LA STAMPA

Mother At 56 Thanks To Assisted Fertility, Now Fights For Custody Of Daughter

An Italian mother, now 58, and father, 70, are fighting to have their two-year-old back from foster care. The couple appealed in court to get the child back, claiming that she was taken away from them because of their age. Now a judge has ordered a new pr

In Italy, Mother's Day is celebrated on the second Sunday in May (Keoni Cabral)
In Italy, Mother's Day is celebrated on the second Sunday in May (Keoni Cabral)
Grazia Longo

TORINO – They didn't shed a tear for the six hours of the hearing. "We are balanced people, absolutely able to be parents," said Gabriella Deambrosis, a 58-year-old librarian who gave birth two years ago to a daughter.

Deambrosis and her husband, Luigi, (he's a retired clerk, aged 70), were in court this week fighting for custody of their daughter Viola, who was was taken away last September after social services determined they were not fit to raise the girl. The couple, who conceived the girl with the help of assisted fertility, appeared this week before the family section of the Court of Appeals.

The court had to decide whether Viola (a pseudonym) should return and live with them, or stay with the foster family, who would then be able to permanently adopt her. While Viola remains with the foster family, judges Wednesday ordered a new probe into the capacity of the couple to raise the child.

The case first came to light last September, when the Children's Tribunal of Turin forced the Deambrosises to give up custody of their daughter. The couple appealed the verdict. Rather than taking a definite decision Wednesday, judges ordered the launch of new probe to assess the "parental capacity" of the couple.

"They punished us because of our age, because we are not young," says Luigi Deambrosis.

The lower court judge had said that age was not the deciding factor, but rather signs that the baby girl had not been properly looked after, including an episode where Luigi left Viola in the car while he unloaded groceries.

The deputy prosecutor did not seem convinced by the original probe of the law enforcement officer who inspected the couple, and called for a new evaluation. "We are confident because we have found magistrates who listened to us," said Fabio Deorsola, the couple's lawyer.

Judges followed the prosecution's recommendations. One psychiatrist and one psychologist will help assess the ability of the couple to be parents. A decision is expected in September. Until then, Viola will remain with the foster family.

Read the original article in Italian

Photo – Keoni Cabral

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