The Berlin Court of Appeal also Considers the Law of Parentage to be Unconstitutional

In another case brought by the Nodoption Initiative and represented by Raue the Berlin Appellate Court today ruled that the current law on parentage is unconstitutional. It has suspended the proceedings, which concern the joint parenthood of two mothers, and submitted the matter to the Federal Constitutional Court for review.

Two wives became parents of twins in the summer of 2020. After the birth, however, both spouses were not entered as parents on the birth certificate – as is the case with other legitimate children – but only the woman who gave birth to the children. Despite marriage and official sperm donation (which legally excludes the sperm donor’s paternity), the second wife is not yet considered the legal parent of her children. This means that the children have less security since claims to maintenance, care or inheritance presuppose legal parenthood.

The Court of Appeal considers this to be a violation of the general principle of equality under Article 3 (1) of the Basic Law. It is the second German court after the Celle Higher Regional Court to deem the current parentage law unconstitutional and to appeal to the Federal Constitutional Court. Lucy Chebout, lawyer at Raue who is representing the families in both cases, says: “This is a historic event. Two upper courts are siding with the affected rainbow families and supporting them in their fight for equal rights. The legislature should take this as an opportunity to finally implement the reforms in the law of parentage.

(25 March 2021)