The French Parliament voted in a bill indicating that parents of school children are no longer to be called ‘father’ or ‘mother’ but rather ‘parent 1’ and ‘parent 2’ on school forms
French deputies approved an amendment to a draft plan to build a so-called "School of Trust" by indicating that the terms 'parent 1’ and 'parent 2’ replace 'mother’ and 'father’ in school records.
In 2012, the newspaper Liberation wrote about the positive aspects of the introduction of these terms. Until then, it was just a liberal theoretical conception. But on Tuesday, the 12th of February, the French Parliament added an amendment to the “School of Trust” draft, implementing the proposed changes. Seven years after the curious musings of the Liberation newspaper, what seemed then to be comical is soon to become a reality.
The terms referred to in the amendment are not new. They were already in use when the French parliament voted about ‘marriage for everyone,’ in May of 2013. In fact, in an article in 2012 , the same newspaper heralded these new terms as a sign of social development. The periodical did mention however that many schools and indeed the Catholic Church were against these new classifications.
An example of Church opposition to the terms can be seen in the “Collectif pour l’Enfant” Catholic website that posted the following: “The parliament does not have the right to classify every parent mentioned as ‘parent 1’ and ‘parent 2.’” The website asks that if sexual difference in parenthood no longer matters, then for example, in the case of adoption, why should there be only two parents, and not three or four to adopt a baby?
Many members of the French Parliament are opposed to the amendment to the draft.
Jean-Michel Blanquer, the minister of Education, and Anne-Christine Lang are against the change. Curiously, AFDH, the French association for same sex parents notes that the terms could create a problem of ‘parental hierarchy’ and generate confusion about who is ‘parent number 1’ and who is ‘parent number 2?’ Another deputy, Xavier Breton, said that this new method would not be in harmony with reality given that today 95% of the couples or spouses in France are composed of a man and a woman.
The decision of the French Parliament caused controversy not only in the parliament and among citizens, but across the whole of European society. People who consider themselves traditional or religious are criticising the French for this bill, and many say that the country is now on a slippery slope.