Recent legal debates over surrogacy and LBGQ+ community members using surrogates to grow their families have heated up in Italy. Unlike in California, surrogacy has been labeled illegal, even if the surrogacy and birth of the child was in a location where surrogacy is legal. Italian lawmakers have made the new crime a jail-time offense with a large fine attached.
Changing the laws, quickly
Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni proposed a new law targeting surrogacy and dubbing it “an abomination” in the eyes of the Italian government. Meloni is pushing her agenda of traditional heterosexual marriages and families, continuing their stand against same-sex marriages, even though social attitudes are much more accepting than in the past.
If the bill passes the crime of having a child through surrogacy, even from abroad, will be punishable by up to two years in prison and a fine of more than one million dollars. Changes have already been made in some national laws pertaining to fertility and surrogacy regarding the citizenship of babies with same-sex parents listed on their birth certificates. These children are being treated as immigrants rather than naturalized Italians.
Possibly targeting LBGQ+ fathers
Female same-sex marriages in Italy have the advantage when childbirth becomes a hot topic in the media. Women in same-sex marriages who choose to have children, even with infertility issues, can discreetly find a surrogate abroad and bring back a child, provided only one name is listed on the birth certificate, and not be flagged.
However, men who decide to bring a little miracle into their lives become suspects quickly when returning home with a newborn. Because of this obvious difference, the new law seems to target male homosexuals who desire to raise a child of their own. Even the legalization of children through adoption takes years to accomplish.
Members of the LBGQ+ community fear the new changes the Italian government has implemented against their lifestyle and do not dare to dream of what the government will introduce next. Fear is forcing these families and families expecting surrogate-born children into a decision that may be difficult to consider, relocation outside of the country.