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Information Guide concerning Case C-709/20 from the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU), which relates to the recognition across the European Union of a birth certificate issued in another EU Member State that indicates two parents of the same sex as the legal parents of the child.
VMA (a Bulgarian national) and KDK resided in Spain since 2015 and were married in 1028. Their child SDKA was born in Spain in 2019. The child's birth certificate, drawn up by the Spanish authorities, refers to both mothers as being the parents of the child. Since a birth certificate issued by the Bulgarian authorities is necessary to obtain a Bulgarian identity document, VMA applied for such a document on behalf of SDKA. In support of her application, VMA submitted a legalised and certified translation of the extract from the Spanish civil register. Local Bulgarian authorities later requested evidence with respect to the identity of SDKA's biological mother. The model birth certificate applicable in Bulgaria has only one box for the mother and another for the father.
VMA refused to provide the information requested, and therefore the Bulgaria birth certificate was not issued due to the lack of information on the biological mother and the fact that reference to two females parents on a birth certificate is contrary to Bulgarian public policy. VMA later decided to bring an action against that decision before the Administrative Court of the City of Sofia (Administrativen sad Sofia-grad). The Bulgarian Court was uncertain as to whether the refusal by the Bulgarian authorities to register the birth of a Bulgarian national in these specific circumstances infringes the rights conferred by the TFEU and the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights. It therefore referred to the CJEU a set of questions concerning the interpretation of Article 4(2) TEU, Articles 20 and 21 TFEU and Articles 7, 24 and 45 of the Charter.
The Court's Advocate General issued an opinion concerning this case on 15 April 2021. On 14 December 2021, the CJEU decided that in these circumstances an EU Member State is obliged to issue an identity card or passport without requiring a birth certificate to be drawn up beforehand by its national authorities. It is also obliged to recognise the document that the host Member State that permits that child to exercise, with each of the (same sex) parents, the child's right to move and reside freely within the EU territory.
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