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First gay couple in Italy allowed to adopt child

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14:29 CEST+02:00
UPDATED: A woman whose partner gave birth has been allowed to adopt the child in the first case of stepchild adoption involving a same-sex couple. It's been described by a rights group as an historic step for Italy.

The five-year-old is the daughter of one of the two partners, who were married abroad. It is the first case of a “step-child” adoption involving a gay couple in Italy.

The girl was born after her biological mother underwent fertility treatment in another European country and has since been raised by the pair at their home in Rome.

The two mothers have shared the care and upbringing of the child “with excellent results” and have provided her with “a solid emotional foundation”, Maria Antonia Pili, the Pordenone-based lawyer involved in the case was quoted in the newspaper as saying.

Although adoption by gay couples is illegal in Italy, a stepchild adoption law for same-sex couples forms part of a draft bill on civil unions by Matteo Renz’s government.

In this case, the non-biological parent was allowed to adopt the child due to a clause in Article 44 of Italy’s adoption law of 1983, which prioritises “the best interest of the child in order to maintain the emotional relationship and cohabi-tation with the ‘social’ parent,” Pili added, such as the person who has raised the child other than the biological parent.

“This particular article of adoption law does not discriminate between heterosexual and homosexual parents,” she said

The court ruling was described as an “historic step for our country” by the gay rights group, Mario Mieli Society for Gay Culture.

“We would like to send our very best wishes to the Rome couple who, while aware of the legal risks, chose to claim their rights, and the rights of their child, in Italy,” Andrea Maccarrone, the organization’s president, said in a statement.

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“Stepchild adoption for gay couples is part of the draft civil union bill by Renzi’s government, which we expect to soon be made State law,” he added.

“We applaud the court which, with this ruling, has anticipated the law and recognized that this child, born to a gay cou-ple, has the same rights as any other child.”

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