13 February 2024: Expert meeting on the recognition of parenthood in Europe

The EU has launched a legislative initiative on the recognition of parenthood between Member States, which is under debate. The member states still have to agree on the proposal. The EU Parliament recently has voted in favour of such a regulation in mid-December 2023. The idea behind the Parenthood regulation is to ensure that the parenthood of a child in one EU country is also recognised by the other member states. Additionially this shall ensure that all children have the same rights in terms of education, healthcare, custody or succession. Although the regulations should not result in any changes to national family law, parenthood established by another EU country must be recognised and exceptions may only be possible in strictly defined cases. One of the reasons behind the proposals is that with around two million children in the EU, parenthood in another EU country would otherwise not be recognised.

However, the planned regulation is controversial, as some states fear that it will recognise same-sex families contrary to national law. There is also debate as to whether the regulation will legalise surrogacy “through the back door” or at least symbolically promote it politically.

At the expert discussion on 13 February 2024, the members of the AGF discussed the content of the proposal for the new regulations currently under discussion as well as their potential impact with the European umbrella organisation for rainbow families NELFA and representatives of the German Federal Ministry of Justice, inlcuding the controversial points to be able to have a well balanced and sensitive approach to the proposal.