The Italian government is challenging the rights of same-sex parents. The story of Michela and Viola, a lesbian couple who have had one of their names removed from their daughter’s birth certificate, illustrates the human impact of these policies.
I n a surprising turn of events, Michela Leidi, 38, discovered she was no longer recognised as a mother to her baby girl in Italy. The news came in the form of a letter, leaving her and her wife Viola, 35, devastated.
The state prosecutor’s letter stated that including Michela’s name on Giulia’s birth certificate is “contrary to public order”.
Their experience is part of a broader attempt by Italy’s right-wing government to enforce traditional family values, particularly concerning same-sex parenting and surrogacy.
The Government’s Stance
Led by Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, the government has taken a firm stance against same-sex couples raising children together. They argue that the law does not acknowledge the possibility of a child having two mothers. This viewpoint has led to altering birth certificates for several children born to lesbian couples, removing one mother’s name.
For Michela and Viola, this change has significant implications. It means that only the biological mother, in this case, Viola, has parental rights over their daughter, Giulia. Should anything happen to Viola, Giulia could be handed over to distant relatives or even the state, as Michela is not legally recognised as her mother.