The Italian Court of Cassation opens to the so-called ‘‘Stepchild Adoption’’ law. The judge confirmed a sentence of the Court of Appeal of Rome – contested by the general prosecutor –, which decided that an application for a minor’s adoption proposed by the mother’s partner who is permanently living together with the latter shall be granted.
The stepchild adoption law “is unrelated to a pre-existing state of neglect of the child and can be admitted if, in the light of a rigorous investigation carried out by the courts, the best interests of the child are actually safeguarded” the magistrates explain in their motivations. The adoption of a stepchild by the homosexual partner of the biological parent, according to the judges of the First Civil Chamber, “does not determine, abstractly, a conflict of interest between the biological parent and the adopted child, but requires any conflict to be concretely established by the court”.
The case decided by the Supreme Court concerns the adoption request of O.A., a minor (seven-year-old at present), by a permanently living partner with the child’s mother. A first go-ahead had been given by the juvenile court of Rome in the summer of 2014, then, one year later, the judgment was confirmed by the Court of Appeal. The two women, both from Rome, have been living together since 2003 and the child, born in Spain through heterologous artificial insemination in 2009, might be adopted, thanks to this measure, by the non-biological mother and have a double surname.
This decision opens disturbing scenarios, some of which seem to confirm the concerns that emerged after the final approval of the law on civil unions. The part of the latter, which concerned stepchild adoption, had been eliminated during the debate in the Italian Senate, before the bill underwent final vote. But the final text leaves, according to critics, ample room for intervention of case law on the subject of adoption. The problem is closely connected to the problem of surrogate pregnancies, an option that is available to gay couples abroad if they want to have their own child and obtain legal custody thanks to stepchild adoption.
“The decision by which a section of the Supreme Court confirmed the judgment of the Court of Appeal in Rome in favor of stepchild adoption unfortunately confirms the fears on the results of case law resulting from the ideological Act on civil partnerships designed similar to marriages – said the president of the Work Committee of Semato, Maurizio Sacconi -. The process of anthropological subversion encouraged by the left wing continues, and it will be necessary to oppose the possibility for the people to express itself through a referendum on same-sex parenting.”