Alfano reaffirms 'No' to gay adoptions

Announces bill to make surrogate motherhood universal crime

(ANSA) - Rome, March 1 - Interior Minister Angelino Alfano, leader of the junior government partner New Centre Right (NCD), on Tuesday reaffirmed his opposition to "every kind of adoption" by same-sex couples and announced a new proposal to make surrogate motherhood a universal crime.
    "We are working on two bills: the first on surrogacy as a universal crime, punishable in Italy even if committed abroad, and the second on tax relief for families and measures to promote childbirth," Alfano said.
    NCD led opposition to the stepchild adoption clause in the controversial civil unions bill allowing one partner to adopt the other partner's biological child, arguing it would pave the way for greater use of surrogacy even though this is banned in Italy under a separate law.
    The Democratic Party (PD) of Premier Matteo Renzi eventually agreed to drop the provision in exchange for support for the bill, which was approved by the Senate at first reading last week. Health Minister Beatrice Lorenzin, also of the NCD, also reaffirmed her opposition to surrogate motherhood, describing it as a "horrible practice against women". It is a "debasement of the female body, a woman's integrity and also the concept of motherhood" irrespective of whether the couple that has recourse to it is heterosexual or homosexual, Lorenzin said. Following approval of the civil unions bill without the stepchild adoption clause Renzi said his party would include the provision in a separate bill overhauling Italy's malfunctioning adoptions system. Fierce debate around the hot-button issue has been rekindled by the arrival via American surrogate mother of a baby boy to former Puglia governor Nichi Vendola, leader of the leftwing Left Ecology and Freedom (SEL) party, and his partner Ed Testa.
   

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