The Tallinn administrative court judged earlier this month that the Interior Ministry had to make the according entry in the population register of an adoption by a same-sex couple living in a registered partnership.
The family, made up of two women and their mutually adopted children, turned to the court in August 2016, the Estonian Human Rights Center said in a press release on Tuesday. The story of the couple is similar to that of several others living in a registered partnership: they entered into a registered partnership, sought to adopt each other’s children, got this approved by a court of law, but then found that the vital statistics office refuses to enter the fact of the adoption under these circumstances in the population register.
The reasons cited by the office were the absence of implementing provisions of the Registered Partnership Act, and the absence of spaces in the population register allowing the entry of the names of two fathers or two mothers.
“In this way an unfortunate situation was caused where, as a result of the headings of the spaces in one database, some lawfully adopted children were treated differently from others,” Kalle-Kaspar Sepper, attorney at the Sirel ja Partnerid law firm, who represented the couple in the court, said.
Not having a register entry concerning the adopted child means that in order to conduct official procures related to the children, one has to produce the court ruling on several pages and hope that it will be taken into account by various state institutions.
The administrative court on Feb. 9 ordered the Ministry of the Interior to make the according entry of the adoption in the population register. The court found that a situation where the family had to prove parentage with a court ruling, which considering the secrecy of adoption should not be revealed to third parties at all, was not an alternative to entry in the population register.
In the meantime the register entry was made, and the Estonian Human Rights Center also learned that the ministry is not planning to contest the court ruling.
The court also ordered to pay the registered partnership couple €1,695 to cover the cost of the proceeding. The family has decided to donate the money to the Estonian Human Rights Center to help other people stand up for their rights in the future.
According to the Estonian Human Rights Center, this is just one example of the confusion related to people living in a registered partnership caused by the absence of implementing provisions for the Registered Partnership Act. The situation could only be resolved by the adoption of the implementing provisions.
Editor: Dario Cavegn