ITALY: Italy starts removing lesbian mothers’ names from children’s birth certificates

Extract of article written by Barbie Latza Nadeau and Jack Guy, published by CNN on 21/07/2023 – accessible here.

The northern Italian city of Padua has started removing the names of non-biological gay mothers from their children’s birth certificates under new legislation passed by the “traditional family-first” government of Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni.

These birth certificates belong to 33 children of Italian women who underwent artificial insemination abroad and then registered their children under the city’s center-left government, led by Sergio Giordani, in 2017.

The prosecutor’s office in Padua confirmed to CNN that, as of Thursday, 27 mothers had been removed from 27 birth certificates.

Giordani came to power promising to remove the traditional “mother” and “father” designations on birth certificates, but this was overturned when Meloni’s government ordered local authorities to stop registering the children of same-sex parents with both of their names.

In March, Meloni’s government also introduced legislation to extend the national ban on surrogacy to couples who use such services abroad. If it passes, anyone breaking the law could face a two-year jail term and a fine of more than $1 million.

The law has not yet been debated in parliament, and has been criticized for targeting same-sex couples specifically, but it would also extend to heterosexual couples who use surrogacy services abroad.

Padua is the first city in Italy to retroactively cancel birth certificates, but rights groups are concerned that other regions, especially those controlled by center-right governments, will follow suit.