Lesbian Parental Projects in Word and Deed
McGill University - Faculty of Law
June 25, 2011
Revue Juridique Thémis, Vol. 45, pp. 315-341, 2011
Since 2002, the Civil Code of Québec has provided a means of recognizing the filiation of children born of assisted procreation to lesbian couples. Meanwhile, disputes have arisen as to the existence or content of a “parental project.” This paper studies the calls for a legislative amendment imposing formalities, such as a notarial acte en minute, for parental projects. The legislature copied the regime of filiation by blood, which requires no formalities, but it might reasonably have drawn inspiration from other areas of the private law, which do. Given the legislative objective of recognizing lesbian family life, the paper also tests the idea of formalities against accounts, in social scientific literature, of the family practices of lesbian parents. The literature’s account of the deliberative and reflexive character of lesbian decision making in relation to mothering contrasts with the spontaneity or informality permitted by the Civil Code’s purely consensual mechanism. Ultimately, the appropriateness of imposing formalities for parental projects remains a political judgment.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 27
Keywords: Lesbian Parents, Civil Law, Formalism, Empirical Research, Sociology, Family Practices
JEL Classification: K10, K19
Date posted: September 15, 2010 ; Last revised: July 23, 2011
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