Press release: Ensuring respect for the rights of children of rainbow families is a European responsibility

Strasbourg, 23 November 202

On Wednesday, 23 November, Member of the European Parliament will debate the “Legal protection for rainbow families exercising free movement, in particular the Baby Sara case”. The debate was elicited by an Oral Question tabled by the LGBTI Intergroup.[1]

The Oral Question refers the recent case-law at the Court of Justice of the EU, including the Baby Sara case,[2] and asks concrete questions concerning the implementation of CJEU judgements and EU law to the Commission. It precedes the publication of the Commission’s Equality Package, scheduled for 7 December 2022, which is comprised of two laws, one of which is the Regulation on mutual recognition of parenthood between Member States. This Regulation will seek to harmonise the legal recognition of parental documents at EU level.

To further inform MEPs and press, the Intergroup organised a briefing on the morning of 23 November, to which it invited one of the moms of Baby Sara and representatives from the Bulgarian LGBTI NGO Deystvie, who is providing legal representation for the case.

Kim van Sparrentak MEP (Greens-EFA), Co-Chair of the LGBTI Intergroup, comments:

Today, we invited the mom of Baby Sara to the Plenary in Strasbourg. We wanted fellow MEPs and press to understand the concrete impact that lack of legal recognition has in rainbow families’ lives. The EU is built on the Four Freedoms, yet free movement of persons seems to be protected only for some. When we have clear Court judgements and strong EU law, how is it possible that the EU still does not protect equally all children? The testimony from Sara’s mom today showed that we need to adopt a strong EU law to ensure that, from here on after, all children will have their rights fully respected. 

Marc Angel MEP (S&D Group), Co-Chair of the LGBTI Intergroup, concludes:

What we discussed today is first and foremost about children’s rights and their right to keep the legal ties they have to parents regardless of the Member State to which they travel. The representatives from Deystvie elaborated clearly on the enormous hurdles that lack of recognition creates for accessing services, health care or education. We cannot allow that children of same-sex parents are treated discriminatorily in the EU and that their safety is put at risk. This is why this Parliament will stand strong and work diligently for the best possible outcome in the forthcoming Regulation.

Background information:

On 20 March 2020, a joint letter was addressed by 63 Members of the European Parliament’s LGBTI and Children’s Rights Intergroups to the Commission calling for proposal of legislation on legal recognition of rainbow families.[3]

On 12 November 2021, the Commission replied to this request through the LGBTIQ Equality Strategy, announcing a legislative proposal for the mutual recognition of parenthood between Member States.[4]

On 14 December 2021, the CJEU delivered a Decision in the case of ‘Baby Sara’, requiring Bulgaria to issue to Baby Sara an identity card or a passport without requiring a birth certificate to be drawn up beforehand by its Bulgarian authorities. 

On 15 April 2022, the Sofia Administrative Court obliged Sofia Municipality to issue a birth certificate with both mothers’ names, a decision later challenged by the Municipality. The last Court hearing took place yesterday, Tuesday, 22 November, and a judgement from the Supreme Administrative Court is expected by end of 2022.

For more information on the Baby Sara case, the Decision of the CJEU and current developments, access

[1] Oral Question, “Legal protection for rainbow families exercising free movement, in particular the Baby Sara case”, accessible at

[2] Case C-490/20,

[3] LGBTI Intergroup (20 March 2020), “LGBTI and Children’s Rights Intergroup write joint letter to Commissioner Dalli on Freedom of Movement of Rainbow Families”, accessible at

[4] European Commission (12 November 2020), “Union of Equality: LGBTIQ Equality Strategy 2020-2025”, accessible at