(Re)Defining Legal Parenthood and Kinship: The Limits of Legal Change in the Finnish Child Custody Act of 2019
This article examines how Finland took a role as an international predecessor in separating the parent’s right of access from custody, biology and legal parenthood. It addresses the (re)defining of the legal reference fields of kinship, family and parenthood in the process of rewriting the Act on Child Custody and Right of Access in Finland. Through an examination of the discourses of the legislative process, it shows how the Finnish legislation has moved from an emphasis on biological origins towards a more flexible and individualised conception of kinship. The analysis focuses on how the Child Custody Act works to recognise various marginalised positions, while leaving others unattended. Through a close examination of the changes to the Act, the article highlights the simultaneous processes of de-marginalisation of certain structures of kinship, and the marginalisation of others. The article concludes by predicting the direction of future developments in legislation concerning kinship, family and parenthood, based on prevalent trends of legal development, and the limits of what can presently be recognised by the law, and why.
How to Cite
LicenseAuthors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
- Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work for any purposs with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).