Italian authorities are set to enact a stringent surrogacy ban that has sent shockwaves through the LGBTQ community. Seen as a personal affront to same-sex parents, this controversial bill threatens hefty fines and imprisonment for couples engaged in surrogacy abroad, likening it to serious crimes like human trafficking.
The impending legislation, described as a “universal crime” by Italian lawmakers, has drawn international attention for its harsh stance, making it a criminal act even if committed outside Italy’s borders, a unique and draconian approach not mirrored by any other nation. Couples like Claudio and Davide, pseudonyms used to protect their identity, could face exorbitant fines of up to one million euros and up to two years in prison.
For same-sex couples in Italy, where the Catholic Church wields significant influence, surrogacy abroad often remains the sole avenue to parenthood. The bill spearheaded by Giorgia Meloni, Italy’s first female prime minister, reflects the conservative values of her party, Brothers of Italy, which shares historical ties with Mussolini’s Fascist Party. Meloni’s conviction that children should be raised solely by a mother and a father aligns with Italy’s restrictive policies on LGBTQ rights, where gay marriage remains illegal.
While proponents of the bill argue it aims to protect women’s dignity and prevent the commercialization of surrogacy, critics, including legal experts, view it as irrational and a part of a wider assault on LGBT rights in Italy. The proposed legislation may further exacerbate the already fragile status of Italy’s LGBTQ community.
As Italy’s LGBTQ families grapple with this looming legislation, they remain determined to fight for their right to create families and ensure their children are not treated as second-class citizens.