ERCOLANO, ITALY - 24 JANUARY 2024: Paola CapuanoScarpa's umbelicial cord is framed her in her room in Ercolano, Italy, on January 24th 2024.
Luca and Salvatore, a gay couple from Ercolano, Italy, are facing registration challenges for their 6-moth surrogate daughter Paola. They also may be prevented from having a second child if surrogacy legislation is ratified by the Italian Senate. Step-child adoption, an alternative for the intended parent, is a lengthy and costly process. The couple, who met on Grinder in 2016 and married in 2021, turned to a California-based gestational surrogacy agency, Fertility Miracles, in November 2021, leading to the birth of their first child, Paola, in July 2023. Despite their anger over surrogacy laws in Italy, they aim to register Paola and hope to have another child soon.
In July 2023, the Italian parliament has approved a bill criminalising people who go abroad to have children via surrogacy. The bill, passed in the chamber of deputies with 166 votes in support and 109 against, is aimed only at Italians and envisages fines of up to €1m and jail terms of up to two years for those who break it.
Surrogacy is already illegal in Italy, while IVF is only available for heterosexual couples. Extending the ban to include surrogacy overseas was a flagship policy of Brothers of Italy, the party led by the prime minister, Giorgia Meloni, and also her far-right counterpart and coalition partner, the League.
The measure needs approval in the Italian senate before being passed into law.
The vast majority of Italians who seek surrogacy abroad are believed to be heterosexual, with many undertaking the practice in secret. However, Meloni’s government has come down hard on same-sex parents, including forcing local authorities to stop registering their children.