Philip Luhl and Guillermo Delgado celebrated victory in the Windhoek High Court on Wednesday, 13 October, when their first-born child was granted Namibian citizenship. The couple’s son, Yona Luhl-Delgado, was born via surrogate pregnancy in South Africa in March 2019.

NAMIBIAN COURT GRANTS CITIZENSHIP TO CHILD

High Court Judge Thomas Masuku ruled that a paternity test is not necessary to prove that Yona is Luhl and Delgado’s son. The former is a Namibian citizen while the latter is Mexican.

Masuku’s decision was hailed as a massive step forward for same-sex couples. The Minister of Home Affairs, Immigration, Safety and Security was ordered to issue a certificate of citizenship to the child within 30 days. The couple’s legal costs must also be paid by the state.

“This is a big win for same-sex couples and especially a big win for Namibian children born outside Namibia by way of surrogacy,” said Uno Katjipuka-Sibolile, the couple’s lawyer, after the judgement.

Luhl and Delgado are also petitioning the state to provide their twin daughters – Paula and Maya, who were also born in South Africa via surrogacy – with a Namibian birth certificate.

The state initially refused to issue travel documents to the infants, which meant that the family were separated for a lengthy period. In May, the Namibian government had a change of heart and issued emergency documents to the twins.

Luhl told reporters outside the court that the couple is delighted with the decision, according to Reuters. “This is a step in the right direction,” he said.

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