Registering Births: What Has Care Got to Do With It?

Drawing from two recent decisions by the ECtHR. Alice will explore the topical issue of birth registration in cases involving trans parents and emphasize some of the negative consequences of the widespread legal practice of incorrect registration. ie registration of trans parents in line with their birth-assigned gender. She will argue that, although prima facie neutral and objective, birth registration includes an important normative dimension and it works as a channel through which notions and arrangements of care are supported, created and potentially re-created. Alice will also reflect on the option of degendering legal parenthood, ie replacing the legal categories of motherhood and fatherhood with parenthood – and its concrete impact on notions and arrangements of care.

Alice Margaria is an Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Law of the University of Zurich, where she is also a member of the Executive Committee of the University Research Programme Human Reproduction Reloaded. Before her appointment at UZH, she was a Senior Researcher at the Law and Anthropology Department of the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology in Halle (Germany). Her scholarship lies at the intersections of diversity, human rights and family law, with a particular focus on the case-law of the European Court of Human Rights. She is the author of The Construction of Fatherhood: The Jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights, which was published by Cambridge University Press in 2019. Alice’s recent research integrates law and anthropology in the study of ECtHR case-law pertaining to reproduction and family diversity. Alice is also the convenor of the judicial study visit “Diversity in the Courtroom” which takes place every year at the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology, in collaboration with the European Judicial Training Network.

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