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May 30, 2017

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Brazil notary becomes first in country to recognize union among 3 people

SAO PAULO -- A notary in Brazil's Sao Paulo state has officially recognized a two-woman, one-man union, affirming for the first time that there is no legal impediment to such a relationship contract.

"My job is not to judge if this type of situation is correct or not. My job is to describe a situation that exists," the notary, Claudia do Nascimento Domingues, told AFP.

She explained that the three partners have lived together "for a long enough time and share the bills."

"It is something new, but I wouldn't have done it if the law explicitly forbid it," she added.

The notarized document creates a "patrimonial union" — not a legal civil union, Sao Paulo lawyer Nelson Sussumu, a specialist in family law, told AFP.

This type of document would be recognized in case of a lawsuit, separation, or death, for example, to administer an inheritance.

He agreed with the notary that "they made this contract; there is nothing illegal in that."

Domingues said the trio, who have written a doctoral thesis on so-called polyamorous families, contacted her because "they intend to get their union recognized later by courts, insurance companies and other institutions."

"They now have a document that proves they live as a family to fight for their rights, apply for insurance, etc. But I don't know how Brazilian judges are going to treat the question."

Certain religious groups have already condemned the union, but Brazilian Institute of the Family vice president Maria Berenice Dias supported the triad.

It is necessary "to respect the private nature of relationships and learn to live in this plural society and recognize different desires," she said in statements to local media.

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