The Constitutional Court of Colombia ruled Wednesday that same-sex couples only have the right to adopt when the child is the biological child of one of the partners.
The case has been closely watched after the court initially deadlocked over the decision. Under the Colombian system, ties are broken by an outside judge, and there was much concern that the case would go against the adoption rights of same-sex couples after a conservative judge was named.
After a full day's deliberation, the court announced on Twitter: "Same-sex couples can only adopt when the request [concerns] the biological child of a permanent partner."
The implications for the push for LGBT rights in Colombia's courts was not immediately apparent. LGBT rights supporters have won many important victories in the Constitutional Court, including a 2011 ruling on partnership rights that has prompted some lower courts to grant marriages to same-sex couples, though it left ambiguous whether couples were entitled to marry.
The decision on Wednesday affirms previous rulings including a 2014 decision that made a woman the legal parent of children born to her partner through artificial insemination.
It's not immediately clear whether the legal basis for the decision advances or undermines efforts to advance LGBT rights through Colombia's courts. Cases that would force the Constitutional Court to clarify whether same-sex couples have the right to marry are currently making their way back to the top court.
But LGBT activists on Twitter appear to have greeted the ruling as at least a partial victory.
"Court @Cconstitucional approves [second-parent] adoption by the same-sex couples when it is a biological child #YesToEqualAdoption," wrote the executive director of a leading LGBT group, Colombia Diversa.
"[Second-parent] adoption was at risk, that is to say, from the biological mom or dad: but we won! it's irreversible!" wrote out lesbian Congresswoman Angélica Lozano.
J. Lester Feder is a world correspondent for BuzzFeed News and is based in Washington, DC. His secure PGP fingerprint is 2353 DB68 8AA6 92BD 67B8 94DF 37D8 0A6F D70B 7211
Contact J. Lester Feder at email@example.com.
Got a confidential tip? Submit it here.