The paper was presented this May at a conference on Family Status, Identities and Private International Law. A Critical Assessment in the Light of Fundamental Rights organized by the Swiss Institute of Comparative Law, European Law Institute and Università di Pisa. The post about the conference may be found here.
The abstract reads as follows:
The legal problems around contractual filiation are often presented as creating an opposition between rainbow family and traditional ones but they conceal, underneath, an opposition between two distinct visions of filiation. In patriarchal societies, control over his genealogy by the patriarch is functional in the protection of the social position of the family. These societies are characterised by substantial social immobility. The wealth of sons and daughters depends entirely on the ancestors. Children have duties vis-à-vis their parents, who maintain power and control over them. The importance of lineage can on the other hand be scaled back whenever, in a given society, it is possible to acquire wealth through one’s own efforts in life, rather than only by retaining wealth from ancestors or acquiring it through marriage. Today, the wealth of the children of middle-class families, assisted from the educational and economic point of view by the welfare state, also depends on their ability to integrate into the social fabric through their personal contribution. Children have rights vis-à-vis their parents, and law must assist them, as they are vulnerable persons, in enjoying their rights.