Two dads for two boys: England recognizes them, the Municipality of Palermo does not

That Anglo-Sicilian “spoken” is the emblem of the double life of two little brothers adopted in the United Kingdom by two dads who, however, for the Italian state, really don’t get them… anything. The relatives, the grandmother who adores them, the island friends who taught them the dialect do not count. The anomalous family, established 10 years ago with the approval of papers, stamps, school and friends across the border, in Palermo is just a cheerful group on vacation. No connection recognized in the registry office.

The Municipality of Palermo is at the center of the odyssey of two gay couples who are denied recognition of that right, the transcript of the adoption made in another country, where they now live in the civil state registers. A due act, as clearly sanctioned by a Cassation sentence still ignored by the new administration, as the previous one had already done under the leadership of Leoluca Orlando. What’s the problem?

The offices of the Municipality claim the absence of provisions from the Ministry of the Interior, but for the lawyer of the Lenford Network, who assists the two couples, Stefano Chinotti “it is an unacceptable violation of international law, we will have to appeal to the Court of Appeal”. Giancarlo Campisi has been cabin manager on British Airways aircraft since 1997 and is paired with his partner Frank, officially a civil partner since 2012: in the same year they adopted his little brothers Dyllan and Riley, now 15 and 14 years old. Encouraged by the Italian consulate in London, in October 2020 the procedure for transcripting the adoption of the two boys in Italy began. The law provides for it and it is a mere bureaucratic act. “But we found a rubber wall in the city and now the matter is in the hands of lawyers,” he says. Regular parents abroad, dear strangers for the children adopted instead for the Italian State. Not always though.

«Since February 2021 everything seems to have stopped at the Civil Status office. Both the consulate and the juvenile court advised me to contact a lawyer to unblock the situation», says Campisi. Despite his numerous reminders, emails, attempts at informal communication, «the answers from the administration were either evasive or absent: “We don’t know how to proceed, maybe it’s not up to us, it’s better to go to court…”».

The couple got bogged down in the swamp of bureaucracy. «We wonder whether it is admissible or morally acceptable that, in 2022, we have to submit to the games of an office – adds Campisi – and incur further and considerable expenses for an unacceptable position. In Italy the sentences issued in favor of parents like us have already been made available, but in the city it is as if the precedents had no value and we had to start over. Despite all the practice being encouraged and facilitated by the Italian consulate in London! For how many more years will we, as well as our children, accept being discriminated against in Italy on the basis of sexuality?»

«Almost two years later, the sentence of the Cassation remains a dead letter – underlines the lawyer -. In Palermo, for example, it really seems that that decision doesn’t exist. Yet, for some time now the Juvenile Court has received the adoption sentences to allow them to be examined for transcription purposes. And he had specified that the mayor had to take care of the act».

Dario Falzone, Councilor for the Registry, reiterates that “until clear answers arrive on the regulatory questions sent to the ministry, the Civil Status officers cannot carry out the procedure”.

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