Journal Article

THE FRENCH ‘TRADITION’ OF ANONYMOUS BIRTH: THE LINES OF ARGUMENT

Nadine Lefaucheur

in International Journal of Law, Policy and the Family

Volume 18, issue 3, pages 319-342
Published in print December 2004 | ISSN: 1360-9939
Published online December 2004 | e-ISSN: 1464-3707 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/lawfam/18.3.319
THE FRENCH ‘TRADITION’ OF ANONYMOUS BIRTH: THE LINES OF ARGUMENT

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In France, the issue of women’s right to give birth anonymously versus the right to know one’s ‘origins’ has become a very sensitive one over the last decade, with some legislative changes, a large media coverage, and passionate debates taking place. The paper presents some data that help to understand the current French national debate (Part 2), and analyses the main lines of arguments of this debate (Part 3) and of the case Odièvre v France before the European Court of Human Rights (Part 4). In spite of the passing of a law in 2002 creating a National Council for the Access to Personal Origins, the traditional line of ‘respect for life’ arguments for the maintenance of accouchement sous X has prevailed on both the French and European scenes. In France, surprisingly, this line has met with the support of the feminist ‘pro-choice’ movement, and converged with a line of arguments that criticizes the supposed ‘biogenetization’ of the society, and advocates a definition of the parent–child relation as a ‘purely social construction’.

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Family Law ; Marriage and the Family

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