Italian authorities are preparing to pass a bill that will prevent LGBTQ+ families from seeking childbirth by surrogacy abroad.
Surrogacy is a commonplace option for LGBTQ+ families who cannot reproduce themselves, particularly gay male couples who are looking to start a family. BBC reported an anonymous Italian couple who chose a surrogate abroad to have their child may face fines up to one million euros or two years of jail time if Italy’s new legislation is passed into law.
The practice of surrogacy is illegal in most of Europe, including Italy, as it is considered exploitative, so couples are often forced to go to Canada or the U.S. where these practices are allowed. However, Italy’s new legislation would make even seeking this type of agreement between surrogate and family “universally” illegal, implying that Italian citizens could not even seek a surrogate in legally abiding countries.
This new bill targeting LGBTQ families comes after the election of Italy’s first female prime minister, Giorgia Meloni, who has been driving a far-right conservative agenda since October of 2022. The proposed legislation is forcing some Italian couples to consider relocating to more LGBTQ+ friendly countries in the E.U. Luckily, with an EU passport, citizens can move freely from one country to another.
In May of this year, another bill passed under Meloni only allows biological parents to be officially recognized as the legal parent to a child born to a same-sex couple.
Italy’s laws surrounding LGBTQ+ couples and families are still rooted in archaic prejudice and fear, and guided by antiquated Catholic values. Currently, there are very few options for queer couples to start families in Italy, with In vitro fertilisation (IVF) only being available to heterosexual couples.
Featured Image: Prime Minister of Italy Giorgia Meloni (Photo by Antonello Marangi)