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The District Administrative Court in Warsaw has ruled that the decision to deny Polish citizenship to four minor children of a pair of men from the United States (one of them is Polish) was a right one.

A gay couple

Is the court decision discriminating?

On Monday, the court dismissed the complaint filed by one of the men on the decision of the Minister of Interior from October 2015, which refused to confirm the Polish citizenship of four children of the homosexual couple.

The couple (one of them is of Polish origin and nationality) were married in the US state of Texas (where it is permitted). They sent birth certificates of their children to the Polish registry office, on which they appear as the parents. The office, however, required the data of the children’s biological mothers. The couple refused, which resulted in the office’s refusal to confirm the citizenship of children.

Case in court

The Polish man filed a complaint to the District Administrative Court in Warsaw, which recognised the case on March 31 and on Monday (April 11) announced the sentence. At a hearing, a representative of the Ministry of Interior indicated that no files concerning the mothers of the children have been submitted.

The Pole, represented by attorney Paweł Marcisz at the request of the Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights, argued that the refusal to confirm the citizenship of children violates not only the provisions of laws, but also the Convention on the protection of children’s rights.

“Do not let us go that way”

On Monday, the Court rejected all four complaints about the four children. As she explained, justifying the decision, judge Teresa Zyglewska said the complainant’s allegations were not considered by the court as reasonable, and arguments concerning the Convention on the Children’s Rights were summed up with the words “do not let us go that way.”

In accordance with the provisions of law the complainant party should provide the authorities with all the documents that would allow for a decision – and birth certificates of minor children were delivered. These documents cannot be applied in the light of private international law, because such a document would be contrary to the fundamental principles of law of the Polish state – she explained.

The Court added that every state has the right to their own decisions and there can be no automaticity in determining who the father is, and who the mother is.

It does not interest us, we only care about the issues of evidence. No one questions the right of kinship and having children by homosexuals. The question that remains is such that we have no evidence from which we can conclude that the applicant is the father of the minor children – said judge Zyglewska.

Act of discrimination

Paweł Marcisz said after the verdict that he would consider an appeal to the Supreme Administrative Court.

Now we are at a dead end, because the court would expect the submission of the documents which are impossible to submit, because they are about the surrogate – he explained.

This action is discriminatory from the point of view of the good of the child – said Dr. Dorota Pudzianowska of HFHR.

In her opinion the Polish regulations, according to which at least one parent must have Polish citizenship, so the child can also obtain it, do not require it to be a biological parenthood.

We’re talking about legal parenthood – she stressed.

According to her, the submitted US documents are sufficient to recognise the citizenship of the children.

Requesting documents relating to a surrogate is requesting the impossible. Unfortunately, on the background of this case some irregularities between the right to recognise the identity of the children and our legal order can be seen, although we would not have it if we properly evaluated the rules – she assessed.

 

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