The gay parenting debate : points

Same-sex parenting : the meaning of a formula

There are, in the first place to stop on the term ” gay parenting “, which is now placed in the common sense, but the original is in itself a claim : “the ability to be a parent being a homosexual, this claim is inseparable from the aspiration to be a family like the others,” as recalled by Jacques Commaille in the preface of the book Homoparentalités, state of the places (book, published under the direction of Martine Gross, 2005). The expression is created in 1997 by the association of parents and future parents gay and lesbian. The use of this term is then only the fact of the activists. The term homoparental allows you to set the parental couple not the basis of his sexual orientation, but of the constitution of the marital family.

The expression same-sex parenting calls for the separation of procreation from sexuality and to consider that the conjugal couple and the parental may not be based on a difference of the sexes. To claim the label “family” for the organization of private life also comes to move the frameworks of an institution that is no longer immutable. It shattered the idea of a certain naturalness of the traditional family. “The new forms of family ties that are created remind us that this family that we have a tendency to consider as natural because it is presented with evidence of the still is a recent invention” (Bourdieu, “about the family as a category performed “, ARSS, 1993). The diversity of modes of conjugal life is institutionalised, the couple boils down less to take on predefined roles and to conform to a tradition. “Slap a couple is invited to find his own measure, to define and to justify, by itself,” notes Jean-Hugues Déchaux in his Sociology of the family (Al Marks, 2007)

In the expression ” same-sex parenting “, there is the term parenting, which refers to the term relationship. This is an invitation to ask questions on the renewal, the recognition of homoparents, invites you to promote to the level of sonship. Stepfamilies, the claim is ” gay “, the medical aid to procreation, upset the classical model of the relationship based on the exclusivity of filiation bilateral.

For Martine Segalen (Sociology of the family, Armand Colin, 2006), the filiation is ” the recognition of links between individuals which descend from each other. “. She recalls that in ” the descent unilinear, are known to parents that those who descend from a paternal line or the maternal line. The recognition of the individual in his or her group of parents is organized in relation to a common ancestor with which we can trace a link of the genealogy : this is the lineage. The parentage unilinear adopts a principle of classification founded on the basis of sex (filiation is patrilineal or matrilineal[1]) and means that only one group of parents for the individual. Before being rested, the question of the parentage seemed to be heard in western society : it was a member of two lineages, that of the mother, by the obvious biological, and that of the father, by the institution of marriage.

Today, the claim same-sex parents invites them to ask themselves the following questions, as proposed by Martine Gross (” Family ties and differences of the sexes ” in Homoparentalités, state of play, 2005): on what base the definition of parentage ? Is it based on nature or can we rely on the willingness and commitment to be a parent as in adoption ? The ” or ” of the matter is it exclusive ? The parentage does it everywhere as a single father and a single mother ? What is a possible filiation additional ?

The same-sex parenting calls into question the adequacy illusory between procreation and kinship/ parentage : the parents of the child are not a couple procreative. The conjugal couple is a homosexual may not coincide with the parental couple that produces a child, and this whatever the configuration of same-sex parents have chosen.

The recognition of same-sex families

As recalled by V Descoutures in “the work of The institution of the family with same-sex parents” (in Homoparentalités, state of play, 2005), if the legal bond of kinship does not have a direct impact on the way in which adults look after children, the difficulty of living everyday and not be recognized as such causes a certain suffering. This feeling of injustice, which is expressed both by the second parent as by the parents association, shows that the legal recognition of the co-parent is an important element of the identity of the parental statutory individuals.

Pierre Bourdieu in the article “about the family as a category performed” (ARSS, 1993) advises to stop to understand the family as an immediate data of reality, to see an instrument of construction of that reality. The family is a principle of social construction of reality, a way of understanding a unity of married life. It has never been immutable, and the class must adapt to a changing society.

For V Descoutures, today the homoparental family is a type that is not completed, which is not part of the common sense. “It is for this reason that it is not a true family this is to say, a legitimate family “. “It is in progress, it is both real, as a social category objective, but also unreal, such as social class subjective “. “It is real in the sense that specific forms of family ties did not wait to be appointed to make or break. The social class subjective is real also since the word homoparental family appeared for the first time in 1997. “. By a decision of the tribunal de grande instance, Paris, July 2, 2004, the justice acknowledged for the first time a family gay : two lesbians, one of which had adopted the three girls on the other, born after artificial insemination, were granted joint parental responsibility. This decision has not yet been case law.

The proportion of families with children headed by two people of the same sex is even more difficult to measure than same-sex couples. Anne Cadoret gives the following figures ( parents like the other. Homosexuality and kin, 2002), 7 % of gay men and 11 % of lesbians have children and 35% to 45% would like to do.

A family with same-sex parents

Anne Cadoret in The parents like the other. Homosexuality and kin, 2002, distinguishes four different modes of constitution of a homoparental family. The homoparental family may be made to the following :

1) of a blended family after a first marriage heterosexual ;

2) an adoption by one of the parents ;

3) of the assisted reproduction by use of donor women or a surrogate for men ;

4) a ” coparenting,” in which ” gays and lesbians living as a couple or only agree to a child who will be between the two family units

As recalled by Jean-Hugues Déchaux, none of these formulas recognizes the homosexual parents legally as such in France. The formulas 2 and 3 are illegal. Homosexuality, on the contrary, the quality of single, is an obstacle according to the case-law to the approval that must get the candidate to adoption. The act prohibits a single person to perform an artificial insemination on the ground that the desire of the child must be a project of a couple, but it allows adoption by single people, single, divorced or widowed. The ahr is reserved, since the law of bioethics of July 29, 1994, to heterosexual married couples or cohabiting stable and prohibits the use of surrogate mothers.

In order to complete the reflection, you can consult the conferences écoutables online college of the cité des Sciences.

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