A prosecutor in Italy has requested the cancellation of 33 birth certificates of children who were born to women in same-sex relationships amid an ongoing debate over the rights granted to LGBTQ people.
Valeria Sanzari, the prosecutor of Padua, wants only a child’s biological mother’s name to be listed on the document. Italy does not have one unified regulation regarding listing the names of same-sex parents on birth certificates, leading to a variety of regional policies. In Padua and other cities, both partners can be listed on a birth certificate.
Sanzari over 30 birth certificates signed by the mayor since 2017 to be changed. The non-biological mother whose name would be removed would lose legal parental status and would need the biological mother’s written permission to pick the child up from school and take custody of the child in the event of the other parent’s death.
Her request has angered LGBTQ activists in Italy.
“These children are being orphaned by decree,” said left-wing politician Alessandro Zan in response to Sanzari’s request, per The Pink News. “This is a cruel, inhumane decision.”
In May, Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni’s administration ordered Milan’s city council to stop registering both people in a same-sex relationship as the parents of children. A minister for the interior told Milan’s mayor Giuseppe Sala in a letter that the country’s Supreme Court had ruled gay people without a biological tie to their partner’s child could only obtain parental rights if a court approves of an adoption, per Reuters.
Gay marriage was legalized in 2016 but same-sex couples do not have full adoption rights. The government was concerned “it would encourage surrogate pregnancies, which remain illegal,” per NBC News.
Milan stopped issuing birth certificates to same-sex couples in March.
“Sadly, this news is coupled with the Italian Government’s decision to reject the possibility of a European Certificate of Filiation, which would allow the children of same-sex couples to have their rights recognized throughout Europe,” said Alessia Crocini, the president of Famiglie Arcobaleno, which advocates for same-sex couples, per Mombian. Crocini said Meloni’s Interior Minister Matteo Piantedosi had to accept that “boys and girls with two moms and two dads already exist in Italy.”
“This situation is not worthy of a civilized country and we wonder when this injustice will be remedied by a common sense law that reflects reality,” said Crocini. “In the meantime, we will not stop and will continue to do everything in our power to obtain the most basic citizenship rights for our sons and daughters, with the certainty that we have many alliances on our side.”
A court is expected to rule on the issue and Sanzari’s request later this year.