funny times

Parents' wishes, wishes for a child

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Paule Pérez is a philosopher and psychoanalyst; she brings here her point of view on current events and information processing. It is true that "news" is not always news. Repetitions, repressions, reversals, formations of the Unconscious, unexpected transmissions, denials abound, as well as distortions, deafness, blindness or dizziness. Sometimes it is enough to barely change the angle of view or to focus on one word rather than another, for the field to widen, to deepen... 
So many small differences, which enlighten us differently.

Uyoung woman gave birth to a child 18 months ago, and it was a "birth under X". In the months that followed, the baby was given to a couple for adoption.
In the meantime the sire, having learned what had happened, felt like a father, and made himself known by expressing his desire to raise the child. And this, it seems, shortly after the adoption process was confirmed, in a race against time.

The decision was appealed on 25 November: the child remains in the adoptive family. According to some legal experts, for whom the case is particularly important, the European Court of Justice could modulate this judgment so that the biological father would recover some rights, such as the right of access and perhaps even something in the order of parental authority.
This story leaves us sad and perplexed, somewhat lost.

For psychoanalysts, the child "already knows" that he or she has got himself or herself into an imbroglio about it. His mother has left him, for reasons that belong to him, his sire is eager to be the father, and his adoptive family only wants to keep him and see him grow up.

Here is a very confusing case, where, far from being "without family", a baby would already have one too many, and where society is ordered to drop the knife of the Law.

What to tell the child in a while, whether or not he comes to question? Will it be enough to show him the judgment of adult law? What questions will be stirring in him?

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Could the possibilities of the law, which allows a woman for reasons that need not be known, to abandon her maternity, these provisions which therefore provide that a child may, at least for a certain period of time, be without parents and entrusted to public protection, now provide that it may legally have three children instead of two, that is to say a mother and two fathers?

And why not?

One can already wonder about the language. Don't they say, "I have a child"? (or two, or three...). If you listen, how can you not hear the insinuated possessiveness of the expression? No one owns anyone!

Feeling that you have a child, even in a small dose, and worse, in the name of love, has something of "having" it. And here one cannot help but think of the very ancient judgment of Solomon where a baby barely avoids being "divided" between his two mothers, in a "cut" that would most likely result in him feeling "guilty" towards one or the other or both of them.
Could not contemporary immersion in social and emotional plurality make it possible for us to consider that this child, if desired, could have two families? Somewhat like children in so-called blended families?
We know it's not ideal, but his young story began in such a special way that we don't see how denial can be seen in the name of child protection. And it won't be enough just to "tell him the truth". Indeed, what would then be the outcome of his secret inner relationship, with the surname lost along the way, beyond a legal order?

Could Justice innovate and invent liveable, judicious and measured solutions, first for the little one and then for the parents who love him?

Well, like it or not, this child does have an absent progenitor and two fathers. His life already bears the mark of his entry into the world and society.

Seen from this angle, it is probably by telling him something else, in the name of an univocal conception of the family already well scratched, that we would be in madness!

Paule Pérezis a Philosopher, Psychoanalyst, editor of the Revue Temps maranes.

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