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Singer Tiziano Ferro’s difficult moment: The singer announces his divorce from Victor Allen and explains the nightmare that prevents him from taking his children to Italy

The performing artist refused to get Italian passports for his two kids because the country does not recognize homosexual couples’ parenthood. Ferro’s new family situation has prompted him to cancel events for his book release because he must stay in California with his toddlers

Tiziano Ferro Victor Allen
Tiziano Ferro performs during a concert in Naples in June 2023.Ivan Romano (Getty Images)

Summer 2023 has witnessed a slew of breakups, and now another one is being added to the tally. On Tuesday, September 19, Italian singer Tiziano Ferro announced on social media that he has begun the “painful and delicate” process of divorcing his American husband, Victor Allen. The artist also explained that he will not be able to take his 2-year-old children to Italy, because there are numerous obstacles to parenthood for homosexual couples. “Some time ago, a painful separation began. I faced it in silence to protect everyone’s privacy. We recently started divorce proceedings in Los Angeles,” he wrote.

The post also stated that he cannot take his children to Italy, so he will stay with them in the United States. As a result, the singer has been forced to cancel the events in Italy for his book release. “It is a difficult moment during which all my attention is focused on the guardianship of my two wonderful children, who currently spend most of their time at home with me. At this time, I cannot leave them, and I cannot take them with me to Italy,” the singer noted in the statement. He added that he is suffering vocal cord problems; for that reason, Ferro’s doctor recommended that he cancel his last tour, but the singer did not do so. He ended the statement with a message to his fans: “I look forward to your understanding and continued support as I navigate this difficult time in my life.” Because his announcement was written, its exact tone is unclear. But in Italy, the post has been interpreted as a denunciation of the bureaucratic obstacles homosexual couples face there.

Ferro and Allen met in 2016 at Warner Bros. Studios. Allen was working at the company as a consultant, and the Italian singer came to shoot a promotional video for one of his albums. Soon thereafter, the couple got married in Los Angeles and then in 2019 they celebrated their civil union in Sabaudia (same-sex marriage is not legal in Italy). Both Ferro and Allen had always expressed their desire to become parents, a dream that finally came true in 2022. In March of last year, they introduced Margherita and Andres, who were nine and four months old, respectively, at the time. The singer has never explained his children’s origins, nor has he said whether the babies came into the couple’s lives as newborns or when they were already a few months old. It is likely that they were born through surrogacy, a practice that is not allowed in Italy. “[The children], and only [the children], will decide if and when they want to share their story in public,” the singer said when he broke the news.

Last June, in an interview with Grazia magazine, Tiziano Ferro slammed far-right Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni’s bill to criminalize surrogacy as “the umpteenth anti-homosexual decree.” He added that “they should at least have the nerve to be clear about it!” And he pointed out that gay couples who pursue surrogacy abroad have an easier time getting the parental rights of their children recognized in Italy, because “it is difficult for someone to ask how a child was born.”

The singer has always said that he wants his children’s rights to be recognized in Italy, but he refused to do so initially, because in order to register them with the Italian civil registry, he would have had to exclude Allen from the document and, for legal purposes, list himself as their sole parent.

“When I went to the Italian Consulate to register them at the civil registry, the form on which Victor’s name was excluded was like a slap in the face. So, I did not register them. Under these conditions that distort the reality of their existence in the world, they will not get an Italian passport,” he explained in the aforementioned interview. He went on to decry the situation: “If they are sick, only I can go to the emergency room [with them], because Victor is not on [their] passports, which is an abomination. Beyond agreeing or not, beyond morality or a manufactured sense of guilt, I have always thought that my rights do not detract from [the rights] of others.”

In some countries, such as the United States, both parents’ names appear on a child’s birth certificate. But in Italy, it is not the practice to include both parents’ names on the birth certificate, and it is not recognized, either, which creates an uncertain legal situation for the child. If the child has a birth certificate that mentions the biological father, at least he has the possibility of being registered in the Italian civil registry, even if it is with only one legally recognized parent. Italian law does not allow homosexual couples to adopt, either. The country does allow a form of adoption for a couple’s child, but it is a long and complicated process.

As Vincenzo Miri, the president of the Lenford Network, a pro-LGBTQ rights organization, reminded the newspaper La Stampa, the singer’s children “have a foreign passport and according to the United States, they are unquestionably Tiziano and his husband Victor’s children, with all the rights…that this entails.” In a press release, Ferro’s lawyer requested that the media respect his client’s “privacy” at this moment in his life, “during which he will have to emotionally and legally handle the divorce, the matter of his children’s custody and…his expatriation.” The attorney added that Tiziano Ferro will also consider whether he wants his parental relationship to be recognized in Italy and whether he wants his children to acquire Italian citizenship.

Tiziano Ferro released his first album Rosso Relativo [Relative Red] in 2001, and he has since become one of Italy’s most recognized voices. After a long career, in 2020 he decided to open up in the documentary Ferro, discussing how he fell into alcoholism and bulimia and had to hide his homosexuality because he saw it as an obstacle to his successful career.

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