March 2. 2024. 1:52

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Debate flares in Italy over surrogacy, LGBT rights


The debate on the practice of surrogacy has flared up in Italy as the ruling right-wing was unanimous in condemning gender ideology and the ‘LGBT lobby’, while the Left called for the better protection of children born from heterologous fertilisation abroad or adopted by surrogate mothers.

Italy became the last EU country to legalise same-sex marriage in 2016 but it still does not recognise surrogacy, mainly due to opposition from the Catholic Church. This means that children born to same-sex families via surrogacy either put just one name on the birth registration, or take the case of family court.

Some cities, including Rome and Milan have a Parent 1/ Parent 2 policy which made the process easier, but last week the Interior Ministry put an end to the practice, adding it would order others to do the same. The senate also voted against an EU measure to make the recognition of same-sex parents mandatory.

On the topic of surrogacy, Equal Opportunities and Family Minister Eugenia Roccella (FDI/ECR) told the media it was a “children market”.

“The concept of surrogacy, which opens to a children’s market, should be better explained. There are international fairs, one of which they even tried to do in Milan. But in Italy it is forbidden not only surrogacy but also its propaganda,” said the minister.

“A surrogacy costs about €100,000 and women get about €15,000-20,000. With adoption we remedy the damage, with surrogacy instead we program one,” she added.

While Supreme Court judges ruled that children born abroad through surrogacy must be recognised in Italy as children of both parents by adoption ‘in special cases’, legal uncertainty remains when a child is born from two Italian mothers who go through the process of heterologous fertilisation abroad.

“We are going backwards, not forwards. We are coming to forms of commodification and enslavement of the female body. This is not a front of progress. On one side you buy egg cells, from brochures, from catalogues, from women who are beautiful, tall, of a certain religion and with another IQ. On the other hand, there are women who lend their wombs with very different characteristics,” said Roccella.

Also causing uproar was the statement Chamber of Deputies Vice President Fabio Rampelli (FDI/ECR) made on the occasion of Father’s Day on Sunday.

“Those who are unable to have children because they love another man keep their desire to themselves and do not make selfish choices to the detriment of the women whose oocyte they buy and rent the uterus for nine months,” wrote Rampelli.

Children of homosexual couples are “destined to grow up in a tormented life, simply because they would like to have a mother, as nature provides,” he also said.

“There are those who have mistaken people for objects or animals or tree species and children for smurfs, Rampelli, also the leading man of Meloni’s Fratelli d’Italia added.

Meloni also took to social media for Father’s Day, posting a photo of her daughter and her partner.

“Here’s to the sacrifices you make to give your best to your children, to how you know how to become children again when you play with them, to the strong and reassuring gaze you know how to maintain even when life confronts you with difficult trials. You are an irreplaceable asset,” she wrote.

Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni (FDI/ECR) recently told Grazia that women are the first victims of gender ideology.

“Today people claim the unilateral right to proclaim themselves a woman or a man beyond any path, surgical, pharmacological and even administrative,” she said, adding this is how they erase their body, essence and difference with the other sex.

(Federica Pascale | EURACTIV.it)