Adopting alone remains a legal battle

By Camille FratiLex Kleren Switch to French for original article

17 years after bringing Luxembourg to its knees before the European Court of Human Rights, Jeanne Wagner is once again fighting to adopt a child because she is not married.

History is repeating itself for Jeanne Wagner. In 2007, this dynamic and tough Luxembourger won recognition from the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) for the full adoption of Jil, a young Peruvian woman adopted in 1996, after several years of legal battle in Luxembourg. At the time, the idea of a single woman adopting a child was deeply disturbing to some government councillors and judges. In the end, the Luxembourg judges had no choice but to follow the decision of their colleagues in Strasbourg and recognise Jil as Jeanne Wagner's full daughter.

The Lëtzebuerger Journal reported on this judicial epic in an article in May 2022 – only to discover that, 15 years after the ECHR ruling, Luxembourg law had still not been amended. Single women who adopted a child abroad therefore still had to fight in court to obtain recognition of the adoption granted abroad. When questioned by the Journal, the Ministry of Justice indicated that opening up full adoption to single people would be included in its ambitious filiation reform, due to be presented at the end of 2022.

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