Nicola “Nicky” Vendola, an Italian leftwing (formerly Communist) politician and LGBT activist who was President of Apulia from 2005 to 2015, is aspiring to “found a family”. Together with his same-sex “life partner” Eddy Testa, a man 20 years his junior, he has decided to use the services of a Canadian surrogate mother.
The Italian law currently does not allow same-sex couples to adopt children. But even if it did, Vendola and his partner would probably find it difficult to adopt, given (1) the scarcity of children available for adoption, (2) the long waiting list of suitable couples willing to adopt, and (3) Mr. Vendola’s advanced age (he is already 57 years old).
Surrogacy is, of course, also prohibited in Italy, a country where until now the laws still pay some tribute to human dignity, even though the current populist-leftist government is working hard to change this. With his decision to go to Canada to rent the womb of one woman and buy the egg-cells of another one, Vendola is sending a terrible message to society: he cares neither for the moral implications of his actions, nor for what the law says. If what he plans to do is still prohibited in Italy, he just goes and does it elsewhere. And then he will, foreseeably, try to bring the child to Italy and run a very larmoyant campaign about that poor child being denied the right to be recognized as having a filial relationship to both its “fathers”.
But the only one to deny a fundamental right to the Child will of course be Mr. Vendola himself: he will deprive the child of the right to know the identity of, and to live with, its mother. This right is internationally recognized by the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), but Mr. Vendola doesn’t seem to care.
The case evidences once again that in order to effectively fight the abominable practice of surrogacy and child trade, it is necessary to have laws that prohibit reproductive tourism. It is not sufficient for Italy to prohibit those practices domestically, but there also must be dissuasive sanctions for people engaging in such practices abroad.
The silence of feminist groups, who on other occasions vocally criticise what they the commodification of the female body, is probably to be explained by the moral double-standard typically applied by the political left.
At the same time, LGBT pressure groups (like Arcigay, of which Vendola is a leading member) are loudly applauding, thereby evidencing how their political agenda ultimately and inevitably leads to the deconstruction of even the most basic cultural standards. If same-sex couples like Mr. Vendola and his toyboy are considered to hav the “right” to “found a family”, then they must be given the means to make that right a reality. Necessarily this means that they must be given the right to appropriate to themselves the children of other people, be it through adoption, or through the use of rented wombs and commercially procured egg-cells for the purpose of in-vitro-procreation.
We cannot but express our disgust and contempt for Mr. Vendola’s action, and our deepest concern for the poor child that will have to grow up in the custody of such a man.