Lesbian mum told she 'has to have sex with a man' to have her baby legally recognised in Italy

Jake Hall
Friday 20 April 2018 14:00
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Photo: iSTOCK / Rawpixel

A lesbian couple in Turin, Italy, has been denied the right to register their baby.

Chiara Foglietta and partner Micaela Ghisleni were advised that Italian laws make fertility treatments available only to heterosexual couples; therefore, in order to register their son, they would have to officially declare he had been conceived through heterosexual intercourse.

The couple, who chose to undergo artificial insemination in Denmark, clarified the situation further in a Facebook post.

According to its translation, she states:

You must declare you had union (sexual relations) with a man to register your son. There is no form to say you had artificial insemination.

They refused to do so, claiming:

Every child has the right to know their own story.

Italy has come under fire on numerous occasions for its regressive stance on LGBT+ rights, earlier this week ranking in the bottom five of a survey conducted to find out which European countries were best to live and work for young LGBT+ professionals.

Despite this track record, the country did pass a law recognising same-sex civil unions in 2016.

This progress is muddied by its longstanding reproductive laws, established in 2003. According to a BBC News article, the rules were introduced as part of a Catholic clampdown on the country’s previously liberal approach to fertility treatment. A further report published on BioNews outlined that the law restricts the provision of fertility treatments to “stable heterosexual couples” who live together, are of childbearing age and have been proven to be clinically infertile.

Perhaps surprisingly, Turin Mayor Chiara Appendino has expressed warm wishes to the couple and even sent celebratory flowers. She further expressed this support, explaining to Corriere della Sera:

Personally, I am in favour and wiling to proceed with registration, but with this current legal vacuum, the rights of the parents and children cannot be guaranteed.

These restrictive laws have, however, been overcome in the past. Last year, a gay couple became the first same-sex partners to be legally recognised as the fathers of two surrogate children, winning a landmark case in the city of Trento.

The case differs in its details, yet there are key similarities; although these were surrogate children, yet they were still conceived via artificial insemination. Furthermore, although the two fathers weren’t granted adoption, they were granted full parenthood.

Speaking at the time, Marilena Grassadonia, president of gay parents’ group Famiglie Arcobaleno stated:

In the absence of clear laws we hope now that all Italian courts will follow the same path.

Additional reporting from Associated Press

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