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Homoparental filiation: Outline of a hasty reform

Alain Roy

By allowing the creation of a parental relationship between a child and two persons of the same sex, the reform adopted on June 24, 2002 not only formalizes homosexual families, but also recognises the existence of a serious rift with the biological actualities that had previously served as a model for laws dealing with filiation. According to the then Justice Minister, some such overhaul had become necessary in order to be able to provide legal protection for the children involved. However, remodelling the parameters of filiation was not the only legislative option available to achieve the desired objective. Other measures, such as joint parental authority or the legal recognition of a new form of “psychological kinship” could have been contemplated as a way of ensuring the legal protection of the children in question. This reform, adopted in haste by the Quebec legislator, opens up prospects whose impact on children’s welfare cannot yet be fully measured. This incomplete piece of legislation does not respond to the need for legal protection of the majority of children growing up in a homosexual environment.