Surrogacy a crime says FdI politician. Photo by RODNAE Productions:

Debate over same-sex parents is incendiary


The rights of same-sex-parent families and surrogacy grew heated up on Monday. Federico Mollicone of the FdI party said surrogacy “is a serious crime, more serious than paedophilia”.

Federico Mollicone of Meloni’s FdI party incredibly described surrogacy as worse than paedophilia in a TV interview.  

“We are faced with people who want to choose a child like they choose the colour of their house,” he told La7 television.

Mollicone is also the president of the Lower House’s culture committee.

The right-wing FdI wants to further clamp down on surrogacy. The party has presented a bill in the Lower House for it to become a “universal crime”. This would mean it would be possible to prosecute Italians who have children via surrogacy abroad. This despite the procedure being legal in the country it takes place in.

Furthermore, last week the ruling right-wing majority was decisive as a Senate committee voted to reject an EU plan for the rights of same-sex parents to be recognised throughout the bloc.

Surrogacy is hot topic

Surrogacy is a hot topic in Italy at the moment. Milan was forced to stop a procedure it had used to register both members of a same-sex couple as the parents of a child, following consultations with the interior ministry.

A major rally took place in Milan on Saturday to protest against transcriptions of birth certifications in such cases being stopped and to defend the right of same-sex-parent families.

Fuel was added to the fire when another FDI MP, Fabio Rampelli, said on Saturday that some gay people were passing themselves off as parents.

“If two people of the same sex request that a child they are passing off as theirs be registered in the civic register, it means they have done surrogacy outside the national borders,” Rampelli told La7 television.

‘No second tier’ for children of same-sex parents

Equal Opportunities and Family Minister Eugenia Roccella said it was false to argue that the children of same-sex parents were getting second-tier treatment in Italy.

“There is no denial of children’s rights,” Roccella told Rai television on Sunday. “They all have the same rights in Italy”. She added that, while she did not agree with the words Rampelli had used, the concept was correct.

“You have to declare a series of things at the civil registry and, if you say that two fathers are both the parents, you are saying something that is not true,” Roccella said, adding that she considered surrogacy to be a “market of children”.

Democratic Party leader Elly Schlein attended Saturday’s rally in Milan and accused the government of being cruel to the children of same-sex couples. Schlein said the PD was already at work to present a bill in parliament for the rights of same-sex parents to be recognized in Italy.


It beggars belief that any sane person can consider the conception and birth of a wanted child to be worse than paedophilia.

Surrogacy is the use of a third person to carry a child. It does not necessarily mean that one or both of the parents are not the contributors of DNA. With same-sex parents, true only one parent could physically be a DNA contributor, but that does not take away from the fact that both members of the couple are committed to parenting. After all, the majority of adopted children do not share DNA with the people who bring them up with love, care and compassion.

I would argue that parents who raise children, whether they are biologically their own or not, with love and affection, should be considered parents in the truer sense of the word. Regardless of whether they are same-sex parents or not.

But of course, we have serious right-wing bigotry at work here. Only that kind of blind fanaticism could cause someone to consider being loved by people of the same-sex in the roles of parents as worse than the sexual desire of children.

There are further serious flaws in the thinking. Same-sex parents could just as easily be two women, one of whom is impregnated (whatever the method); whose own egg is fertilised and then she carries the baby to term. No surrogacy is involved there. However, the sperm donor is not necessarily recognised as the father (nor may they want to be). Does the other woman not contribute just as much to the welfare of the child? Are they not equally committed to giving their child the best advantages in life they can afford? They are too many examples of heterosexual parents abusing and neglecting their offspring to disprove that train of thought.

Parenting is not about biology

All same-sex parents want is the same rights as traditional Western parents, in other words that their role as a parent be recognised.

Parenting goes beyond biology. One only has to look at the definition in the Encyclopaedia Britannica:

parent, one who has begotten offspring, or one who occupies the role of mother or father. In Western societies, parenthood, with its several obligations, rests strongly on biological relatedness. This is not the case in all societies: in some, a distinction is made between a biological parent and social parent, with the former producing the child and latter raising the child and acting as a mother or father in as affective or legal a sense as biological parents are expected to do in Western society.”

Occupying the role of mother or father is crucial in society. Arguing that it requires a biological relationship is narrow-minded. But then, no-one argued the FdI and other right-wing parties were anything but narrow-minded.

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