Change the World

Editorial: Adoption by Gays and Lesbians in Italy and Colombia

Italy passed its controversial civil union bill late last month after a heartbreaking decision by Prime Minister Matteo Renzi to remove its expansion of adoption rights. Supporters of LGBT equality were enraged by the last-minute change to Renzi's civil union bill.

Italy lags far behind other European nations on gay family rights. The European Court of Human Rights ruled last year that Italy's policies—including adoption discrimination—constituted a breach in human rights.

But the story's not over: Less than a week later, a Rome court used existing adoption law to allow a lesbian couple to adopt each other's daughters.

The court based this, the first decision of its kind, on legislation allowing for "adoptions in special cases." The advocacy group representing the couple has said the mothers will share equal parenting rights—and that they won't, according to Reuters (emphasis ours):

Each of the partners in the case had given birth to a daughter, and the court gave them parental status regarding both children, their lawyer Francesca Quarato said in a statement.


"Now each child has a biological parent and a social parent, both with full and equal parental capacity and responsibility," she said.

“The ruling gives more limited rights than could have been given to a married couple and the girls will not legally be sisters," the president of the Rete Lenford association of gay rights lawyers said. However, they will share the same surname.

Equal or not, the law still discriminates. Gay couples hoping to adopt or have a child via surrogacy continue to face uncertainty.

* * *

Meanwhile, in Colombia, the courts ruled to expand gay adoption rights last November even though marriage equality efforts have stalled.

"A person's sexual orientation or gender are not in and of themselves indicative of a lack of moral, physical or mental suitability to adopt," said the chief justice of the Constitutional Court, Maria Victoria Calle Correa.

In a landmark ruling that eliminated a glaringly discriminatory policy, Colombia’s highest court ruled that gay individuals and couples may adopt children. In a 6-to-2 decision, the Constitutional Court found that barring gay people from adopting had unreasonably deprived children of the right to be raised by families.

The decision was the latest in a string of victories for gay activists in Colombia who have challenged discriminatory policies. The ruling will make it easier for gay singles and couples to adopt children in state foster care. It also will allow gay and lesbian partners to be legally recognized as the parent of a same-sex partner’s biological child.

Anticipating criticism from political and religious leaders, the justices wrote, “Doubts and fears about whether society is ready to accept this decision won’t be dissipated by being blind to an irrefutable reality.” The judges argued that there was no evidence that same-sex couples were unfit to be parents and that there was no compelling reason to bar them from the universe of potential adoptive families.

Show Comments ()

Today is National Coming Out Day, and as we celebrate, we're sharing six coming out stories from dads in our community. Their personal stories are heartwarming, relatable, and empowering. Happy Coming Out Day, and remember, live your truth!

Keep reading... Show less
Change the World

10 Inspiring Coming Out Stories From Gay Dads

Happy National Coming Out Day! To celebrate, we've rounded up some of our recent stories about gay men with kids coming out to live their most authentic lives.

Happy National Coming Out Day! To celebrate, we've rounded up some of our best articles of gay dads coming out to live their authentic lives.

#1. Former NFL Player Jeff Rohrer, and Father of Two, Comes Out as Gay and Marries Longterm Partner


Jeff Rohrer, a father of two teenage boys via a previous relationship with a woman, is the first NFL player to marry another man. Read the article here.

#2. Coming Out to His Wife Was Painful, Says This Salt Lake-Based Dad of Four. But it Started Him on a Path of Authenticity

After Kyle came out to his wife, with whom he has four children, "she listened, she mourned and she loved," he said. Read the article here.

#3. Gay Dads Share Their Coming Out Stories for National Coming Out Day

We asked several gay dads to share their coming out stories in honor of National Coming Out Day, whose stories are heartwarming, instructive, and everything in between. Read the article here.

#4. Gay Muslim Single Dad Writes Op Ed on His Path to Self Acceptance

Maivon Wahid writes about the challenges of reconciling three separate, but equally important, identities in an opinion piece for Gay Star News. Read the article here.

#5. One Gay Dad's Path Towards Realizing Being Gay and Christian are Not Mutually Exclusive

Gay dads Matt and David Clark-Sally talk about coming out, parenting as gay men, and reconciling faith and sexuality. Read the article here.

#6. Republican Utah Lawmaker, and Dad of Two, Comes Out as Gay in Moving Video

Nathan Ivie has many important identities he's proud of: Mormon, Republican, Utahn, father of two... and gay. Read the article here.

#7. How Coming Out Helped This Gay Man Find the Strength to Be a Dad

Steven Kerr shares the moment he came out to his ex-girlfriend. "From that moment on," he writes, "my strength and purpose have grown." Read the article here.

#8. Ed Smart, Father of Kidnapping Victim Elizabeth Smart, Comes Out as Gay

In coming his coming out letter, Ed Smart, a Mormon, condemned the church for their "ridicule, shunning, rejection and outright humiliation" of LGBTQ individuals. Read the article here.

#9. The Best Part of Coming Out, Says This Gay Dad, Is Being an Out and Proud Role Model for His Daughter

"I couldn't face myself in the mirror and think that I could be a good dad and role model for my child when I was lying to myself every moment of every day," said Nate Wormington of his decision to come out. Read the article here.

#10. These Gay Dads Via Previous Marriages Have Adopted a Motto Since Coming Out and Finding Each Other: "United We Stand"

Vincent and Richard both had children in previous marriages with women; together, with their ex-wives, they are helping raise seven beautiful kids. Read the article here.

Change the World

Single Gay Man Adopts Girl Passed Over by 20 Previous Families

Luca Trapanese, a gay dad from Naples, Italy, adopted a baby with Down syndrome who had been rejected twenty times previously

Luca Trapanese, a single 41-year-old gay man from Naples, Italy, had always wanted to become a dad. But in Italy, it was only legal for married heterosexual couples to adopt until 2017. Even then, he was told that he'd only be able to adopt a "hard to place" child, with mental or physical challenges.

"They told me that they would only give me sick children, with severe disabilities, or with behavioral problems," he told the BBC in an interview. "I was absolutely ok with that."

And that's how Alba, a little girl with Down syndrome, came into his life. Abandoned at birth, she had been passed over by 20 separate families before Luca was approached about providing her a home. Luca, who has worked and volunteered with people with disabilities from a young age, readily agreed.

"I'm proud to be her father," Luca said. "Alba was never a second option because she had a disability. I wanted her to be my daughter."

Listen to the entire interview here.

Personal Essays by Gay Dads

Growing a Thicker Skin

Experiencing hateful and hurtful comments, Erik Alexander had to learn an important lesson: how to ignore the trolls.

Photo credit: BSA Photography

Twenty years ago when I came out, it was unbearably hard. As I have written before, I am from the Deep South. Anyone who dared to deviate from social norms was sure to be ostracized. It's not that these people were born hateful or mean; rather, it probably had more to do with them not being subjected to other lifestyles. Anything different from their own experiences sparked fear and confusion. Homosexuality, interracial relationships, religious differences – these were all unfamiliar territories to the average person I grew up around. Thus, growing up was particularly difficult.

I remember lying in bed at night when I was a little boy. I would pray and beg God to not let me be gay. Every single night I would end my prayers with "... and God, please don't let me have nightmares and please don't let me be gay." I remember crying myself to sleep many nights. I was embarrassed and ashamed. And I wanted God to cure me.

Keep reading... Show less
Gay Dad Life

8 Ways for Dads to Find Work/Life Balance

Finding work/life balance is hard enough... but can be even harder for gay dads.

Having kids is an amazing part of life, and it should be fun. Life does tend to get in the way sometimes, and one huge aspect of that is work. Striking that balance between work and home life is tough. If you both work it's even harder.

And if you're a gay couple, it can have it's own set of problems above and beyond the standard work-life issues that people face. Recently, the Harvard Business Review conducted a study that focused specifically on the experiences of same-sex couples who wanted to make moves towards a work/life balance.

Keep reading... Show less
Gay Dad Family Stories

These Adoptive Dads Gained an Extended Family Through Foster Care

Adoptive dads Edward and Andrew have maintained a close relationship with their twins' biological family.

Celebrating gay, bi and trans fatherhood is what we do on Gays With Kids. We rejoice in whatever paths our community took to become parents. But many of those journeys come with heartbreak, sometimes for the intended parents, and sometimes for the biological family from whom the adoption or foster placement occurs. With an open adoption, the adoptive and biological families come to an arrangement which best benefits the child, and that's when something truly beautiful can occur. This isn't always possible in every scenario, but when it does, we're exceedingly thankful. Can a child ever have too many family members loving them? Not likely. This was husbands of five years Edward and Andrew Senn's experience.

Keep reading... Show less
Gay Dad Photo Essays

Gay Dads + Kids = MAJOR Family Halloween Costumes

All October long, we'll be posting pics of gay dads and their major Halloween costumes from previous years for inspiration! We'll ALSO let you know where to get the looks!

We've said it before and we'll say it again — NO ONE does Halloween (aka queer Christmas) better than the gays. So if you're in need of some inspiration for this year's family costume, look no further! We selected 31 of our favorites off Instagram from last year, one for each spooky day of October, to help get your creative juices flowing.

We can't wait to see what creepy, creative and/or cute costumes dads have up their sleeves (or maybe capes?) this year!

Keep reading... Show less

Fatherhood, the gay way

Get the latest from Gays With Kids delivered to your inbox!

Follow Gays With Kids

Powered by RebelMouse