“With your head held high”: Italian and Belgian lesbian-parented families’ claims and strategies to obtain kinning rights


  • Alice Sophie Sarcinelli
  • Charlotte Simon



Parole chiave:

lesbian-parented families, Belgium, Italy, kinning, reproductive and parenting rights.


Lesbian-parented families without legal recognition are subjected to power of the State, which defines who is kin and who is not. This article focuses on the ways in which such families use a range of kinning practices to claim the right for all intentional parents to be considered kin. Our sample includes Italian and Belgian lesbian-headed families with different degrees of legal recognition. Our methodology consists of (i) participant observation of the family life; (ii) in-depth, non-directive biographical interviews and the construction of kinship diagrams; (iii) a socio-historical analysis of the legal context. The study of kinning practices will show how this process of (re)definition contributes to transformation from homoparentality (i.e. when one parent lacks the juridical translation of kinship ties, and exercises parental functions without being recognized as a legal parent) to homoparenting (i.e. when same-sex parents are fully included in the universe of kinship).






Special Focus. Kinning and De-Kinning: Rethinking Kinship and Relatedness from its Edges