Towards even stricter surrogacy regulations in Italy

Italians choosing to use surrogacy in a foreign country could soon be subject to legal proceedings once they return home. A bill making the practice illegal within the peninsula as elsewhere was indeed voted on Wednesday by Italian deputies. If the text is also approved by the Senate, it may come into force, to the dismay of the LGBT+ community.

“State homophobia”

During a demonstration against this measure which brought together hundreds of protesters in Rome (Italy) on Tuesday, a participant denounced “State homophobia”. “This government is strongly supported by pro-life associations, fundamentalists who want to make decisions for women’s bodies and the LGBT community,” said another.

The bill is the work of the far-right Fratelli d’Italia (FDI) party, the formation of the head of government Giorgia Meloni. A member of the FDI had described surrogacy as a crime “more serious than pedophilia” last March. During the debates which preceded the vote of the deputies, one of her party comrades spoke of a practice likened to a “uterus for rent” which “insults the dignity of women and tramples on the rights of children”.

A vagueness then a ban

Surrogacy had already been banned in Italy since 2004 Violators of this law risk a prison sentence ranging from three months to two years as well as a fine of between 600,000 and one million euros. Since Italy has no law to recognize the children of same-sex couples, a legal vacuum remained.

This is why some cities, including Milan, Turin and Padua (Italy) had officially registered the children of same-sex couples conceived abroad by GPA. The Ministry of the Interior, however, made this recognition illegal last April, forcing the erasure of the registers of the names of certain parents.

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