Lucha lesbiana por custodia en Chile

Karen Atala y su pareja
Image caption La jueza Karen Atala (izqda.) y Emma de Ramón son pareja desde hace ocho años

Lesbian custody fight in Chile

The Organisation of American States has criticised Chile over a court ruling, in which a woman lost custody of her children because she was living with her lesbian partner.


Greg Morsbach

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Karen Atala was devastated when six years ago Chile's Supreme Court ruled against her and awarded sole custody of her daughters to her estranged husband. The judges said she was free to live in a lesbian relationship. However, they added that Mrs Atala had put her personal interests before the interests of her three girls.

The court argued if the youngsters remained in a same-sex household they would probably be bullied at school and could be confused about their own sexual orientation. In summary, the court said the girls could sustain long-term psychological damage.

For the past six years, Mrs Atala has only been able to visit her children once a month. They live 700 kilometres away with their father. With all legal avenues in Chile exhausted, she turned to the Organisation of American States in Washington.

After years of lobbying in the United States, the OAS finally agreed to investigate her case. The OAS has given Chile until the 17th April to respond to its complaint.

Greg Morsbach, BBC News

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was devastated estaba deshecha

awarded sole custody(le) adjudicó custodia exclusiva

her estranged husband su marido separado

put her personal interests beforeactuó en beneficio propio (en lugar del de sus hijas)


a same-sex householdun hogar de una pareja del mismo género (lesbianas u hombres gay)

be bullied (las niñas podrían ser víctimas del) acoso escolar

could be confused about their own sexual orientation podrían experimentar confusión por su propia orientación sexual

sustain long-term psychological damagepodrían sostener daño sicológico a largo plazo

all legal avenues in Chile exhausted(cuando se dio cuenta que) no quedaba una solución legal en Chile