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Laws

COSTA RICA

Limited information only available for these topics

Access to Children
Adoption of Children
Age of Consent
Anti-Vilification
Artifical Insemination
Assisted Reproduction
Asylum / Refugees
  Civil Unions
Custody of Children
Discrimination
Fostering Children
Gender Identity
Harassment
Hate Crimes
  HIV/Aids
Homosexuality
Immigration
Inheritance
In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF)
Marriage
Military
  Partners
Parenting
Property
Sodomy
Transgender, Transsexual
Violence
Wrongful Death

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Age of Consent Legislation/Cases/References
1.

National

On August 2008, consensual sex between same-sex couples was reportedly lawful at age eighteen (18) years [R1.1]

R1.1 The Real Costa Rica: Gay Lesbian Travel Costa Rica AUG 08
Assisted Reproduction Technology
Artificial Insemination, In Vitro Fertilisation
Surrogacy
Legislation/Cases/References
1.

Courts & Tribunals

In 2000, the Costa Rican Supreme Court ruled that the practice of in vitro fertilization is unconstitutional, writing that according to the constitution, "The human embryo is a person from the moment of conception … not an object … not to be frozen … (and that it is) not constitutionally legitimate to be exposed to a disproportionate risk of death" [R1.1].

R1.1 LifeSite News: Costa Rican Supreme Court says No to Homosexual "Marriage" 30 MAY 06
Children: Access, Custody, Visitation Legislation/Cases/References
1.

Courts & Tribunals

In April 2003, a transwoman has been granted "provisional custody" of the 9 year old child she had been taking care of since he was a baby. [R1.1].

"Provisional custody" is the first step in the way to legal adoption of a minor.

R1.1 CIPAC/DDHH: Transwoman is Granted Custody of Her Child 04 APR 03
Civil Unions, Partners: Domestic, Registered Legislation/Cases/References
See also: [MARRIAGE]
1.

National

On 04 July 2013, President Chincilla signed the bill amending Article 242 of the Family Code into law that could establish common-law marriages for gay and lesbian couples in Costa Rica [R1.4].

On 03 July 2013, 45 MPs approved an amendment to Article 242 of the Family Code, which previously only recognized legal partnerships as between a man and a woman, to recognize “the right to recognition without discrimination contrary to human dignity, social and economic effects of domestic partnerships that constitute publicly, notoriously unique and stable, with legal capacity for marriage for more than three years”, perhaps inadvertently making same-sex unions lawful [R1.3].

On 06 August 2012, the government announced that President Laura Chinchilla would support same-sex unions and propose legislation that would give economic rights to gay couples in Costa Rica [R1.2].

On 06 June 2012, in a 4–2 vote initiated by evangelical Justo Orozco, the Human Rights Commission buried a bill on sociedades de convivencia, or coexistence partnerships, during its first session since the panel was formed the previous week. The Bill guaranteed economic benefits similar to what heterosexual couples receive [R1.1].

2.

Courts & Tribunals

On 20 September 2013, it was reported that Desamparados Family Court Judge Jorge Arturo Marchena Rosabel had rejected the gay domestic partnership application of Alberto González and Lorenzo Serrano in the first legal test of Costa Rica's controversial reform to the Young Person Law [R2.4].


On 13 October 2011, the Supreme Court overturned Article 66 of the Technical Penitentiary Regulations prohibiting conjugal visits for gay prisoners, declaring the stiplation that a visitor “must be of the opposite sex” unconstitutional [R2.3].


In August 2010. the Supreme Court ruled against allowing a referendum on whether gay couples should be permitted to have civil unions stating, stating: "Minority rights that are derived from claims against the majority cannot be subject to a referendum process where majorities are needed" [R2.2].


In August 2008, the Constitutional Tribunal ruled that gay felons in the Costa Rican prison system would not be allowed conjugal visits [R2.1]

R1.4 TicoTimes: President Chinchilla signs law advocates believe key to same-sex unions 05 JUL 13
R1.3 GayStarNews: Same-sex unions 'accidentally' approved in Costa Rica 03 JUL 13
R1.2 Tico Times: Costa Rican government to support same-sex unions bill 06 AUG 12
R1.1 Tico Times: Human Rights Commission votes against bill extending economic benefits to same-sex couples 06 JUN 12
R2.4 TicoTimes: Judge rejects gay couple's domestic partnership 20 SEP 13
R2.3 Latin America News Dispatch: Conjugal Visits For Gay Couples Legalized In Costa Rica 13 OCT 11
R2.2 PinkNews.co.uk: Costa Rica court says no to referendum on civil unions 11 AUG 10
R2.1 The Advocate: No Conjugal Visits for Gay Costa Rican InmatesNo Conjugal Visits for Gay Costa Rican Inmates 12 AUG 08

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Discrimination Legislation/Cases/References
1.

Courts & Tribunals

In September 1998, the Supreme Court of Costa Rica added two important articles of freedom to the Constitution [R1.2].

Article 20 of the Constitution effectively says: "All people are free in the Republic, [whether] male or female [and are] under the protection of the [Republic's] laws".

Article 33 of the Constitution effectively says: "all people are equal under the law, and can not be discriminated [against] in any way that is against her or his humanity". This is an addition of a non-discrimination provision for all Gays, Lesbians, Bisexuals and Transgenders.

An explanation of the anti-discrimination law reads: "Whoever practices any form of discrimination, based on race, nationality, gender, age, political option, sexual orientation, social position, or economical situation, marriage status, or deseases (this includes HIV/AIDS) [may] be [subject] by law to twenty to sixty days in jail." [R1.2].

Previously:

In April 1996, the Defensoria de los Habitantes in the Central American country of Costa Rica has ruled that the country's constitution does not allow the Government to deny legal recognition to minority groups such as gay men and lesbians [R1.1].

R1.2 Gay Lesbian Bisexual & Transgender Student Support Services at Indiana University: Gays Welcome in Bahamas Military 15 SEP 98
R1.1 Westside Observer: Denial of Legal Recognition Unconstitutional 11 APR 96
Gender Identity, Intersex,
Transgender, Transexual

[?]
Legislation/Cases/References
See also: [CHILDREN]
 
   
Homosexuality, Sodomy Legislation/Cases/References
See also: [AGE OF CONSENT]
1.

National

Consensual sex between same-sex couples is not specifically prohibited in Costa Rica [R1.1].

In 2002, Article 382 in the Penal Code was rewritten by Law No 8250 of 17 April 2002, and the previous provision which criminalised “scandalous sodomy” was repealed. The modification came into force on 10 April the same year [R1.1]

R1.1 ILGA: State-Sponsored Homophobia PDF 700.06kb, 13 MAY 09
Marriage Legislation/Cases/References
See also: [CIVIL UNIONS]
1.

National

On 04 July 2013, President Chincilla signed the bill amending Article 242 of the Family Code into law that could establish common-law marriages for gay and lesbian couples in Costa Rica [R1.1].

2.

Courts & Tribunals

In May 2011, Judge Arturo Marcheno Rosabal in the Juzgado Segundo de la Familia (Family Court) in San José found that paragraph 6 of Article 14 of the Código de Familia (Family Code) states that marriage is legally impossible for same-sex couples and that he had no other alternative but to reject the marriage application of Antonio Rodríguez and Eliécer Bermúdez [R2.2].

In May 2006, the Supreme Court ruled "the concept of marriage embraced by the political constitution stems historically from a context where it is understood to be between a man and a woman" [R2.1]

R1.1 TicoTimes: President Chinchilla signs law advocates believe key to same-sex unions 05 JUL 13
R2.2 InsideCostaRica: Court Rejects Same-Sex Marriage In Costa Rica 25 MAY 11
R2.1 LifeSite News: Costa Rican Supreme Court says No to Homosexual "Marriage" 30 MAY 06
Military Legislation/Cases/References
1.

National

On 01 December 1948, President José Figueres Ferrer of Costa Rica abolished the military of Costa Rica. In 1949, the abolition of the military was introduced in Article 12 of the Costa Rican Constitution. The country maintains Police Guard forces [R1.1].

R1.1
Parenting: Adoption, Fostering Legislation/Cases/References
See also: [CHILDREN]
   
   

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