Italian gay couple named parents

family law

In a ground-breaking court case, a gay couple in Italy have both been officially named the parents of two surrogate children.

This marks the first time that an Italian court has ruled that a child has two fathers. Judges at the Court of Appeal in the northern city of Trento ruled that both men should be legally regarded as fathers because a parental relationship should not be determined exclusively by a biological link.

In their landmark decision, the Judges declared that they “must consider the importance of parental responsibility, which is manifested in the conscious decision to raise and care for the child”. The two children are now seven years old. They were both born in Canada as part of a surrogacy agreement using artificial insemination.

The Court’s decision was not the equivalent of allowing an adoption but “a recognition of full parenthood”, the couple’s lawyer said afterwards. It “recognised for the first time a foreign provision that gives the second father the status of a parent”.

Gay rights groups throughout Italy welcomed this ruling. Marilena Grassadonia, president of Famiglie Arcobaleno (Rainbow Families), said that “in the absence of clear laws we hope now that all Italian courts follow the same path” because it was “the only way that we can safeguard our children”.

Last year, the Italian Parliament passed legislation to create civil unions for gay couples.  These are similar to civil partnerships in the UK, but proponents of the bill were forced to discard part of the bill which granted same sex couples the right to adopt their partner’s biological children. This was done to appease members of the Catholic Church, which still has significant influence in Italian politics.

Photo of Trento, Italy, by Colombaie via Flickr under a Creative Commons licence.

Stowe Family Law Web Team

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2 comments

Sonny - March 3, 2017 at 12:08pm

It’s great news! I think many people will become happy due to this decision. I think they deserve it. These are simple people. They just have other sexual interests. It’s interesting what will be next. I mean whether it will become on common basis or not. In fact, it is very interesting. Italy is Catholic County. And they have strict rules and norms. Surrogacy is profited there. Many infertile go to other countries to have the program. I know they come back home without problems. Thus, surrogacy baby is born abroad. And parents return to Italy with him.

Olivia Wilson - June 12, 2017 at 2:13pm

Yes, Sonny, you are right. Many infertile Italians go abroad to use ART. And gay couples are not an exception. In fact they look for better variants abroad. Modern medicine has no boundaries. Thus people cannot find a solution at home. They look for another country. They find it. And they go to use local medical services abroad. That is all. Today people are ready to go even to Ukraine. The third world country attracts Europeans. And it is fact. All is in law. It allows such procedures.

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