Italy removes lesbian parents from children’s birth certificates amid crackdown on LGBTQ+ rights

As the current far-right government continues its crackdown on LGBTQ+ rights, it is now even more difficult for same-sex parents to raise children in Italy.

This article is about lesbian parents in Italy. In the photo, a Pride flag in Rome, Italy
Image: Luis Cortés via

Under the leadership of far-right Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, Italy has begun removing lesbian parents from their children’s birth certificates.

As Italian law is currently written, two mothers cannot be legally recognised as parents of their child, meaning only one same-sex parent can remain on the birth certificate. Marriage and adoptions for same-sex couples are not recognised by law in Italy and decisions on matters of parental rights have been made on a case-by-case basis, with some local authorities acting unilaterally to guarantee the recognition of such rights to same-sex parents living under their jurisdictions.

However, in January this year, the Italian government sent a letter to all prefects in the country, urging them to cease the practice of including the names of both parents in the birth certificates of children of same-sex couples. Instead, only one parent could be included in the certificate, while the other would be forced to initiate adoption procedures.

Now at least three children born to lesbian parents living in Italy have reportedly had their birth certificates altered to remove one of the two mothers, only leaving the “biological parent”.

One mother in Northern Italy, Michela Leidi, spoke of her panic and worry to the DailyMail after she received a letter informing her of the situation back in January. “I cried for ten days when I opened the letter,” Leidi said. “It was as if I did not exist.”

Leidi and her partner were one of the first lesbian couples targeted in Italy, but since January even more mothers have had to deal with this pressure from the government to put a stop to the recognition practice of same-sex parents.

According to PinkNews, another couple, Vanessa Finesso and Cristina Zambon, worry that Zambon will lose custody of their child if Finesso’s cancer becomes fatal, because Zambon’s parental rights are threatened by the legislative void on the recognition of same-sex parents.

“These children are being orphaned by decree,” said parliamentarian Alessandro Zan to Reuters. “This is a cruel, inhumane decision.”

In addition to the restrictive and discriminatory adoption and parental laws, Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni has been openly against “LGBT lobbies” and “gender idealogy”, as well as prepping to pull back on abortion rights for Italians.

Italy legalised same-sex unions back in 2016 but did little regarding adoption rights for these couples, which in part has led to the political conflict today.  Canadian Prime Minister also publicly voiced his concern for LGBTQ+ rights to Meloni in May at the Group of Seven Leaders summit in Japan.

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