A court in Rome has allowed a lesbian couple to adopt each other’s children, less than a week after gay adoption was dropped from a controversial civil unions bill.
Both women – who have not been named – have a daughter, 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 girls will not legally be sisters but will share the same surname.
Local media reported the couple conceived by artificial insemination, a procedure reserved only for married couples in Italy.
Prime Minister Matteo Renzi had promised had promised to pass stepchild adoption rights along with the civil unions bill by the end of last year, but his plans were frustrated by repeated challenges from within parliament and the Catholic church.
The bill did pass the Senate last week but only after the adoption provision was dropped. It will now moved to the lower house.
Italy is the only major Western country left that does not recognize either civil unions or gay marriage.
A prominent minister said at the weekend that the government was now working on a new law to extend adoption rights to gay and single people, prompting immediate objections from politicians close to the Roman Catholic Church.
Reform Minister and close Renzi ally Maria Elena Boschi said the government was working on a new gay adoption on Sunday.