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Italy’s Crackdown On Same-Sex Parenting Continues

It should be noted that surrogacy is still illegal in Italy so most non-biological parents make special cases for adopting a child. And as per the new policy that aims for only the biological parent of a child to be mentioned on the birth certificate, men in same-sex couples must choose one of the two to be the legal father.

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In a blow to queer rights in Italy, lesbian couples are no longer recognised as legal parents on birth certificates. As per reports, Italy’s Prime Minister’s Giorgioa Meloni is leading the right wing coalition rooted in conservative moral values around the idea of traditional family. There has been protest from queer organizations after the Padova city prosecutor invalidated the birth certificates of more than 33 children born to lesbian couples in the city since 2017. As of July 20, 27 “non-biological” mothers have been removed from 27 certificates. This is a regressive move and a continuance of crackdown on same-sex parenting in Italy, which saw legalization of same-sex activity nationwide in 1890.

While same-sex couples do not have the legal right to marry, they can enter into civil unions. Since 2016, same-sex couples entering into civil unions are entitled to various rights including shared property, social security, and inheritance. Further, in 2010, there was a landmark ruling that recognized same-sex couples as “legitimate social formation, similar to, and deserving homogeneous treatment of, marriage” and some attempts are underway to legalize same-sex marriage. In terms of adoption, it is only permitted to married couples who must be of the opposite sex. Only in some cases interpreted by courts, adoption for a stepchild has been allowed for unmarried and same-sex couples.

In 2023, the Ministry of Interior prohibited registration of both parents on birth certificates of children of homosexual couples. By march as per orders of the government, the city of Milan stopped issuing birth certificates to children from same-sex couples, where the absence of birth certificate can also mean denial of rights like inheritance and healthcare. A news report by BBC further noted, “Children who are denied the right to have both parents recognised on their birth certificate are left in a legal limbo. Their families face a range of challenges. In the most extreme scenario, if the legally recognised parent were to pass away, the children could become wards of the state and face the prospect of being orphaned.”

It should be noted that surrogacy is still illegal in Italy so most non-biological parents make special cases for adopting a child. And as per the new policy that aims for only the biological parent of a child to be mentioned on the birth certificate, men in same-sex couples must choose one of the two to be the legal father. Disturbingly, this also means that the simple family duties and tasks such as picking up your child from school cannot be done by the non-registered parent.

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Rajeev completed their under graduation in Political Science Hons. from Sri Venkateswara College, University of Delhi in 2020. They graduated with Masters in Women’s Studies from Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai in 2022 and were a participant at the International Writing Program’s Summer Institute, University of Iowa for the 2021-22 session. They have been the recipient of Mavelinadu Collective’s grant for non-fiction for the first issue of Debrahminising Gender. Their work can be found in EPW, Women’s Link Journal, Shuddhashar, Gaysi Family, Feminism in India and Hindu College Gazette among others. Their research interests include queer experiences, feminist ethics of care, and masculinities.

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