Italy’s far-right prime minister brands surrogacy ‘inhuman’ as she calls for greater penalties

Italy prime minister, Giorgia Meloni, pictured outside.

Italy’s far-right prime minister has called surrogacy “inhuman” after her party backed steeper penalties against the practice.

Prime minister Giorgia Meloni, leader of the Italian populist party, Brothers of Italy, said she continues to support a bill that would make the act a “universal crime” while speaking at a conference in Rome on Friday (12 April).

“I continue to believe that surrogacy is an inhuman practice,” she said. “I support the bill that makes it a universal crime.”

Surrogacy – the act of a person giving birth to a child for another couple or family – has remained a contentious issue in the Italy, where it is already illegal, since Meloni won the election in October 2022.

A picture of Giorgia Meloni walking by in a white suit.
The Italian prime minister has said she is focusing on birth rates in the country. (Getty)

The far-right politician has long campaigned against surrogacy, especially for same-sex parents, as well as adoption.

During the conference last week, Meloni backed a bill that would increase existing fines for surrogacy to €600,000 (£512,000).

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She also focused on declining birth rates in the country, saying that the “demographic challenge” and “economic sustainability” of birth rates is a focus for the party.

“There is no point in managing the present, if the future is not secure,” she said.

In reiterating her desire to stop surrogacy in Italy, Meloni also called for an increase in public spending to support families with children, including “baby bonuses” and tax breaks for families.

The government has also pledged to make it easier for working mothers to find adequate child care and support.

The shift in focus to supporting heterosexual families in the country is part of Italy’s slow move to right-wing political populism. Just recently, the government changed Italian birth certificates to read “mother” and “father” rather than “parent 1” and “parent 2.”

The Catholic Church also recently shared similar sentiments on surrogacy on 8 April after Pope Francis said that it “violates” the dignity of the child and the person who gave birth, who he said “becomes a mere means subservient to the arbitrary gain or desire of others.”

Meloni also demanded that councils stop registering same-sex parent’s children in March 2023 after mayor of Milan, Giuseppe Sala, confirmed he had received instruction to stop registering children who have two mothers or two fathers.