CASE OF GODELLI v. ITALY(Application no. 33783/09) is a landmark case that was dealt by the European Court of Human Rights which laid down the importance of the Right to Family Life granted under Article 8 of the Convention. 


Anita Godelli didn’t get to know her mum. She was raised by foster parents after being abandoned at birth and placed in an orphanage. She discovered she was adopted when she was ten years old. Anita enquired about her birth mother with her adoptive parents, but they withheld any information from her. Anita, who had by this point reached old age, didn’t inquire into the matter until her adoptive parents had passed away. A copy of her birth certificate was given to her, but it was missing her birth mother’s name.Anita discovered that Italian law stopped her from receiving information about her ancestry after filing a lawsuit that learning about her ancestry after filing a lawsuit because her biological mother wanted to keep her identity a secret when she gave birth. 


The European court concluded that the applicable Italian statute did not strike a fair balance between Anita’s right to know her origins and her biological mother’s right to privacy, which was given primacy, on the one hand, and both. Italia went against Anita’s rights. Anita Godelli was able to get a court order in Italy allowing her to find out who her birth mother was after the European court’s ruling in her case. The relevant section of the law was deemed illegal by the Italian constitutional court in 2013.


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