Judgment concerning Estonia

Human Rights building

In the case of I.V. v. Estonia, the Court held that there had been a violation of the right to respect for private and family life.

The case concerned a father’s attempt to contest the adoption of his biological son by another man in Estonia, against the background of paternity proceedings in Latvia. The Court stressed that although this was a cross-border case, the Court was examining only Estonia’s responsibility.

The Court found that the Estonian authorities had overall failed to strike a fair balance between the interests of the applicant and those of his son in either the proceedings allowing the adoption or the subsequent proceedings brought by the father requesting to annul the adoption. In particular, the Estonian courts had paid no attention to the fact that there were, in parallel, ongoing paternity proceedings in Latvia, and they subsequently simply rejected the father’s request to annul the adoption solely on formal grounds, because he did not have standing as the legal father.

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