Brazilian Judge Allows Baby to Have Three Parents
It has never been done before in Brazil. Judge Rafael Cunha of the 4th Civil Court of Santa Maria in Rio Grande del Sul made history recently when he ruled that baby Maria Antonia, born August 27, will have three parents and six grandparents listed on her birth certificate.
The ruling was made possible in part because of a 2013 law that allowed the baby girl’s biological mother, Fernanda Batagli Kropenski, and the mother’s partner, Mariani Guedes Santiago, to legally get married. Kropeniski and Santiago had been in a romantic relationship for four years prior to their marriage. Same-sex unions have been legal in Brazil for over a decade, but the 2013 ruling grants same-sex couples more legal rights, including the right to marry the person they love.
The recent ruling by Judge Cunha was made in response to a request by the baby girl’s biological mother, the mother’s legal partner, and the child’s biological father, Luis Guilherme Barbosa. Barbosa is a friend to both women and had previously agreed to help one of the women conceive under the condition that he would be listed on the child’s birth certificate as the child’s father.
Judge Cunha explained the reasoning for his decision by saying: “Being a father and a mother is above all about taking care and fulfilling tasks. I feel sure that for this child the possibility of happiness will be very great.”
This is the first time a judge in South America has allowed three parents to be listed on a child’s birth certificate, but that does not mean it will be the last time. Over the last couple of years, similar rulings have come up in the United States and Canada. Perhaps Judge Cunha’s decision will set a precedent in Brazil and other South American countries for families in similar situations.