Italy’s Mounting Attack on Lesbian Parents

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07/24/2023

In January, Italy’s right-wing government ordered state agencies to cease registration of children born to same-sex couples. Now they’ve taken it a step further: a state prosecutor in northern Italy has ordered the cancellation and re-issuance of 33 birth certificates of lesbian couples’ children, endangering access to medical care and education. Non-gestational mothers are receiving letters informing them that they are being retroactively removed from their children’s birth certificates. New birth certificates are being issued listing the name of only one of the child’s mothers. In February, Human Rights Watch released the first global report on violence and discrimination against lesbian, bisexual, and queer (LBQ+) women, which found access to fertility treatment and the rights of non-gestational lesbian mothers were two of the top concerns for LBQ+ activists across 26 countries. In January 2022, a United States court removed lesbian mother Kris Williams from her child’s birth certificate, replacing it with the name of the sperm donor, who petitioned for custody. In December 2022, a Japanese draft law proposed prohibiting doctors from providing fertility treatment to any woman not married to a man.

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