Lesbian shares custody in landmark Italian case

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The Palermo ruling has set a precedent in Italy. Photo: JK Beitz
10:21 CEST+02:00
An Italian woman has been given the right to shared custody of her children after splitting up from their biological mother in a case that has set a precedent for gay couples in Italy.

In its ruling, the Palermo court recognized the right for the children to “maintain a stable and significant relationship” with the woman, and said she would be allowed to see the children and look after them on fixed days, TGCom24 reported.

The news was welcomed by LGBT-rights organizations.

“This is an important decision for all 'rainbow' families,” Giuseppina La Delfa, president of Famiglie Arcobaleno, the national association of homosexual and transsexual parents, told Corriere Del Mezzogiorno.

“It clearly states that the separation of a homosexual couple, who together decided to have children and raise them, cannot mean the end of the relationship between the non-biological parent and children."

La Delfa added that the current lack of legal protection for gay couples who decide to have children together means that the biological parent can exclude the other from the children’s lives after a separation.

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The Palermo judges took into account psychological expertise acknowledging a family link between the children and the woman who isn’t their biological mother. 

By Anna Pujol Mazzini

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