Adoption By Homosexual Couples: Recognition In Italy Of Foreign Adoption Decisions

Published date01 April 2024
Subject MatterLitigation, Mediation & Arbitration, Family and Matrimonial, Family Law, Trials & Appeals & Compensation, Divorce
Law FirmBoccadutri International Law Firm
AuthorMr Calogero Boccadutri

The Supreme Court of Cassation, with judgment number 9006 of March 31, 2021, has established in Supreme Court that it is possible to transcribe in Italy the adoption of a child that took place abroad by a homosexual couple, even though in Italy homosexual couples are not granted the right to adopt.

According to the Court, such transcription, and thus the recognition of the effects of a foreign judicial decision on the adoption of a minor by a homosexual couple (male, in this specific case), does not conflict with the principles of international public order.

The reason that allowed for the transcription was that the adoption, carried out abroad, was not subsequent to a surrogacy ,but to a full adoption of a foreign minor.

How the Judgment Was Reached?

A couple of men adopted a minor, with the judgment of a U.S. Court, with the prior consent of the biological parents.

One of the parents is an Italian citizen, but naturalized in the United States, the country in which both reside permanently.

The parents requested the transcription of the U.S. adoption decision in the Italian civil status registers but were met with refusal by the responsible officer.

The reason for the refusal was that being an international adoption, it would have been up to the Juvenile Court to decide on the matter.

The case was then submitted by the parent to the Court of Appeal of Milan, which, recognizing its competence, excluded the application of the procedure on international adoption and ordered the transcription of the act in the civil status registers, as it was compatible with the principles of international public order.

A new denial was opposed by the mayor of the concerned municipality, who appealed to the Cassation against the decision of the Court of Appeal.

The section of the Court, deeming the issue of utmost importance, referred the decision to the Supreme Court.

Thus, the judgment of the Court of Cassation was reached, which put an end to the matter, imposing the transcription on the Municipality and confirming the validity of the decision of the Court of Appeal of Milan.

The Reasons of the Cassation

The Cassation clearly stated that an adoption carried out abroad by a homosexual couple, in situations similar to the one treated, can be recognized (and transcribed) in Italy.

Since the matter of adoptions for homosexual couples does not find particular favor in Italian law, which prohibits them with rare exceptions, the outcome of a request for transcription cannot...

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