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Title: Intercultural Families - A Challenge for European Private International Law
Subtitle: A Perspective from Spain
Author(s): ADROHER BIOSCA, Salomé
Journal: Marriage, Families & Spirituality
Volume: 14    Issue: 2   Date: 2008   
Pages: 220-230
DOI: 10.2143/INT.14.2.2034408

Abstract :
Family law, in some countries like Spain, is undergoing deep, recent and fast changes that can be partly explained by the present, postmodern culture and 'way of life': the exaltation of individualism and relativism runs parallel to the demand for a public guarantee of some fundamental rights. Current 'domestic' family law is subject to two contradictory forces: an important infiltration of the freedom principle into this branch of the law traditionally composed by imperative rules (e.g. the divorce 'express', the admission of different religious celebrations of marriage with civil effects, homosexual marriage), but at the same time a progressive 'publification' of some family institutions in which the state now assumes competences traditionally belonging to the family (e.g. the measures of child protection or the public responsibilities in family violence). While this 'inside' revolution continues, some changes are coming from 'outside' because of the growing internationalisation of family relationships due, among other factors, to migration movements, European Union integration, globalisation etc. Inter-country adoptions, marriages with foreigners, foreign children in foster care, just to name a few, are visible realities. Family law must work with unknown institutions such as kafalah, polygamy or private adoptions. The paper analyses how European private international law is facing this new situation moving, as Spanish domestic law does, into some questions with a growing flexibility towards cultural differences, especially in cases of homogeneous relationships, but in others reinforcing the state principles when a non-homogeneous relationship demands state protection.

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