A potential universal surrogacy ban in Italy may cause queer couples wanting to start a family to flee to Malta, a BBC report implies.
BBC spoke to a same-sex Italian couple who have a baby through surrogacy on the way and are learning both Dutch and Maltese in preparation to leave their home country.
The person carrying their son is doing so in another country since it is illegal in Italy, like many other European countries.
However, the Italian senate is set to approve an oppressive bill that would make surrogacy a universal crime that would be prosecuted even if committed abroad – a common practice since surrogacy is illegal in the peninsula.
If the bill becomes law, couples expanding their families through a surrogate living abroad will face a fine of up to almost €1 million as well as up to two years in jail.
This potential law – in tandem with Prime Minister Meloni’s ban on the registration of children born to same-sex couples and the fact that neither artificial insemination nor adoption is legal for queer couples in Italy – is driving the country’s LGBTQ+ community in search of somewhere where their civil liberties will be respected.
So, the couple explained that they have two options: stay in Italy and face persecution or run away.
Speaking to BBC, the pair admitted that they are terrified about what would happen to them and their child if someone from the Italian government finds out who they are and targets them.
“I feel like I’m being forced into exile, just for wanting to become a father,” one of the men said.
This bill is part of the conservative agenda of Meloni’s party which is a direct political descendant of a movement formed by members of Mussolini’s fascist party following the war.