Securing a Future for Children: The International Custom to Protect the Natural Family

20, Num. 15 DÍKAION - LO JUSTO 391 (2006) - Universidad de la Sabana

58 Pages Posted: 21 Jul 2012 Last revised: 27 Nov 2012

Jane Adolphe

Ave Maria School of Law

Date Written: April 19, 2006

Abstract

The author argues that Art. 16(3) of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights has become customary international law, and therefore, all States are obliged to promote, protect and give preference to the natural family based on marriage between one male and one famale (in nuclear or extended family arrangement) over so-called "new family forms" (e.g. cohabitating opposite-sex and/or same-sex couples). This means that States breach their obligation under Art. 16(3) when they treat so-called alternative forms of families as equivalent to the family based on heterosexual marriage (i.e. giving the same benefits). The paper uses Canada as a case study to illustrate how it has breached its obligations. The author considers how and why the Canadian federal government has contributed to the crisis of the natural family in Canada as manifested through increasing rates of separation and divorce as well as of alternative family forms (i.e. cohabitation arrangements and so forth) and their treatment as equivalent to the natural family.

Keywords: family, marriage, same-sex, human rights, customary international law

Suggested Citation

Adolphe, Jane, Securing a Future for Children: The International Custom to Protect the Natural Family (April 19, 2006). 20, Num. 15 DÍKAION - LO JUSTO 391 (2006) - Universidad de la Sabana . Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2113160 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2113160

Jane Adolphe (Contact Author)

Ave Maria School of Law ( email )

1025 Commons Circle
Naples, FL 34119
United States

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