By Canisius Mushibwe
A Namibia high court has granted citizenship to a two-year-old son of a gay couple who was born through surrogacy.
The government had earlier refused to grant the boy who was born in South Africa on the premise that he needed to do a paternity test. However, the decision was overruled by the court.
High Court Judge Thomas Masuku, gave Yona Namibian citizenship during a brief hearing.
The couple, Namibian Philip Lühl and the other Guillermo Delgado, a Mexican, expressed happiness over the ruling.
They see it to be a victory especially for same-sex parents living in Namibia, where homosexual acts are illegal.
“This ruling is an acknowledgment that families are diverse, we can celebrate this diversity of families and that the nation will give them the support and protection that is needed, according to the constitution,” Luehl said.
In spite of the huge victory, the war is far from over as the couple is still battling with the citizenship of their infant twin daughters who were birthed through surrogacy as well. The matter is still pending in the courts of law.
But the gay couple’s lawyer, Uno Katjipuka-Sibolile said following the victory, citizenship for the twins is likely to be given.
Meanwhile, Katjipuka-Sibolile said winning the case is important because it recognizes kids born via surrogacy and coming from same-sex parents.
“It is very important to children born by same-sex couples because this court recognized them both as parents,” he said.
The same-sex parents also have a pending case at the Supreme Court for Delgado – the father of the children, to establish his residency in Namibia based on their marriage in South Africa as it is illegal to have same-sex marriages in the country.