A pair of siblings in France have been officially recognized as the legal parents of a child conceived via incestuous relationship. 53-year-old Herve and 46-year-old Rose-Marie were unaware that they shared the same mother while exploring a romantic relationship. The two grew up in separate foster homes after their mother gave them up for adoption and the pair met later in life. They were not aware that they had the same mother and broke up in 2009 just before the birth of their daughter Océane.
Herve recognized his daughter as his own and although incest is outlawed by the French Civil Code, the Caen Court of Appeal decided to retain Herve and Rose-Marie as Océane’s legal parents as they found it would be within the best interests of the child. Article 310-2 of the French Civil Code states that if there is any ‘impediment to marriage’ between the mother and father (including incest) then it is forbidden to establish filiation with one out of two parents.
In the case of Herve and Rose-Marie, Herve had been legally recognized as Océane’s parent before her mother and following the code would have taken their young child away from Rose-Marie (who is the one currently raising her). The court decided that as Herve had not raised his daughter himself, removing Rose-Marie from her life could have unfair and harmful consequences.
In a previous court ruling with another family, a Cherbourg court ruled that one parent should be officially annulled from a child’s birth certificate in the case of incest. Despite raising the child, the Cherbourg court decided to remove the child’s mother from their birth certificate. “The child’s incestuous origin should not be known to everyone,” said a judge in 2016.
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