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Adoption reform, the pitfalls of modernization at all costs



Launched in the early days of the five-year term, it will be adopted at the very end of it. The adoption reform, object of very strong opposition, repeatedly postponed, completely rewritten by the Senate then buried in a joint joint committee, is back in the National Assembly this Monday, January 17, for a final vote. However, the text still does not convince very many representatives of the sector.

The blockage would be due to its modernity, affirms the deputy Monique Limon (LREM), at the origin of the proposal. “It’s a question of unraveling adoption and bringing it up to date, in view of the changes in society”, she defends, citing her flagship measure: the opening of adoption to unmarried couples, which marks the end of nameless hypocrisy” and provoked, according to her, an outcry. “We found ourselves in front of some elected officials who would like nothing to ever change”, she believes, targeting the senatorial right.

→ ANALYSIS. Adoption: the fate of the wards of the State worries the associations

Can we limit the debate to a quarrel between the ancients and the moderns, between progressives and conservatives? Examination of the text calls for more caution, believes specialist lawyer Guillaume Le Maignan, supported by the vast majority of associations. “Very badly put together”, he can, according to him, legitimately worry. Under cover of modernity, he even promises, according to the lawyer, “countless procedures in the years to come, because he ignores the birth parents who are essential to the success of an adoption. »

Collection of consent

The text would in particular undermine a fundamental principle of adoption: obtaining the consent of birth parents to adoption. Admittedly, few people are affected each year, but they are among the most vulnerable. These are parents who entrust their child to Childhood Social Assistance (ASE), while leaving their identity (10% of pupils). These delicate situations sometimes follow a rape or a denial of pregnancy.

Today, when they decide to entrust their child, the parents – most often the single mother – must sign a “report of collection” which contains a set of information (the aid to which they are entitled to raise the child themselves, explanations of the state ward regime, etc.), as well as an adoption consent form. From now on, this express consent will no longer be requested.

→ GRANDSTAND. Adoption: “The bill tramples the consent of parents”

“On a symbolic level, however, the manifestation of this consent is essential, reacts Anne Royal, president of Childhood and adoptive families. From the child’s point of view, it is irrefutable proof of his mother’s will. » A kind of handover between the birth parent and the adoptive family, a link in the life of the child, which made it possible to avoid certain painful challenges during life. “Anything that can maintain the vagueness of consent is very dangerous, because we must not underestimate the subsequent re-readings of such heavy stories. »

The precedent of the Reunionese of Creuse

Certain dramas have, in fact, left traces, such as that of the “Reunionese of Creuse” for example. From 1962 to 1984, thousands of children were taken from their families in very ambiguous conditions to be adopted in Metropolitan France. In some cases, the illiterate parents did not understand that it was a one-way trip. Decades later, these children who have grown up continue to ask for redress and explain that they have been destroyed by the unspoken in their stories.

Another example is the current charges of international adoption fraud. For several years, children who have become adults have embarked on a search for their origins and have discovered that their parents had not understood, by depositing their newborn in an orphanage, that they would never see him again. “In this particular context of suspicion, it is more necessary than ever to give adoptees the means to understand their story, to find their origins, as well as to allow their adoptive parents to accompany them in this quest”, continues Anne Royal.

The lack of written consent, and the two-month withdrawal period that currently accompanies it,even risks weakening the adoption on the legal level, according to honorary magistrate Marie-Christine Le Boursicot. The consequence is major for the child: his birth parents will be able to challenge his adoption at any time, including years later, and these children find themselves at the heart of painful conflicts. warns the lawyer.

An obligation to entrust children to the State

Another illustration of the difficulty of legislating on such a complex subject concerns the situation of the several hundred women who each year give birth secretly. From now on, they will have to entrust their child to the State (therefore to the ASE), where until now, they could turn to private organizations. This is the case for example of Gaëlle and Luc, who decided to entrust their little girl a few months ago. Having been able to choose a private association, the French Adoptive Family (FAF), was a lifeline, they want to testify.

“Only the latter was able to promise us that our daughter would be accompanied by a unique person until her adoption, which was essential for us”, says Gaëlle. “We have never been disinterested in the fate of our child”, insists Luc, who is a teacher.From now on, who will hear the voice of these parents? “This loss of freedom is all the more serious in that many mothers who give birth secretly and come to us are themselves former children placed or accompanied by ASE services and no longer want to have to do to them », explains Christine Delettre, director of the FAF.

→ ANALYSIS. Adoption: the new composition of family councils worries

Like obtaining the consent of birth parents, this measure certainly concerns few people. But like him, it is fraught with consequences. The two measures were however eclipsed during the debates by the discussions on article 9 ter, to the point of sealing the failure of the joint committee on 4 November last. Now accompanied by safeguards, it relates to the very specific case of couples of women who had recourse to a PMA abroad before it was opened in France, and separated before the birth of the child. child. It enshrines, for three years, the right of the intending mother to adopt the child without the consent of the mother who gave birth. Which, according to Marie-Christine Le Boursicot, “represents forced and coerced adoption”.

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