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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.

News

Far-Right Politicians Are Slowing Progress for LGBTQ Families in Italy

Conservative politicians in Italy have recently called same-sex parents "unnatural," and claimed that LGBTQ families "don't exist."

For several years, LGBTQ rights in Italy seemed to be on the upswing. The country legalized civil unions in 2016, for instance. But conservative politicians, who have ridden a populist, anti-immigrant wave to power in Italy, as well as in much of Europe, and the world, in recent years, have slowed down or stopped much of that progress.

In an interview with a Catholic media outlet, La Nuova Bussola Quotidiana, Matteo Salvini, the far-right Italian Deputy Prime Minister and Minster of the Interior called same-sex parents "unnatural."

Soon after assuming his role as Deputy Prime Minister this past June, for instance, Pink News reports he reversed use gender-neutral terms throughout government resources and documents, in part to accommodate LGBTQ parents.

"Last week I was told that on the website of the Ministry of the Interior, on the forms for the electronic identity card there were 'parent 1' and 'parent 2,'" Salvini said in his interivew. "I immediately changed the site by restoring the definition 'mother' and 'father.'

He also took a swipe at LGBTQ and other parents who use surrogacy to form their families: "Utero for rent and similar horrors?" he said. "Absolutely no."

Salvini joins the ranks of other rightwing Italian politicians who have recently come to power, most notably Lorezno Fontana, the new Family Minister, who also spoke out against surrogacy this past June, and claimed that LGBTQ families "don't exist," in a legal sense, in the country.

This, in turn, led to a backlash from LGTBQ advocates. The hashtag #NoiEsistiamo (We Exist) began trending, with LGBTQ families sharing photos of themselves with the minister on social media.



When Seattle husbands Rich and Brian found out they were going to be dads, their initial reaction was panic. "It was so early in the adoption process, we weren't really ready for anything," remembered Brian. "We hadn't read any books, we didn't have a crib, we had nothing... we were going to be dads and the baby was going to be here in a week!"

"I didn't really think about being a parent," added Rich, "and more what do we needed to do logistically, and how we were going to make it all work."

The dads adopted Emerson from birth and raising a girl has taught the dads a lot; they are her biggest advocates. The dads are making sure that they're "raising a girl who feels empowered and able to speak up, play sports, just as anyone else does."

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