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A First in Italy: Reciprocal Child Adoption by Same-sex Partners

(Blogmensgo, gay blog of March 3, 2016) The juvenile court in Rome has allowed a couple of lesbian mothers to reciprocally adopt each partner’s biologic child. Adoptions by same-sex partners are not so special any longer – however, this is the first case of a “crosswise” adoption.

Lesbische Mütter vor einem Kinderwagen

In the stroller: Julie and her not-sister Julia Dupont-Durand. ©Philippe Leroyer CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

The court granted this double adoption petition justifying it with the superior interest of the children and the “affective continuity” as stipulated in the adoption law. Therefore, both mothers were granted parenthood and child custody for the two girls officially, completely and in equal shares. The two girls (4 and 8 years old) will bear the same double family name although they are not legally considered sisters.

All cases of adoptions by same-sex parents have not become legally binding yet and may be challenged before the Italian appellate court.

In Italy, only married (therefore heterosexual) couples may lawfully adopt children. Registered partners, couples simply living together or single persons do not have the right to adopt children at all.

Currently, Prime Minister Matteo Renzi’s Democratic Party is preparing a legislative initiative to allow adoption for people of all these categories.

The recent law on registered partnership, voted by the Senate on February 25, 2016, neither has provisions for child adoption, nor for naturalization of a foreign partner (although he or she is granted a residence title) or in-vitro fertilizations.

The right to adopt children is closely linked to a highly controversial subject that is currently being discussed: Surrogate motherhood. One of the leaders of an ecological party, Nichi Vendola, has openly admitted that his son (whose father is Vendola’s Canadian partner) was born by a surrogate mother in California. The political class in Italy is fiercely quarreling about this topic.

To this day, the Italian justice does not recognize children of same-sex partners who were legally adopted abroad or born by surrogate mothers. It is a different situation for children procreated by artificial insemination – just as in the case of the two above-mentioned lesbian mothers who had undergone artificial insemination in Denmark.

Frank-S / MensGo
(Via Le Figaro and La Stampa of March 1st, and The Guardian of March 2, 2016)

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