Colombia court allows gay couples to register children

Colombia's Constitutional Court ruled that gay couples must be allowed to register newborn children in both parents' names, with birth certificates listing two mothers or two fathers (AFP Photo/Raul Arboleda)

Bogota (AFP) - Colombia's Constitutional Court ruled Thursday that gay couples must be allowed to register newborn children in both parents' names, with birth certificates listing two mothers or two fathers.

In a five-to-two decision, the court gave the national civil registry 30 days to change its forms so that children can be registered to same-sex couples.

The case was brought by two gay men who were unable to register their newborn twins.

Local media reports said the babies were born in the United States to a surrogate mother. They reportedly received US citizenship and documents but could not be registered in Colombia.

The deeply Catholic South American country has increasingly expanded gay rights in recent years, though the changes have all come through the courts rather than the legislative process.

The latest ruling comes after the Constitutional Court decided last week to allow same-sex couples to adopt. It has also begun hearing a case on whether to allow gay marriage.

In 2007, the court granted gays the right to civil partnerships, but they are still not allowed to marry.