Lesbian couple’s IVF baby recognised for the first time in Italy
A lesbian couple’s baby has been recognised by Italian authorities in a landmark move.
Chiara Foglietta, a councillor in Turin, was initially told by officials to say that she had sex with a man in order to get her child recognised in the country.
Foglietta used artificial insemination in Denmark to become pregnant.
Foglietta and her partner Micaela Ghisleni welcomed their son, Niccolò Pietro, into the world on April 13.
But authorities refused to recognise their child at first because Italy only allows straight couples to access fertility treatments.
Foglietta, who used sperm donated by an anonymous man, was presented with the possibility of lying about the child’s origins, but rejected this option.
On Facebook, the centre-left politician wrote that “the staff [at the public records office] tell me ‘you should declare that you had sex with a man, to get your boy registered.
“‘There is no formula allowing you to say that you had artificial insemination.'”
Until now, Italy has not allowed fertility treatments – including surrogacy, sperm or egg donation and embryo freezing – for anyone apart from “stable straight couples” proven to be clinically infertile.
The lawmaker rebuked this concept, saying that her son came into this world because she and Micaela had wanted a child, and that “he is our son.”
And now, just days after her inflammatory post on April 13, the couple has succeeded in its bid.
On Facebook, Foglietta emotionally revealed the good news.
“Today was not just an act. A name on a sheet,” she wrote.
“An important page of our story has been written. Niccolò is now officially registered and is my son and Micaela’s for the Italian State.”
She added: “We have opened an important road for all couples in our own situation, we have given courage to those women who no longer intend to lie.”
The politician paid tribute to Turin, saying that the city had provided an “example to many other cities and other mayors in Italy.”
She urged the city to move quickly and “fill the legislative void as soon as possible.”
Foglietta finished the post by opening up about her feelings, writing: “Today we cry for the second time since you came to the world. Welcome, Niccolò.”
The country’s rate of progress when it comes to same-sex parents has been slow.
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In 2014, a lesbian couple became the first in the country to legally adopt a child.
And it wasn’t until last year that the first gay couple was recognised as the legal parents of children born to a surrogate.
The country legalised same-sex civil unions in 2016, in the face of strong opposition from the powerful Catholic church, sparking rebellions from Catholic lawmakers.
The law, which came about after the European Court of Human Rights found the country breached human rights laws, was passed after Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi called a confidence vote in himself to force it through.