Italian Court Rules Gay Dads Must be Recognized

by Kilian Melloy

EDGE Staff Reporter

Sunday November 7, 2021
Originally published on November 7, 2021

Stock image
Stock image  (Source:Getty Images)

An Italian court has ruled that the gay fathers — one American, the other Italian — of an infant born through surrogacy must both be listed on the birth certificate, Italy 24 News reported.

The two men — who were not identified in news reports — both appear as the parents on the child's American birth certificate, but the city of Milan had declined to list them both. The court found that this refusal was improper, based on a recent ruling in Italy's Constitutional Court, which had ruled that children born through IVF to female couples must be accorded the same legally recognized relationships to their parents as children of heterosexual couples, Italian newspaper Corriera della Sera detailed. [Article is in Italian.]

The Milanese Court ruled that the city of Milan must see that the birth certificate is " 'transcribed and recognized in full' " despite a lack of relevant, specific language in the country's laws, since 'the protection of the minor cannot be suspended indefinitely, while waiting for lawmakers to change the legislation" around such family issues, Italy 24 News reported.

The family's situation was the result of the COVID-19 pandemic along with the binational makeup of the couple.

"Our son was born during the pandemic," one of the men, identified only as the Italian father, told Corriera della Sera, and without the Italian father's name on the document, the child "could not have been granted Italian citizenship, and therefore [have been allowed] to return to Italy when international travel was suspended."

"My husband had to go back to Italy for work a few weeks after the baby," and the lack of legal recognition for the child meant that "the two of us were stranded alone in the United States for five months in the worst moments of the pandemic," the Italian father said.

The court's ruling means that families in similar situations will not have to face such difficulties even if the Italian government — which recently scuttled an LBGTQ+-inclusive hate crimes bill — fails to enact updated laws.

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Associate Arts Editor and Staff Contributor. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.