ancilla iuris

The Past Future of Adoption

The Impact of Biotechnology on an Old Institution

The issue of the disclosure of confidential information regarding the origins of adoptees is one that has witnessed much discussion since the 1970s. This discourse, however, failed to have an influence on Swiss Adoption Laws, which strictly adhered to the concept of confidential full adoption. It was only in 1992, stemming from debates on reproductive medicine, that the Constitution was amended to acknowledge the individual’s right to obtain information regarding his or her origins. This change in legislation concerning reproductive medicine and genetic engineering also had an effect on Adoption Laws. Without further distinguishment between these fields, this right to obtain information regarding origins should also now apply to adoptees. This article details how there first had to be a change in legislation relating to reproductive medicine before this right to information regarding an individual’s origins could finally be acknowledged and addressed in terms of adoption laws. How can it be explained that the relatively modern methods and laws concerning reproductive medicine have come to have such a definitive influence on Adoption Laws, even though the question concerning an adoptee’s right to obtain information regarding their origins is one that has plagued the ancient institution of adoption for a far longer period?

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Published 23.03.2016
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