual cases" - the judge explained.

Tuesday's ruling by the NSA is legally binding. The court added, however, that the plaintiff still had the right to submit a complaint to the European Court of Human Rights or the Constitutional Tribunal.

No other category of parent

In December 2019, the NSA adopted a resolution stating that the Polish law did not recognise transcripts of foreign civil status acts in which both parents were the same sex.

"In accordance with the Polish law, only a mother and a father can be recognised as parents to a child; Polish legislation does not recognise any other category of parent" - NSA judge Jacek Chlebny said last year, explaining the Supreme Administrative Court's (NSA) resolution.

A question of law arose from the case examined by the NSA a few months earlier, regarding a woman who had been refused, by the civil status office chief in Piaseczno, having a transcript of her London-born son's birth certificate written down into Polish record. The transcript had two women written down as parents.

The NSA underscored in the substantiation that in the process of transcription, a Polish civil status act is created.

"It separates from the original document on which it was based and its further fate under the Polish law happens regardless of the fate of the foreign document. Therefore, the transcription must be based on the Polish law, and the meaning behind the used notions should correspond with the notions recognised by the Polish law," judge Chlebny said in 2019.

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Źródło: TVN24 News in English, PAP

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