A Rome family court has approved a lesbian couple's request to simultaneously
adopt each other's daughters in a legal first in Italy, gay groups said on Tuesday.




Against a backdrop of controversy over a move to remove gay adoption rights from
a law authorising same sex civil unions, the two women made their application under
existing legislation which says the right of a child to "ongoing affection" should be
paramount in deciding whether to grant adoption requests.

"Each of these two little girls has a biological parent and a social parent who share
parental responsibility fully and equally," said the couple's lawyer, Francesca Carato,
in a statement issued to the media.

The Rome family court since 2014 made at least 15 rulings upholding requests for
gay people to be allowed to adopt their partners' children.

But Italy's long-winded legal system makes it difficult to state clearly that the principle
that such adoptions should generally be allowed has been established.

Only one of the rulings has been validated on appeal and the issue is destined to be
considered eventually by Italy's highest court.

Italy's Senate last week approved a law authorising same sex civil unions after the
ruling Democratic Party (PD) bowed to pressure from allies to strip it of provisions
guaranteeing homosexuals who enter such unions the right to adopt their partners'
children.

The PD is now planning to table a separate bill which will seek to give gay, unmarried
couples and single people the same rights as married couples when it comes to
adoption.

Italy's divisions over what is referred to as "step-child adoption" were underlined this
week when the country's most prominent gay politician, Nichi Vendola, announced
that he had had a son with his Canadian partner after employing a surrogate mother
in California.

Vendola was accused of "disgusting selfishness" by the leader of the far-right Northern
League, Matteo Salvini while Beppe Grillo, outgoing leader of the populist Five Star
Movement, said there "is something about the concept of wombs for rent that scares
me."


As things stand, Vendola, a veteran leftist and former governor of the southern region
of Puglia, could adopt the baby in the United States. But even if he does so, he will
not be automatically recognised as a parent in Italy as his partner is the biological
father.

The highest court last week rejected a request to recognise the adoption of a child by
the lesbian partner of her mother despite her having been already approved in the
United States.

Source: Thelocal.it