The Italian government has begun stripping same-sex parents of their legal connection to their children, according to LGBTQ Nation.
After receiving a letter informing her that she would be removed from her daughters birth certificate, Michela Leidi told the Daily Mail that she “cried for 10 days”.
After the government of the nation declared in March that state agencies should no longer record the offspring of same-sex couples, Leidi and her wife Viola are apparently one of the first three lesbian couples to have their children’s birth certificates amended.
The couple do not understand why they were chosen to be among the first people to have their legal status changes retroactively, given the programme has typically been centred on newly born children in most cities.
They claimed that their community, friends and family had always been there for them. Leidi said:
“I suspect the government is afraid that a family that looks different, like ours, can be as happy – maybe even happier sometimes – as a traditional family. On paper, they say Giulia has one mother but we know she has two. We will do everything possible to prove we are a good family.”
Her wife added:
“No one from the government or the prosecutors came to see that we are a happy family with a happy baby.”
Surrogacy remains illegal in Italy and there are restrictions that prevent the adoption of “stepchildren” by one parent, as reported by LGBTQ Nation. Viola became pregnant through artificial insemination and they both had to travel to Spain to receive the treatment.
Until March, there were “several Italian cities where same-sex couples could be listed as “parents”—as opposed to ‘mother’ and ‘father’—on birth registrations”.
The current Italian law states that the member of a same-sex couple who is not legally recognized as a child’s parent could lose custody if the legally recognized parent dies or the relationship ends.
Angelo Schillaci, a law professor at Sapienza University in Rome, told the BBC:
“Children end up having limited access to key services and benefits, such as healthcare, inheritance, and child support.
At present, only one parent is recognized by law, the other one is a ghost. In real life, parents and children play together, cook together, play sports, and go on holiday together. But on paper, they are apart, the state does not see them. It’s a paradoxical situation.”