Lesbian mums in Italy to be removed from birth certificates: ‘A cruel, inhumane decision’

Italian protestors condemning the criminlisation of surrogacy, with signs reading "parents, not criminals."

Lesbian couples in Italy could be completely erased from their child’s birth records following new governmental attempts to oppress same-sex families.

A northern Italy Magistrate issued a list of 33 birth certificates of children born to lesbian couples since 2017, asking judges to strip the names of mothers who did not give birth to the child from the records entirely.

Prosecutor Valeria Sanzari said in a legal case that, if the high court judges agree to remove the partner from the certificate, their surname must be dropped from the child’s name. A court will rule on the case later this year.

The case has come as part of far-right and anti-LGBTQ+ prime minister Giorgia Meloni‘s government’s crackdown on the rights of LGBTQ+ families gained in the last few years.

After winning the election in 2022, Meloni signalled that she is preparing to roll back legislation on abortion rights and, while denying being homophobic, she has expressed her opposition to what she described as “gender ideology” and the “LGBT lobbies.”

Italy legalised same-sex civil unions in 2016 while under a centre-left government but refrained from issuing full adoption rights under the suggestion that it would somehow encourage surrogate pregnancies, which have yet to be legalised in Italy.

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If the legal order to remove the names is completed, it could result in several rights of non-biological mothers being stripped completely, including the ability to pick up their child from school without the express permission of the biological mother.

‘A cruel, inhumane decision’

Pro-LGBTQ+ politicians in Italy have condemned the legal action, arguing it was clearly discriminatory.

“These children are being orphaned by decree,” left-wing politician and LGBTQ+ rights advocate Alessandro Zan said.

“This is a cruel, inhumane decision.”

But the government has seemingly remained committed to its anti-LGBTQ+ stance, with parliamentary relations minister Luca Ciriani saying: “In Italy, marriage is only between a man and a woman, and therefore only the biological parent is the parent whose surname can be registered.”

Italy has one of the worst track records for LGBTQ+ rights across Western European countries according to ILGA-Europe’s 2022 rainbow map rankings.

It is 34th on the list among 49 European countries, just above Georgia, which has yet to legalise same-sex marriage.

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