Italian court eases adoption procedure for gay people

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Supporters of same-sex civil unions demonstrate in Rome's Piazza delle cinque Lune on January 27, 2016 . Italy's Senate began examining a civil union bill for same-sex couples, a topic which has profoundly divided the country and could prove toxic for Prime Minister Matteo Renzi's government. A vote is expected mid-February, after which the text will have to go before the lower house of Parliament, where negotiations are already underway to try to ensure the bill passes smoothly -- avoiding a potential return to the Senate. / AFP / FILIPPO MONTEFORTE (Photo credit should read FILIPPO MONTEFORTE/AFP/Getty Images)

The highest court in Italy has made it easier for same-sex couples to adopt each other’s biological children. A decision by the court, however, does not make the process of adopting each other’s children automatic for same-sex couples.

The Cassation Court ruling, which came on Wednesday, bolstered lower courts’ rulings on the issue of so-called “step-child adoption” in Italy. The decision has been hailed by Italian LGBT rights groups, who also criticised it for not going far enough to automatically recognise LGBT families. The organisations said the goal would be to have the biological child of a same-sex partner to be recognised from birth if a couple are in a same-sex union.

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