Milan to resume registering children from male couples

by Reuters
Friday, 4 August 2023 09:11 GMT

A child of a same-sex couple is carried by their parent at a protest after Italy's right-wing government told Milan's city council to stop registering same-sex parents' children in Milan, Italy March 18, 2023. REUTERS/Claudia Greco

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In January, the government introduced rules to stop local authorities from registering the children of same-sex parents

MILAN, Aug 3 (Reuters) - The city of Milan will resume registering children born abroad from male couples, its mayor said on Thursday, after challenging curbs imposed by the right-wing national government.

The government took action in January to stop local authorities from registering the children of same-sex parents, in a move that has sparked protests from LGBT+ activists concerned about the conservative agenda of Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni.

No longer able to register children born abroad to couples of two men, the city of Milan turned to the interior ministry asking if it could at least register the newborns under their biological father. It received a green light on Thursday.

There was no immediate comment from the interior ministry on the move, which could provide a template for other Italian cities.

Milan's centre-left mayor Giuseppe Sala hailed the decision as a "step forward" in a post on social media.

Without the clarification provided on Thursday, male couples who had a child abroad could obtain legal recognition as parents only by adopting the child, which meant that babies were legally without any parents until a court approved the adoption.

The local arm of the interior ministry had told the city of Milan in March that it could no longer register the children of male parents without a court approving the adoption first.

The clarification Milan has now received from the ministry effectively allows the city to sidestep the veto, with at least the biological father being recognised as parent.

The other parent remains without legal rights and would still need to go through an adoption.

Italy legalised same-sex civil unions in 2016, overriding opposition from Catholic and conservative groups, yet it fell short of giving them adoption rights, fearing that it would encourage surrogate pregnancies, which remain illegal.

In the absence of clear legislation on the issue some cities, including Milan, had been registering births to same-sex couples who had gone abroad to find a surrogate mother.

Reporting by Federico Maccioni Writing by Keith Weir Editing by Valentina Za and Giles Elgood

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