FUNDEPS was called by the University of Medellín to take part in an Amicus Curiae presented to the Constitutional Court of Colombia. The case is about adoption by homosexual couples and supports an appeal made by the Legal Clinic of General Theory of Law in Colombia.
Convinced that decisions made by the Constitutional Court of Colombia transcend borders, FUNDEPS carried out this citizen intervention because the case was considered to be hugely relevant to the fundamental right of children and adolescents to have a family, and to ensuring the principle of equality and non-discrimination is respected.
The position taken was primarily based on the guiding principle of the best interests of the child, laid out in the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). Widely acknowledged is the right of the child to grow up in a family, from which it receives stability, protection, assistance, happiness, love and understanding. It is the state’s responsibility to ensure this right is fulfilled, and when necessary provide adoption.
As family patterns established in the middle of the last century have changed and evolved alongside society, a proper understanding of the current reality before us is required. We are witnesses to a time in which the whole of society has become a complex and diverse entity, and this brings with it different family make-ups which deserve equal treatment, consideration and respect without any sort of distinction.
FUNDEPS made reference to numerous studies that show there are no differences between the upraising of children by homosexual or heterosexual couples. The only characteristic that differentiates them is that children show a greater tolerance towards sexual choices and a greater flexibility regarding gender roles in household chores. Also, examples were taken from Argentinian case law which shows that, prior to the 2010 legislative reform on marriage, there are precedents of adoptions without prejudice against the gender or sexual orientation of the adoptive parent.
In short, it was important to note that when the preamble of the CRC says the child should grow up in a family environment, in an atmosphere of happiness, love and understanding, for the full and harmonious development of its personality, it refers to any family, not solely one made up of a heterosexual marriage. The physical, mental, intellectual and emotional development of a child is not conditioned by composition of its family, but by the qualities and ability of those who fulfil the role of parents.
Translation by Rachel Neal