Adults and children

In our postmodern societies, children are sometimes in the centre of a complex network of links with several adults of both sexes – donor, surrogate, intended parents, biological parents, step-parents, foster-parents – and the law is not always clear as to how to recognise, protect and promote valuable relationships in such intricate configurations.

Based on an international review of the current state and foreseeable developments of the legal rules and principles in a wide range of jurisdictions in all the major legal systems, this two-day conference will address the following questions:

  • Which relationships should be recognised and protected? Should any factual (biological and/or affective) relationship between an adult and a child be legally protected?
  • Which legal tools should be used to provide recognition and protection? What should be the respective roles of legislation, case-law and contractual arrangements?
  • Which analytical models may be used to re-think the law? How could legal scholars create new models to embrace postmodern family relationships?