Friday, June 2, 2017

Who can be parents in Italy? (Adoption by same sex couples...)

In Italy, Confusion and Division Over Same-Sex Parenting
Court ruling highlights conflicting views over the rights of homosexual couples as parents

"An Italian court’s decision to recognize two homosexual men as the fathers of twin children has exposed confusion and a deep divide in the country over parenting rights of same-sex couples.

It was disclosed earlier this week that a court in the northern Italian city of Trento granted the men full rights as parents to their six-year-old twins, who were born in Canada through surrogacy.

The gay community hailed the decision—the first to accord full parental rights to a non-biological father—as historic in a country that last year became one of the last in Europe to approve civil unions for gay couples. But the ruling kicked up controversy right away, with the head of the main group opposing the civil-unions bill saying it marked a “sad day for Italy.”
"The 2016 legislation approving civil unions stopped short of addressing broader questions of parental rights and other family law issues for same-sex couples. Political opposition was so fierce that lawmakers scotched any reference to adoption or parental rights to get the bill passed. As a result, Italian law today recognizes only the biological parent, and joint adoption by gay couples isn’t allowed.

Italian courts have been left to fill that gap in a haphazard way, with some judges approving adoption requests by gay partners of a biological parent and others turning them down. The result: up to 1,000 children of gay couples are caught in a legal limbo.
"Riccardo and Lorenzo, the Trento couple who released only their first names, sought to break new ground. The pair, an entrepreneur and a civil servant in their 50s who have been together for more than 20 years, were married in Canada. Their twins were born in Canada via surrogacy, a practice that is illegal in Italy. Canadian law allowed both men to be listed as the twins’ fathers on the birth certificate.

Once back in Italy, the couple sought to have the Italian state recognize the Canadian birth certificate, seeking a parental status that affords more rights than adoption in Italy. An adoptive parent’s relatives have no legal relation with the adopted children, who therefore have no legal status when it comes, for instance, to inheritance from grandparents. The court granted the couple’s request, effectively recognizing both men as fathers.

“[We] sought no more than to see our children’s legal family rights protected, just as with other families,” they said in a statement.

Nichi Vendola, a gay Italian politician and leader in the fight for same-sex rights, hailed the decision. “When you raise, care for and love a child, you’re a father, mother, parent,” he said.

In Italy, however, court decisions don’t set legal precedent, so the legislative gap remains for parliament to fill. With Italy headed to elections this year or next, there is little political appetite to take up the bruising battle over parenting rights again."

No comments: