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French Lesbian Adopts After Decade in Court


After a 10-year legal battle, a court in eastern France on Tuesday granted a lesbian schoolteacher the right to adopt a child.

Despite allowing the woman to adopt, the government reiterated that it opposes adoption by same-sex couples. "The government and the president [Nicolas Sarkozy] have on several occasions expressed our position, which is that we are not in favor of the adoption of children by same-sex couples," said government spokesman Luc Chatel, reports the BBC.

The woman, identified only as Emmanuelle B, was granted the adoption because she filed the request as an individual, not as part of a couple.

In January 2008, the European Court of Human Rights, the international judicial body established under the European Convention of Human Rights, ruled in support of the 48-year-old woman, and ordered France to pay her court costs of 14,528 euros as well as damages of 10,000 euros.

While finding that Emmanuelle B faced unjust discrimination based on her sexual orientation, the European Court of Human Rights could not force France to comply with its ruling. As a result, her adoption plea remained denied.

After a decade of struggle, Emmanuelle B was finally granted her request on Tuesday when a Besancon court overruled the Jura regional assembly's prior ruling.

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