Human Rights

Historical Legislation Recognizes Two Lesbian Mothers in Chile

A family court in Santiago declared on Monday, June 8, that a family of two women must be legally recognized as mothers of their child. Emma de Ramón and her civil partner, Gigliola Di Giammarino, won the fight to secure the same protection and rights for their son, Attilio, that children in heterosexual families exercise. Equal rights movements call it a historic moment for Chile.

The sentence, handed down by Judge Macarena Rebolledo Rojas, establishes an unprecedented verdict that “the Chilean State must grant protection, without discrimination, to all forms of family that exist, and strive to integrate them into national life. For this, it is essential that the marital status of a child born and raised in a family headed by people of the same sex, who have expressed a will to procreate, coincides with their legal affiliation and is reflected in their identification documents.”

Regarding the court’s decision, de Ramón, who is now legally recognized as Attilio’s mother, declared that “this child has been my son of heart and soul since the day he was born and will remain so until the day I die. However, with this sentence, something changed: now I am his mother before the State, with the same obligations to him as any other mother, as it should be for all mothers and parents, sons and daughters, regardless of the family they have constituted.”

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A Lengthy Legal Battle

After their civil union in 2015, the couple underwent an assisted reproduction technique to have a child. In October 2017, Attilio was born, and they went to the Civil Registry to register their son. The agency denied their registration, arguing that the national system only allows the process to be completed by a father and a mother. This decision established di Giammarino as the sole parent, disregarding de Ramón’s parental role in Attilio’s life.

Thus began a lengthy legal battle first fought before the Court of Appeals and then before the Supreme Court. On both occasions, the courts ruled against recognition of the family, despite their legally-binding civil union.

Finally, on Monday, June 8, 2020, the Second Family Court of Santiago legally recognized de Ramón as Attilio’s mother. This ruling marks a historic achievement for the rights of Chilean same-sex couples. 

“A Historic Success”

Ramón Gómez, leader of The Homosexual Liberation and Integration Movement (MOVILH), stated that the ruling “is a historic success, which marks a new direction in the fight towards equality for families with same-sex parents. The existence of two mothers had never been recognized before. We had barely managed to register the surnames of two mothers or two fathers, but we had never recognized both figures. Today, in the best interest of the child has triumphed, and, after this advance, many more will certainly come.”

While expressing their happiness for di Giammarino, de Ramón, and Attilio, the Family is Family organization pointed out that “it must be said, this ruling does not resolve the affiliation for all children. This action is a direct call to the Senators who today, and for the last four years, have prolonged the discussion on our bill No. 10626-07. The bill seeks to regulate the affiliation of children of lesbian parents, transgender-parent, and homosexual parental families. It was tabled several times, has not been voted on, in general, for its particular discussion in the Children’s Commission.”

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