European Parliament Committee Approve New Draft Regulation on Parenthood

Call 0345 872 6666

European Parliament Committee Approve New Draft Regulation on Parenthood

For families that differ from the “traditional” nuclear set-up, the issue of parenthood is often fundamental and can be key to the dynamics of the family. There are many ways an individual can become a parent: genetic; gestational, social but the concept of legal parenthood is separate. Establishing legal parenthood is important for several reasons not least because it helps to secure a legal foundation of the family unit. More information on the concept of legal parenthood can be found on our dedicated page.

The law as it is today

What happens, however, when a family with a recognised legal foundation in one country want to relocate elsewhere? You could be forgiven for thinking the legal parenthood and the rights attached would automatically transfer as this would seem be in the best interests of the child and the family as a whole.

As natural as that presumption would appear to be, this is unfortunately not the case as the law surrounding children and parenthood differs across various jurisdictions. Surprisingly, it is not even consistent across the EU. Simply put, you may be recognised as a child’s parent in one country but not in another.

This is becoming especially problematic as international relocation, and particularly relocation within the EU is becoming increasingly common.

The law as it stands can leave children with their legal parenthood recognised in the member state they are currently living in, but not in the member state they are moving to.

For example, if a same sex couple who have adopted a child or completed the surrogacy process and established legal parenthood in France were to relocate to another member state, those parental rights may not be automatically recognised in another state.

As a result, the same family may have to apply for legal parenthood again. If the family unit have already had to attend court for legal parenthood to be recognised once, it seems rather unfair and potentially unnecessarily costly, for the process to be repeated in another member state.

It is estimated there are approximately 2 million children (Recognition of parenthood between Member States ( across the EU who could face issues having their parenthood recognised in another member state and potentially denied.

The proposed development

The European Parliament’s Committee on Legal Affairs has recently approved a draft regulation that would facilitate the recognition of legal parenthood across the EU. The regulation aims to harmonise, at EU level, the private international law rules on parenthood. Specifically, it proposes that parenthood established in an EU member state should be recognised in all others without any special procedure.

This change will help protect the fundamental rights of children and provide much longed for legal certainly for many families.

The European Parliament is expected to give its formal opinion on the proposal on 11 December 2023. Of course, even if approved, the draft Regulation will not come into force in the UK. It remains to be seen how the UK will deal with parenthood established across the EU however, given the that Courts paramount concern is the welfare of the child it might look at the uniformity as offering security and stability to modern families who are often overlooked.

Why choose JMW

The family team at JMW have experience in dealing with complex cross jurisdictional matters involving children and their families and therefore have the expertise necessary to advise you and your family.


Find out more about our services and how we can help you and your family today by getting in touch. Simply call us on 0345 872 6666 or complete our online enquiry form and a member of our team will give you a call back.

Did you find this post interesting? Share it on:

Related Posts