Italian court rules in favour of same-sex parents on birth certificates

AFP/The Local
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Italian court rules in favour of same-sex parents on birth certificates
Signs held by supporters of same-sex civil unions during a demonstration in Rome's Piazza delle Cinque Lune in January 2016. Photo by FILIPPO MONTEFORTE / AFP

Judges in Italy on Tuesday ruled that children can have two mothers listed on their birth certificates – a decision hailed as a victory by rights campaigners in Catholic-majority Italy.


The court in Padua rebutted an order by the public prosecutor's office for city authorities to retroactively remove non-biological mothers from the birth certificates of 37 children dating back to 2017.

"It's wonderful news," lawyer Michele Giarratano, who represented 15 of the children, told AFP.

Had they been removed, the non-biological mothers risked losing access to their children if the other parent died or the couple separated.

Giarratano said, however, that the prosecutors or the interior ministry could appeal against Tuesday's ruling.

In a similar case, a Milan court ruled in June of last year that a child's birth certificate could have two mothers listed on it – but that decision was overturned on appeal last month.

Civil unions became legal in Italy in 2016 but the law on parental rights for same-sex couples is unclear.

Italy's highest court has so far unsuccessfully urged successive parliaments to clarify the parental rights of gay couples.

Encouraged by several court rulings, local mayors have in recent years been registering both biological and non-biological parents on birth certificates.

But in January 2023 PM Giorgia Meloni's hardline interior minister ordered town halls to stop transcribing certificates of children born
abroad through surrogacy – which is illegal in Italy – citing a recent court ruling.

READ ALSO: EU parliament slams Italy's clampdown on same-sex couples' rights

In response, prosecutors across the country began contesting birth certificates of children born to same-sex parents, whether through surrogacy or not.

"Beyond the favourable outcome [...] there remains the fact of a political party waging an ignoble war against children," said Gabriele Piazzoni, secretary general of Italy's largest LGBTQ+ rights group Arcigay.


Meloni, a self-declared "Christian mother", is a staunch supporter of the "traditional family" and has on multiple occasions spoken out against the "LGBT lobby".

Piazzoni said that in ordering the removal of non-biological mothers from their children's birth certificates, the prosecutors' office in Padua had been "driven by an entirely ideological fury".


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