The twins, now almost seven years old, were born through surrogacy to the Italian male couple in Canada. Under a 2011 Canadian Court Order, both men were named on the birth certificate as parents. The Italian Municipality in Charge of Civil State Registry (Vital Statistics) refused to give full recognition to the Canadian Judgment and list the second, non-biological father on the Italian birth certificates. On appeal, the court ruled in favour of the two men and held that the Canadian ruling should be given full effect in Italy. The Court found that there was no reason why the Italian Authorities should not give full credit and recognition of the foreign court order and the birth certificates.
According to Alexander Schuster, the Italian lawyer who acted on behalf of the two men, his clients are delighted. He states “the meaning of the decision is two-fold. On one side, it clearly affirms that under Italian law, parenthood does not need to rely solely on biology. The intention to become a parent establishes a fully-fledged parenthood. This principle applies to everyone i.e. to straight and gay couples alike. On the other side, it also rejects the idea that men cannot cater for the love and care that children need. It is an important step towards gender equality when it comes to children care.”
A link to the press release in English and the Judgment in Italian are available at www.schuster.pro.