Tatiana Motterle (INTIMATE – Citizenship, Care and Choice)
Tatiana Motterle got her master’s degree in Institutions and Politics of Human Rights and Peace in Padua. She then worked as a research assistant in the European funded project “Citizens in Diversity”, coordinated by Luca Trappolin. After getting her PhD in Social Sciences, she moved to Coimbra (Portugal), where she is currently working as a Post-doc researcher in the project “INTIMATE”, funded by the European Research Council and coordinated by Ana Cristina Santos.
“Ci si sente famiglia, ecco”. Experiences of Italian gay fathers through surrogacy
The Italian debate on surrogacy, which contributed to the elimination of the article on stepchild adoption from the bill on same-sex civil unions – then LAct 76/2016 – is still dividing Italian feminisms and LGBTQ movements.
During the weeks preceding and following the approval of the bill, I was doing fieldwork in Rome for a research on surrogacy among LGBTQ people. I conducted semi-structured interviews with experts with different backgrounds (law, politics, medicine, and activism) and also qualitative in-depth biographical interviews with gay fathers who had their children through surrogacy in the USA and Canada.
For the purposes of this paper, I focus on some of the key issues emerging from the interviews with gay fathers, in particular the ones related to self-reflection and doubts about their right to parenthood as gay men, their response to gender norms, the question of biological ties, and the role of gestational surrogates and egg donors, whom are commonly described as members of the family. Discussing these issues will be a starting point to developing some considerations about practices of (parental) care and homoparental families, in particular the ones formed by gay men.
This research is part of INTIMATE, a large European project funded by the European Research Council and based at the Centre for Social Studies (Coimbra). INTIMATE’s main aim is to investigate how axes of reciprocal influence stemming from individual and public dimensions impact on the micropolitics of partnering, parenting and friendship in Italy, Portugal and Spain (www.ces.uc.pt/intimate).