Italian Fathers Granted Parental Rights

In a landmark decision, an Italian court has legally recognized two men as the fathers of children born via surrogacy.

It’s promising news for same sex couples in Italy who wish to become parents as the case marks the first time two men have been able to claim parental rights to the same child.

The children, now seven years old, were born to a surrogate in Canada in 2010. The fathers do hold a birth certificate naming both as legal parents. An Italian appeals court has upheld that document stating that, in Italy, parentage is not denoted by biological relationships alone. Instead, the judge decreed that parental responsibility and conscious decisions to care for a child must be considered with equal weight.

In previous instances of dual father parentage requests, Italian courts have only recognized the biological father on the birth certificate. Last week’s ruling grants full parentage to both fathers, and is not viewed as an adoption.

Due to current laws, it is illegal for Italian citizens to pay a woman to become a surrogate and carry a child for them. For this reason, many Italian couples choose to look into surrogacy options in the United States.

Growing Generations’ Director of International Relations, Jessica Junyent will be traveling through Europe this spring to meet with new prospective parents and educate them on third party reproduction in the United States. She has plans to visit Barcelona, Paris, and Madrid. Learn more about her trip, here.

Dr. Kim Bergman

Kim Bergman, PhD, a licensed psychologist of 26 years, has specialized in the area of gay and lesbian parenting, parenting by choice and third party assisted reproduction for over two decades. Dr. Bergman has created a comprehensive psychological screening, support and monitoring process for Intended Parents, Surrogates and Donors. She is the co-owner of Fertility Counseling Services and Growing Generations and is a member of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, the American Psychological Association, the Los Angeles County Psychological Association, the Lesbian and Gay Psychotherapy Association, and the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association. She is on the national Emeritus board of the Family Equality Council. Dr. Bergman writes, teaches and speaks extensively on parenting by choice. Along with co-authors, she published “Gay Men Who Become Fathers via Surrogacy: The Transition to Parenthood” (Journal of GLBT Family Studies, April 2010). Dr. Bergman’s is the author of the upcoming book, Your Future Family: The Essential Guide to Assisted Reproduction (Conari Press 2019). Dr. Bergman created her own family using third party assisted reproduction and she lives with her wife of 35 years. Her two daughters are in college.