Italy moves towards gay 'stepchild adoption'

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10:11 CET+01:00
Italy’s ruling Democratic Party is moving towards including same-sex adoption in its upcoming civil unions law, but only if one of the partners in a gay couple is the child’s biological parent.

The proposal, called “stepchild adoption”, is included in a draft law that was presented to the parliamentary justice commission by PD Senator Monica Cirinna on Wednesday, Ansa reported.

"This concerns the extension of parental responsibility to the child of the partner, envisaged in article 44 of the law on adoptions, where after the word 'spouse' the words 'or by civil union between people of the same sex' are inserted," Cirinna was quoted as saying.

The discussion on the civil unions bill, which also calls for same-sex civil unions to be registered by municipalities, is expected to get underway next week.

Earlier this week, Prime Minister Matteo Renzi said he aims to legalize same-sex unions before May.

Leaders from both the political left and right agreed last year on the principle of civil partnerships.

Although the law is yet to be approved, a court in Rome last August agreed to allow a woman whose partner gave birth to adopt the child.

In the first case of stepchild adoption in Italy involving a same-sex couple, 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 the capital.

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 prioritizes “the best interest of the child in order to maintain the emotional relationship and cohabi-tation with the ‘social’ parent,” .

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Maria Antonia Pili, the Pordenone-based lawyer involved in case, said at the time: “This particular article of adoption law does not discriminate between heterosexual and homosexual parents.”

READ MORE: First gay couple in Italy allowed to adopt child

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