By Kaya 959 News
Two fathers, hoping to have their twin daughters flown back home from South Africa to Namibia, have been dealt a major blow.
The Namibian court has ruled against the couple, Phillip Lühl and Guillermo Delgado’s application to have the girls sent home.
The girls, Maya and Paula were born in Durban earlier this year. Both Lühl and Delgado’s names are listed on the twins’ birth certificates as fathers. According to authorities, they want Lühl to prove that he is the biological father of the girls before they can travel.
The girls were issued with birth certificates which confirmed that Lühl and Delgado were their fathers. They were also issued with documents confirming that the girls were born via surrogacy in SA.
But their plans went awry due to Namibia’s current laws that do not recognise same sex marriages.
Lühl is a university lecturer and a Namibian citizen. Lühl has slammed the ruling as discriminatory, adding that a single mother or a heterosexual couple woul dnot be asked to submit a DNA test.
According to Lühl’s sister, Frieda, Paula and Maya Delgardo Lühl were born in Durban via surrogacy.
“Lühl welcomed the twins into the world and planned to return to Namibia as soon as medically advisable to be reunited with husband Guillermo Delgado and 2-year-old son Yona and apply for the twins’ Namibian citizenship by descent. The Minister of Home Affairs refuses to issue travel documents to the twins to enter Namibia, based on his negation of Phillip’s paternity of Yona, Paula and Maya.
“He disregards a birth certificate regularly issued by South African authorities identifying Phillip and Guillermo as the parents of the twins. In refusing to issue travel documents he renders the twins de facto stateless and keeps the family separated, contravening Namibian and international law,” she said.
NPO joins supports couple’s battle
The couple is still locked in a legal battle with Namibian authorities.
The fathers filed an urgent application, compelling the Namibian Home Affairs Ministry to issue them travel documents to allow the girls to travel. However, Judge Thomas Masuku declined. He said that issuing the order would be ‘judicial overreach’.
Lühl is currently living in SA with the girls while Delgado remains in Namibia with their toddler son.
Non-profit organisation, Equal Namibia, has joined the couple in their fight.
The advocacy group said the ruling was a loss to human rights.
“The Namibian values is to foster tolerance and respect, not hate and discrimination. Our legislators must act and hold this administration accountable to state-sanctioned homophobia. We will continue to fight for what’s right,” the group said.
Violation of rights
In an interview with TimesLive, human rights lawyer Norman Tjombe, said the judgement was a blatant violation of the rights of the children.
“Had the children been born from a heterosexual marriage, no questions would have been asked about the paternity,” Tjombe said.
He added that the twins were entitled to citizenship by descent like any other child born outside the country to a Namibian parent.
It is unclear what the couple will do next in their fight to have their family reunited.