Informujemy, że Państwa dane osobowe są przetwarzane przez Fundację Instytut na Rzecz Kultury Prawnej Ordo Iuris z siedzibą w Warszawie przy ul. Górnośląskiej 20/6, kod pocztowy 00-484 (administrator danych) w celu informowania o realizacji działań statutowych, w tym do informowania o organizowanych akcjach społecznych. Podanie danych jest dobrowolne. Informujemy, że przysługuje Państwu prawo dostępu do treści swoich danych i możliwości ich poprawiania.
Skip to main content
Facebook Twitter Youtube

Strasbourg Court takes the mother’s side. The woman has the right to contact her child

Published: 19.08.2020

Adobe Stock

The European Court of Human Rights allowed a Nigerian woman living in Spain to keep in touch with her son. The woman had fought for the right to visit her child regularly and for the suspension of his adoption for a few years. At that time, the Nigerian obtained approval to stay in Spain and found a job. The Court recognised the complaint filed by the woman due to the violation of her right to respect for family life.

At the end of 2008, the Nigerian bore a son. The mother struggled with a difficult personal situation – when her son was two months’ old, she put him in a shelter for orphans, stressing that she still wanted to keep in touch with him. After a couple of months, the Spanish Directorate for Family suspended the woman’s right to regular visits. In spite of the mother’s explicit objection, the institution also started an adoption procedure.

The woman spent the next five years in courtrooms, appealing to further instances, with a request for the restoration of her right to visit her child and the suspension of the adoption procedure. In the course of the proceedings, the Nigerian showed the will to stabilise her life: she fulfilled the requirements for a temporary permission to stay in Spain, she took part in a Spanish social integration programme, and she found a job. In 2014, the court temporarily suspended the adoption of the child, but a year later it changed its position and allowed the boy to be adopted by a new family, despite the mother’s objection.

In 2016, the woman filed a complaint to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, claiming the violation of her right to respect for family life guaranteed in Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights. The Court recognised the Nigerian woman’s complaint. The ECHR stressed that separating a child from its biological mother and giving it up for adoption should be treated as a last resort, when the implementation of less radical measures is not possible. However, the Spanish authorities isolated the child from its mother already after three months and did not make any real attempts to renew the relationship between them for the next few years.

“This sentence is good news for all families treated unjustly by social welfare officers. The Court once again reminds us that the child’s bond with its biological parents is an undeniable and objective value. Social welfare offices often ignore this value and, as such, prefer solving family problems by transferring a child from its natural family to an adoptive family. This should be done only as a last resort, as the Court rightly stated. Every parent has the right to a second chance, and the state should make an attempt to help improve family relations before deciding to break them off completely,” emphasised Karolina Pawłowska, Director of the Centre of International Law of the Ordo Iuris Institute.

Case of Omorefe v. Spain, ECHR’s decision of 23 June 2020

Institute Activity


Conservatives aka Russia. How a Polish left-wing activist spins conspiracy theories.

Mysterious links, the Kremlin, Catholic fundamentalism – Polish pro-abortion activist Klementyna Suchanow continues her crusade against her country’s main pro-family, anti-abortion lawyers’ organization, the Ordo Iuris Institute.


Read more
Life protection


Perversion in human rights – The Second in a Series on ‘Abortion, the Road to National Horror’

· Abortion advocates manipulate human rights slogans which remain relevant to Polish citizens in order to force the public into supporting abortion.

Read more
Family and marriage


There is no international consensus against the Istanbul Convention. Ordo Iuris memorandum for MPs

- The first reading of the civic bill "Yes to family, no to gender" is underway in the Sejm.

- This bill concerns consent to the denunciation of the Istanbul Convention and the creation of a Team for the development of the principles of the International Convention on the Rights of the Family

Read more
Family and marriage


A step towards compulsory recognition of homoadoption and surrogacy. Draft EU regulation

- In December 2023, the European Parliament voted in favour of the European Commission's proposal to regulate the mutual recognition of parenthood in EU Member States.

- As a result of the adoption of this draft legislation, Poland would be obliged to recognise the legal validity of a document certifying same-sex parenthood.

Read more