In a landmark ruling, an Italian court has recognised both men in a couple as the legal fathers of their surrogate children.
The two children—now aged seven—were conceived through IVF and born to a surrogate mother who lives in Canada.
The Appeals Court in the Italian city of Trento ruled that both men will be named as their fathers on official documents, not just the parent who is biologically related to them.
It’s the first time in Italy that a child has been legally recognised as having two fathers, with the court noting: “One must consider the importance of parental responsibility, which is manifested in the conscious decision to raise and care for the child.”
Alexander Schuster, the couple’s lawyer, said it was recognition of “full parenthood, in other words, not adoption.”
“[The court] has recognised for the first time a foreign provision that gives the second father the status of a parent,” said Schuster.
LGBT+ rights groups in Italy are hoping the ruling will set an important precedent for gay parents in the country.
“In the absence of clear laws we hope now that all Italian courts follow the same path,” Marilena Grassadonia, the president of Famiglie Arcobaleno (Rainbow Families) told the Telegraph UK.