Lesbian couple hails adoption ruling

'We hope other kids and their parents will also get justice'

(ANSA) - Udine, December 24 - A lesbian couple with a six-year-old daughter on Thursday hailed yesterday's court ruling recognizing their child's adoption by her biological mother's partner.
    "We trust this ruling will serve as a useful precedent to ensure justice to so many other children, their mothers and fathers, who are in the same situation," said the two Rome-born mothers. The couple, who has been living in Rome since 2003, was married and conceived their baby abroad thanks to donor gametes - a technique that was banned in Italy at the time. Their daughter was born in Italy six years ago. The little girl "has been informed of the situation and she's very happy," said the couple's lawyer, Maria Antonia Pili.
    Her mothers "are happy they now have full custody of the child and wish for this ruling to be stimulus to lawmakers on the eve of parliamentary debate on (the government's) civil unions bill," she added.
    The Rome court of appeals on Wednesday upheld a landmark August 2014 juvenile court ruling recognizing a child's legal adoption by her mother's lesbian partner. "The ruling confirms that it's possible in Italy for a partner in a homosexual couple to adopt," Pili said yesterday.
    Italy still lacks a civil unions or gay marriage law, so births to same-sex married couples are not officially recognized. On December 10, a Milan appeals court ruled valid a lesbian woman's adoption in Spain of her ex-wife's daughter, and ordered the adoption transcribed in Italy. The two Italian women started a relationship in 1999, then one of them had the child through a donor in 2003. They married in Spain, and the spouse who did not give birth legally adopted the child before the couple divorced two years ago. In July, the European Court of Human Rights condemned Italy for failing to provide legal "recognition and protection" for gay couples, and said it must remedy the situation by changing its laws. Premier Matteo Renzi's government is preparing a civil unions bill that would give same-sex couples many of the same rights and responsibilities as straight married couples, including the right to adopt their spouse's children and for widows to receive their deceased partners' pensions and inherit their property. However, the traditionally Catholic center-right, as well as Catholic elements within the center-left, are not happy with the billn, and are against recognising the rights of gays in committed relationships to be parents. This, they argue, will inevitably usher in the legalization of surrogate motherhood, which is illegal in Italy and which the Catholic Church condemns as a sin.


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