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Gay Adoption Focus of Royal Battle


The legitimacy of same-sex unions and the rights of surrogate children lie at the heart of a bitter inheritance battle involving one of Italy's richest families.

Princess Gesine Doria Pamphilj, a devout Catholic, believes that the two surrogate children of her gay brother, Jonathan, and his civil partner have no rights to the $1.5 billion family fortune and private art collection, according to the New York Post.

"Gesine refuses to recognize them as legitimate heirs -- and rivals to her own four daughters. The princess asked a Rome court to sort out the inheritance now 'because, sooner or later, when we die this situation will explode,'" reported the New York Post.

The princess maintains that her brother Jonathan cannot claim parentage as a sperm donor in Italy, and she is concerned that the law does not require the surrogate mother to renounce her motherhood.

Princess Gesine and Prince Jonathan are not biologically related. They were adopted from a British orphanage in the 1960s by their parents, Princess Orietta Doria Pamphilj and her husband, Frank Pogson. The parents are now deceased.

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