Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law

First Page



According to Ms. Schwartz, adoption in the United States is currently in a state of disarray and confusion because it has not achieved a satisfactory balance between biological and psychological parent-child relationships. U.S. adoption law has never adequately evaluated the relative importance of both types of relationships to the process of family formation. In contrast, although French adoption faces many of the same challenges as U.S. adoption, the French adoption process is not riddled with the same inconsistency and indeterminacy. Instead, French adoption law and government family policy reflect a societal consensus on the central and intrinsic importance of biological relationships. The manner in which French law strives for balance and compromise between biological and psychological relationships in establishing legal parentage warrants examination. Accordingly, in this Article, Ms. Schwartz examines the relationship between contemporary French adoption and that nation's history, traditions, and values. By doing so, the author encourages consideration of such a relationship in the United States in connection with reforms in U.S. adoption law.

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