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The Iona Blog

Another step towards the Brave New World

Author: David Quinn
Date: 20th February 2013

The European Court of Human Rights seems to have difficulty treating different situations differently. That much is clear from its ruling in the case of X and Others v. Austria. Instead the court wants to pretend that different situations are the same.

Under Austrian law, an unmarried man can seek to adopt his own biological child when he is a relationship with his child’s biological mother.

To simplify things, the couple in such a case are simply the unmarried biological parents of the one child and they both want to be recognised as the legal parents of their child.

Austrian law does not allow a same-sex couple to both be recognised as the legal parents of the one child for the simple reason that they can’t both be the biological parents of that one child.

The difference here should be absolutely plain to anyone with eyes to see. And the other plain and obvious difference is that while a same-sex couple can provide a child with either two ‘mothers’ or two ‘fathers’, an opposite-sex couple can provide a child with both a mother and a father.

In any event, the court has found that the Austrian law treating two biological parents differently from one biological parent and his or her partner is ‘discriminatory’.

But it is only discriminatory if we regard the differences between the sexes as unimportant and the biological ties between parent and child as unimportant.

Unfortunately this is precisely the Brave New World into which we are being ushered by ridiculous and illogical rulings like this. (Incidentally, in the book Brave New World the biological ties didn’t matter either).

PS Notably, the lesbian couple at the centre of this case cannot jointly adopt the child anyway because the father (the child was born as a result of a previous heterosexual relationship) is already the other legal parent and has no intention of bowing out of the picture).

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