American gay dad wins Colombian custody battle

The Constitutional Court has ruled in favor of Chandler Burr, a gay American who was blocked from taking his legally adopted sons out of the country 

American gay dad wins Colombian custody battle
23 May 2012

Colombia’s highest constitutional court has guaranteed Chandler Burr custody of his two sons.

The gay New York Times journalist sued the Colombian Institute of Family Welfare (ICBF) for barring him from taking his two legally adopted sons outside of the country.

The ICBF called for the US Embassy to revoke the boys’ adoption emigration visas in March 2011 after he disclosed he is gay.

Burr had adoption the boys through an international adoption agency and met all legal requirements, including obtaining the adoption decree.

With the help of civil rights group Dejusticia, Burr was allowed to take his two sons to the US on 12 December 2011, but the family’s legal status was still being disputed in court.

The latest court ruling is based on the argument that the adoptive’s parent sexual orientation can’t be considered a risk to the children’s well-being.

Instead, the court ruled that the ICBF’s decision to separate the two boys from their legal guardian posed a greater risk to the emotional stability of the children.

A 1995 Colombian court decision found that sexual orientation may not be used to assess a person’s ability to adopt. 

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