Joint statement on human rights violations against LGBTIQ families in Italy
Early this year, Italy’s Minister of Interior of Meloni’s government announced that registrars should no longer register the children of same-sex couples.
In Padua at least 33 mothers of 37 children received notification that their child(ren)’s birth certificates, in which two women's names appeared, were illegitimate. On Tuesday 14 November 2023, the first hearings possibly leading to the retroactive removal of the non-biological mothers’ names from their respective birth certificates, effectively erasing the legal motherhood of the non-biological mothers, took place before the Court of Padua. The public prosecutor's office and the lawyer of the mothers in question, claim that removing one mother is unconstitutional.
The deregistration of a parent marks a clear breach of human rights, with significant negative impacts on the wellbeing and day-to-day lives of the parents and the children, and are clearly not in the best interests of the child. These attacks are possible due to the fact that Italy lacks a national law ensuring the recognition at birth or through adoption of the children of same-sex couples.
A few courageous mayors have in the past agreed to register the birth certificates of children with two mothers or transcribe the birth certificates of children with two fathers to ensure the children are not exposed to discrimination. The order to deregister one of the parents ultimately amounts to orphanage by decree, instigated by the prosecution and in line with the Meloni government’s clear stance of not recognising parental rights of LGBTIQ individuals.
These attacks on rainbow families are happening in a context of broader attacks on the LGBTIQ*community in Italy and their fundamental rights by the government. Schools have been called upon to no longer accept the gender identity of trans children in education, and a draft law proposes to withdraw the possibility to seek asylum based on prosecution based on sexual orientation and gender identity. LGBTIQ-phobic hate speech, also from politicians, has been on the rise. And the Meloni government is proposing to criminalise surrogacy arrangements made by Italian couples abroad, another move that might leave children without parents and thereby extremely vulnerable.