Lesbian Parental Projects in Word and Deed

Revue Juridique Thémis, Vol. 45, pp. 315-341, 2011

27 Pages Posted: 15 Sep 2010 Last revised: 23 Jul 2011

See all articles by Robert Leckey

Robert Leckey

McGill University - Faculty of Law

Date Written: June 25, 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.

Keywords: Lesbian Parents, Civil Law, Formalism, Empirical Research, Sociology, Family Practices

JEL Classification: K10, K19

Suggested Citation

Leckey, Robert, Lesbian Parental Projects in Word and Deed (June 25, 2011). Revue Juridique Thémis, Vol. 45, pp. 315-341, 2011. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1677489

Robert Leckey (Contact Author)

McGill University - Faculty of Law ( email )

3644 Peel Street
Montreal H3A 1W9, Quebec
514-398-4148 (Phone)
514-398-4659 (Fax)

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