A brother and sister have been recognised in France as the legal parents of a child conceived from their incestuous relationship.
Siblings Herve and Rose-Marie had a baby daughter eight years ago. They were not aware at the time that they had the same mother.
The pair were brought up separately in different foster families, but met by chance in 2006 and began a relationship.
They broke up shortly before the birth of their child in 2009, who was raised by her mother since birth.
The little girl’s father Herve officially recognised the baby as his, just before the mother Rose-Marie, when she was born.
The Caen Court of Appeal decided to retain both Herve and Rose-Marie as her legal parents, as it was found to be in the best interests of the child, despite this being outlawed by the French Civil Code.
Article 310-2 of the code states that if there is an ‘impediment to marriage’ between a father and mother, which includes incest, and filiation has already been established with one parent, it is forbidden to establish filiation with the other parent.
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But the court made the decision to uphold the ruling of a magistrates court to retain the civil status of the brother and sister as parents.
Following the code would mean that the girl’s mother would not be recognised as her parent as her father was legally recognised before she was.
The court decided that as the father had not brought her up, this would not be a suitable course of action and could have ‘harmful consequences for that child.’
Catherine Besson, the father’s lawyer, told Le Parisien: ‘It’s a happy decision for Océane. Herve, the father, was the first to say that is a parental tie were to go, it had to be his. He did not raise this child.’