Italy court recognizes non-biological overseas gay adoption

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ROME (AP) — A court in Florence has recognized the overseas adoptions of children by two same-sex couples in rulings hailed by the gay rights community as a new step for Italy.

The Tribunal for Minors recognized the British and U.S. adoptions as legal here, allowing the Italian citizenship of the parents to be passed onto the children.

The cases published Wednesday marked the first time an Italian court recognized the adoption of non-biological children by gay parents, the Arcobaleno rights group said.

Roman Catholic Italy last year became the last holdout in Western Europe to recognize civil unions for same-sex couples, but only after sacrificing a provision to allow gay adoption. Italian same-sex couples are now petitioning courts on a case-by-case basis to recognize adoptions granted overseas.

"It's another step forward for the recognition of the rights of rainbow families," said Nichi Vendola, a gay politician who had a child with his partner via a surrogate in the United States. "Two fathers and two adopted children are a family. Period."

Last year, Italy's high court made it easier for gay men and lesbians to adopt a partner's biological child. Its ruling was used by a court in Trento last month to recognize as a legitimate parent the non-biological father of two children.

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