Pluralization of parenthood often means that not only the two legal parents, but also other ‘social parents’ are involved in the daily upbringing for the child, such as step parents, grandparents, foster parents or others. What exactly is their legal position? While English law allows to give parental responsibility through a court order under sec. 8 of the Children Act 1989, German law does not and is more rigid. Another important difference is that parental responsibility can be exercised individually and independently by each parent under English law, while the German law emphasizes strictly the joint exercise even by separated parents (apart from daily matters which everybody can decide on her own). This creates different conflicts; it is discussed how conflicts are settled by courts and in statutory law and if English law can be a model for reform for German law.
About the Speaker:
Kirsten Scheiwe is Professor of Law at Hildesheim University, Germany since 2000. She works mainly in the areas of family law, social security and welfare law, legal comparison, law in context and gender studies. Her approach is historical, comparative and interdisciplinary. Her latest research focused on the regulation of domestic work and its historical change up to the ILO Convention 189 ‘Decent work for domestic workers’ and on the history of institutional change in early childhood education and the development of a social right to early childhood education (The Development of Early Childhood Education in Europe and North America: Historical and Comparative Perspectives, edited with H. Willekens und K. Nawrotzki, Palgrave Macmillan 2015).
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