Italian gay couple named parents
March 1, 2017 2 comments
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.
March 1, 2017