Court of Appeals of Genoa: automatic recognition of foreign same-sex adoptions

Guido Noto La Diega

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

While same-sex marriage is visibly gaining momentum (see Germany and Malta this year), many countries have not fully recognised the rights of same-sex couples. This isually takes the form of civil unions (e.g. Italy and Greece) or of no recognition (e.g. Poland and Lithuania). However, other solutions are also possible. For instance, some countries recognise only same-sex marriages celebrated abroad (e.g. Armenia and Estonia).

In Northern Ireland, adoption has been available to same-sex couples since 2013, even though the Northern Ireland Assembly voted against same-sex marriage (Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission, Re Judicial Review [2013] NICA 37). However, in many countries where there is no same-sex marriage, these couples cannot access adoption. This is the case in Italy, even though the case that is commented here brings some good news.

In Italy, the Adoptions Act (Legge No 183/1984) allows only married couples to adopt a minor. Since only heterosexual couples can get married, same-sex couples are de facto excluded from the adoption. However, this regime applies only to internal situations (e.g. two women domiciled in Italy adopting a minor in Italy). Different rules apply to the adoption by same-sex couples in other countries, once the couple asks the Italian authorities (ufficiale di stato civile) the recognition of the effects of the adoption. This is the topic recently clarified by the Court of Appeals of Genoa, with ordinanza No 1319 of 1 September 2017.

The Court holds that same-sex adoptions celebrated abroad should be automatically regognised in Italy by the competent civil servants, without any need for a judicial scrutiny.

The main reason is that even though Italian unmarried couples cannot adopt in Italy, there is no public policy or ordre public (ordine pubblico) consideration preventing the full recognition of the effects of foreign same-sex adoptions.
Translated title of the contributionCourt of Appeals of Genoa: automatic recognition of foreign same-sex adoptions
Original languageItalian
JournalArticolo 29
Publication statusPublished - 4 Dec 2017

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