While Legislature Is Paralyzed over Stepparent Adoption, Italian Courts Uphold Same-Sex Adoptions Performed Abroad


Lesbian/Gay Law Notes

January 2016, pp.14-15

Departments: Tax & Law, GREGHEC (CNRS)

On December 23, 2015, the Court of Appeals of Rome affirmed the ruling rendered on July 30, 2014, by the Juvenile Tribunal (Tribunale per i Minorenni) of Rome that recognized a female partner of the biological mother of a child as entitled to stepparent adoption of the same child (the first instance ruling is described in 2014 Lesbian & Gay Law Notes 425 (2012)). The judgment confirms the great strides made by Italian courts in the recognition and protection of same-sex families in a context where legislation is still missing (see Eur. Ct. Hum Rgts, Case of Oliari v. Italy, Apps. Nos. 18766/11 and 36030/11, July 21, 2015). In the matter of X (Foreign Same-Sex Stepparent Adoption).After Greece enacted a law on same-sex civil unions on Dec. 23, 2015, Italy remains the only one among Western Europe countries lacking any regulation of same-sex couples (as well as of other major sexual orientation-related subjects like criminal provisions regarding hate speech and hate crimes). A bill providing for civil unions allegedly inspired by the German model (No. S-2081) is dormant in the Senate since March 2013 and will be presumably discussed, if the schedule is respected, at the end of January 2016. The bill originated from the left-wing ranks of the Democratic Party (Partito Democratico, PD), but encountered strong opposition from both the center-right parties and the Catholic faction of PD. Throughout the discussions that preceded the bill’s official presentation in the Senate in October 2015, opponents filed more than 4,200 amendments, most of them obstructionist in nature and therefore completely useless, with no other purpose than that of delaying and ultimately sacking the bill. Strong opposition comes from the Catholic Church as well, which on multiple occasions has threatened “barricades” and popular uprising against the bill if passed