Unfortunately, this case is not unique, which highlights the lack of basic protection for children of same-sex couples, especially following the bans imposed by the Meloni government.
However, to fully understand it is necessary to take some steps back.
The protagonists of the story are two men who fell in love before Italy passed the law which recognises the possibility for same-sex couples to unite in civil partnerships. Therefore, they got married in New York in 2012. Theirs is a serious story, full of hopes and plans, including expanding their family and having children.
One of the protagonists, after a volunteering experience in Brazil, became eager to become a father. It would’ve been possible for a gay couple, but only if they were resident in Brazil, so the desire couldn’t be fulfilled.
On their return to Italy, the two men came into contact with a couple of fathers, with whom they talked and listened to about their experience of surrogacy abroad, and subsequently joined the Rainbow Families to understand all the options available.
In 2015 their baby was born through surrogacy in California. At that time, returning to Italy with a birth certificate naming two fathers was unthinkable so the couple chose the name of the biological father to appear on the birth certificate, who would later, unfortunately pass away.
They hoped they would correct any issues by asking the US Supreme Court to rectify the deed by adding the name of the father who was still alive, and then ask their municipality of residence in Italy for the appropriate transcription.
The time period between became too elongated, and the couple also endured a series of financial problems, primarily because they didn’t want to leave the child in a difficult financial situation.
In the meantime, the child grew up with all the difficulties that not having recognised parents causes: issues at school, the paediatrician and all the daily tasks that are routine for heterosexual couples, and obstacles for same-sex ones.
Finally, in 2022, they obtained the rectification by the Supreme Court, and now both fathers were on the child’s birth certificate, the time had come to deal with Italy and its non-laws on rainbow families. The two fathers turned to a lawyer to assist them, however at the end of August 2022 after returning from a holiday, the biological father passed away.
For the Italian state, at this point, the child is considered an orphan. Not only does he, at the age of 7, have to deal with the pain of losing one parent, he also runs the risk of no longer being able to rely on his other father, legally speaking.
The child was always aware of everything: he knew that in Italy his only recognised father was the one who had passed, and that there was no law to recognise his other as an actual father.
Fortunately, relations with the deceased father’s parents were very positive, and the grandparents immediately sided with the surviving father so that he could be recognised in all respects as the parent of their grandchild.
It was therefore up to a lawyer to request the Court of Milan to deal with the situation. The child is not an orphan: he has a father who has wanted and loved him since before he was born, and who for eight years has taken care of him together with his late husband, giving the child what he needed.
Within a month, the determined father became his son’s legal guardian, with the consent of his grandparents and aunt. And at the end of April came the decree, which is now definitive: the court has granted the living father’s request. The municipality now has to transcribe the deed with two fathers and the child has a family again, which is also recognised by the State.
A story with a happy ending. The lawyer who assisted the father is very satisfied with the result due to the Court of Milan putting the child’s interests exclusively at the centre of proceedings. Which is truly important considering the child’s wellness had already been compromised by the tragedy of great loss.
The hope is this may be a precedent for definitively obtaining the transcription of birth certificates of children born through surrogate motherhood, and the subsequent offering of immediate and full protection to minors who are currently involved in a legal void.
Giorgio Galluzzo, Business Development Executive