Yesterday, three-week-old baby Tobías was registered to parents Carlos Dermgerd and Alejandro Grinblat, who married in 2011 under Argentina’s Equal Marriage Law.
This registration is the first time that a baby has been registered to two fathers in Argentina. Since the passage of the equal marriage law in 2010, around fifty children have been directly registered to married female homosexual couples.
An estimated 21% of homosexual couples in Argentina are legal guardians of children. The majority are female couples, many of whom undergo artificial insemination.
The Argentine Federation of Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals and Transsexuals (FALGBT) declared the day “historic” and noted that the event was “the first registration of this kind in the world.”
While equal co-paternity of two men has been recognised by local governments in some parts of the world – for example, in the state of California in the United States and in the state of New South Wales in Australia – yesterday marked the first time that a national government registered a baby to two fathers.
Yesterday, the FALGBT labelled the registration, “an enormous step that places our country in the vanguard of protection and promotion of the rights of LGBT persons.”
On behalf of the parents, Grinbalt stated, “We are very excited. His birth certificate has our names, it does not have a different colour or have any note, nothing that indicates that he is different than any other child”.
After the registration was finished, Grinblat commented that his son would now “have all of the rights, there is no distinction or differences.”
Tobías was born in New Delhi to an Indian surrogate mother. The couple had previously visited India in the past as tourists, but say that they chose that country as the birthplace because the “the process is very clear…even more clear than in the United States.” The new fathers waited out the pregnancy in Argentina, but went to India for the birth.
The two men began the process to get legal recognition over a year ago. The fathers had to petition the judiciary to recognise paternity through a surrogate mother, something that had not previously been recognised under the Argentine Civil Code. As Dermgerd explained, “surrogate motherhood was not permitted in Argentine legislation, but it was also not prohibited, which created a legal vacuum for our request.”
Ultimately, Buenos Aires city judges Fabiana Schafrick and Elena Liberatori ruled in favour of the couple’s request. Once Tobías was born, the Argentine consulate in India processed the temporary passport that allowed the parents to bring their new child home.
Yesterday, Dermgerd stated, “we are the first…we only hope that, from now forward, it will be much more simple. That the rest of the couples…do not have to undergo all of this process.”
The new father also observed, “we did not seek to be the first, nor did we wish to make our case public, we only wanted our rights and, fundamentally, the right of our child to be respected.”
The egg donation that made the pregnancy possible came from a Canadian woman. Both fathers left a sperm donation at the clinic, and left it up to the clinic to decide which donation to use. They do not know which father’s sperm was ultimately selected for the process.
The couple has been together for over twelve years, and Grinbalt has long stated his desire that they have a child together. His husband, however, was concerned that society would not be able to accept such a change. Now, however, Dermgerd states, “in recent times, things have changed.”
The couple had thought about adopting, but decided they wished to have a child of their own. The FALGBT knows of 20 married male homosexual couples that have begun the adoption process.