REALity Volume XXV Issue No. 2 March/April 2006
France, along with other European nations, may be on the road to perdition with its extremely low birthrate and the resulting economic problems. Nonetheless, France obviously cares, and cares deeply, about those children that it does have. With a birth rate of only 1.76, France desperately wants to protect the children that have been born to them.
At the request of the President of the National Assembly, Jacques Chirac, a special 30 member multi-party “Information Mission” was created to propose changes in French law to better protect the rights of children and to reflect changes in the French family.
In carrying out this responsibility, the Mission traveled to Spain, the U.K., Belgium, The Netherlands and Canada. The visit to politically correct Canada must have given them quite a shock! These countries, with the exception of the U.K., have all made same-sex marriages legal.
The Mission’s Report was tabled in the French National Assembly on January 26, 2006. This wide ranging report touched on many aspects of children’s lives, including same-sex marriage, adoption, and procreation of children by way of the new medical technologies.
To the great credit of the Mission, it chose as its guiding principle the best interests of the child because it said, “it is the responsibility of society, and especially its legislative bodies, to ensure that children are able to develop harmoniously”. According to the Mission’s report, this principle led to the Mission’s decision to affirm and protect children’s rights and the privacy of those rights over adults’ aspirations. This is a refreshing change and a far cry from the situation in Canada where adult demands for rights and privileges override any rights or concerns for children.
Another refreshing approach was that the majority of the Mission was of the view that when children’s lives are the issue, legislators must act very cautiously and calmly to seek a social consensus, rather than trying to bring about changes through a legislative revolution (quite different from the same-sex marriage debate held last June in Canada’s Parliament).
What is amazing about this report is the logical and common sense way in which it approached the hot button issue of same-sex marriage. The report stated that “marriage is organized around the child and marriage is not merely the contractual recognition of the love between a couple; it is a framework that imposes rights and duties, and that is designated to provide for the care and harmonious development of the child”. Thus the Mission concluded that children who represent the future of society must be defended regardless of developments in other countries that fail to protect children from same-sex marriages. The report seriously criticized the studies on same sex parenting that claimed that same-sex parenting carried no ill effects for children. The Mission noted the lack of scientific rigor, inadequate samplings and the flagrant lack of objectivity in these studies.
The report went on to say, forthrightly, that foreign examples demonstrate that countries that have made marriage available to same-sex couples have all, simultaneously or subsequently, authorized adoption by those couples and developed systems for assisted procreation or surrogate gestation, to enable those couples to have children. The Mission totally rejected this along with same-sex marriage.
Adoption of Children
The Mission recommended that the current rules in France on adoption should remain. That is, the Mission recommended that adoption should only be permitted by married and single individuals. It rejected “making adoption available to unmarried couples because of the lesser permanency of such couples and the fact that there is no judicial involvement in the event of separation”. They concluded that children require legal and emotional security that only marriage provides and that same-sex parenting introduces additional discontinuity for the adopted child.
According to the Report, adopted children have already suffered the trauma of being abandoned, and, quite often, being uprooted. They must therefore be given the greatest possible protection from the risk that their parents will separate, and that marriage offers children this legal security.
Medical Justification for Assisted Procreation
At present, French law allows assisted procreation for medical reasons only, to counteract sterility arising from pathology, or to avoid the transmission of a serious illness. The reason given for limiting this process is the fact that it is a very expensive procedure (15,000 euros or $20,306 Canadian dollars), covered by social security. Therefore, the Mission concluded that such procedures should be available only for medically justified reasons. The Mission sensibly concluded that expanding access to medically assisted procreation to same-sex couples would be opening the door to procreation for convenience, independent of any medical consideration. Further, the Mission argued that making assisted procreation available to all women, and without any medical reason, would result in discrimination against male homosexual couples since only lesbian couples would then benefit from such a policy.
Therefore, the Mission rejected any expansion of medical technology to procreate children.
Finally, the Mission stated it was opposed to the insemination of single women, because it would encourage the birth of fatherless children, which would be against the best interests of the child.
The Mission opposed the legalization of surrogate motherhood because:
- it causes the disposal of a human body, i.e. the transferring of the surrogate created child to a couple who arranged for this medical procedure; and
- it causes the breakdown of maternal filiation or relationship lines.
Further, the Mission stated that surrogacy denies the bond that grows between mother and child during pregnancy and opens the door to a wide range of abuses and for this reason, it deemed surrogacy unacceptable.
Summary of the French Mission Report
In a few simple, forthright statements, the Mission Report has put in perspective the entire issue of same-sex marriage, adoption of children by same-sex couples, and the procreation of children based on the “wants” or desires of adults, but not the best interests of children. The empty arguments, political maneuvering and lies that have permeated this debate in Canada are exposed by the French Mission Report. Canada’s policies on same-sex marriage and children are based on extreme political correctness devoid of common sense, mature thought and analysis. Under Canadian policy, children are incidental tools used to advance homosexual rights. Fortunately, France refused to go this route and is one nation that has got this matter right.