Italy moves to prevent citizens from using foreign surrogates

Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni has come out in defense of women and the traditional family in her opposition to the civil registration of children born to surrogate mothers. The Italian government recently announced that Milan was to stop registering same-sex couples’ children, per Euractiv.

The Italian government legalized same-sex unions in 2016, going against conservative and Catholic groups, but it did not legalize adoption rights for these individuals, noting that it could increase the prevalence of surrogate pregnancies. Consequently, children who are raised within this infrastructure are apparently dealt with on a case-by-case basis by the courts in Italy.

However, there are certain municipalities within Italy, such as Milan, that has approved a policy that would automatically register children born through surrogacy, which is strictly prohibited in Italy.

Meloni has pushed back against criticisms, suggesting that the “first victims of gender ideology” are women, who are often perceived as birthing pods. Minister for Equal Opportunities and the Family Eugenia Roccella supported Meloni’s sentiment, suggesting that surrogacy is a breeding ground for a “child market.”

The European Conservative reported Meloni is set to pass a bill in the coming months that would oppose “procreative tourism,” which will be designed to dissuade parents seeking to use a surrogate mother abroad through “deterrent fines and airport controls.”

Meloni’s staunch support of the traditional family against the LGBT lobby is one of the issues that propelled her to power in September 2022.

However, this has not stopped the New York Times from publishing a piece that appeals to little more than emotion, calling into question the future of a child whose citizenship in Italy has been halted after a same-sex couple had brought him home from an adoption trip to Seattle. 

Leading up to the couple’s return home to Milan, Meloni had “ordered municipalities to obey a court ruling made in December and stop certifying foreign birth certificates of children born to Italian same-sex couples through surrogacy, which is illegal in Italy,” according to the report. 

However, it is unclear why the couple, understanding that surrogacy is illegal in Italy, would risk bringing an American child to Italy in the first place, thus putting the child’s citizenship and future in jeopardy. Though Milan recognized automatic citizenship of surrogate children leading up to Meloni’s recent order, it seems reasonable that the couple could have seen that the order was realistic possibility.

The Times seemed to suggest that the Italian government’s ban on using women as birthing pods comes with “a hard-right ideological edge.” However, the outlet now finds itself caught in a double bind. In 2017, The Times published a piece about protests that featured demonstrators dressed in garments from Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, a fictional story that warns against the abuse and exploitation of female bodies.

It appears that The Times is in favor of the exploitation of women’s bodies so long as it supports and benefits the LGBTQ community.

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