Italy begins removing lesbian mums from their children’s birth certificates

Lesbian mums

Italy has begun removing lesbian mums’ names from their children’s birth certificates, as part of the government’s crackdown on the rights of LGBTQ+ parents.

The move follows right-wing populist PM Giorgia Meloni’s announcement in March that state agencies should no longer register the children of same-sex couples.

So far, 27 families in the northern city of Padua have received a warning letter, affecting the lives of 33 children.

Michela Leidi and her wife Viola are reportedly one of the first three lesbian couples to have the policy inflicted upon them.

Leidi said she “cried for 10 days” upon receiving her letter.

“It was as if I did not exist,” she said, according to LGBTQ+ Nation.  “I suspect the government is afraid that a family that looks different, like ours, can be as happy – maybe even happier, sometimes – as a traditional family. 

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“On paper, they say Giulia has one mother but we know she has two. We will do everything possible to prove we are a good family.”

‘We are a happy family with a happy baby’

Viola added: “No one from the government or the prosecutors came to see that we are a happy family with a happy baby.” 

Current Italian law means the member of a same-sex couple who isn’t legally recorded as a child’s parent could lose custody if the legally recognised parent dies or their relationship ends. 

Vanessa Finesso and Cristina Zambon, who also live in Padua and used Zambon’s egg for IVF in Spain, have seen the latter threatened with the loss of parental rights, despite Finesso having cancer.

The law has left Finesso worried that, if she dies, her wife will lose custody of their daughter, while the new policy has resulted in some same-sex couples reportedly planning to leave the country.

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

After winning the election in 2022, prime minister 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.” 

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

“These children are being orphaned by decree. This is a cruel, inhumane decision,” left-wing politician and LGBTQ+ rights advocate Alessandro Zan said.