Same-Sex Adoption : What's Marriage Got To Do With It?
This paper explores how same-sex legislation in France has progressed over the last few decades, from the politicization of AIDS in the mid 1980s-1990s until spring 2013, when the French government legalized same-sex adoption and same-sex marriage. Although same-sex adoption and same-sex marriage are now legal, they have been codified for only six months. Thus, while I am unable to explain, in depth, the actual implementation of this law, my focus entails looking at the legalization same-sex adoption through the prism of same-sex marriage, from the mid 1990s to today. Marriage and adoption have always had a profound connection throughout history. In France, adoption is nearly impossible without marriage, thereby making marriage especially important. To best understand the same-sex marriage law, it is important to understand both the laws that led to its passage as well as France's greater social shift that transformed the notion of the "family". This requires an examination of the literature concerning the initial same-sex partnership legislation, the Pacte Civil de Solidarite (PaCS). This partnership legislation codified unions between any ostensibly intimate couple, heterosexual or homosexual. After understanding the historical background of PaCS, section I will define key terms that will alleviate future confusion on the exact meanings of'parents', 'families' and 'marriage'. The section thereafter depicts France's adoption process and concerns the states' intervention into adoptive families and contrasted with the state's relative non-intervention for biological families. The third section considers the history of PaCS and the rights that PaCS conferred on same-sex couples. We then consider the two ensuing laws that strengthened and expanded the rights of same-sex couples in the early 2000s. This fourth section shows the gradual transition of PaCS from civil unions to an institution more closely related to marriage. Subsequently section V, explains the discourse that led to the formal passage of the same-sex marriage and with it same-sex adoption legislation. The sixth and final section will discuss the future of same-sex marriage and same-sex adoption in France. This paper's goal is to determine how French law evolved from PaCS to same-sex marriage and thus the legalization of same-sex adoption. In order to answer this question, I did extensive library research and utilized a variety of academic sources. Through this investigation, I developed a more thorough understanding of the legislation regarding same-sex marriage and same-sex adoption. This, in turn, informed by belief that although other European Union Member States have not all had their own version of PaCS, in France, without the PaCS and subsequent move towards same-sex marriage, the legalization of same-sex adoption could not have occurred.
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