Who is my father and who is my mother?? This question moves every person, but can not be answered clearly for every child. The Federal Constitutional Court has now ruled: The right to know one's own parentage is not absolute.
The question of one's own origins is one of the existential questions of human beings. Everyone wants to know: Where do I come from? Who am I? Where do I go? In this respect, it was a philosophical-ethical problem on which the First Senate of the Federal Constitutional Court ruled on Tuesday.
A woman, now of retirement age, is still wondering whether an almost 90-year-old man is her biological father. It wants to force him to take a DNA test. "No" says to it the senate under the direction of the vice-president of the court, Ferdinand Kirchhof, and refers to conflicting interests.
Several affected parties
The woman's claim is in principle beyond question, but others are also affected: Above all, the man whose paternity is to be clarified against his will. In his case, the Senate sees the right to informational self-determination and the right to physical integrity affected. In addition, the mother is affected, who can decide for herself whether and whom she informs about her sex life.
And two families are concerned: About the legal father of the child. In the child's self-image, the amption of being the biological father of a child "can occupy a key position," the Senate said. The family of the man who is to provide the DNA sample will also be affected. A positive test could "prove to be a burden". All these aspects are mentioned. Taken together, these considerations can be understood as strengthening legal families.
Court warns against investigation "into the blue"
According to the current legal situation, only the father, the mother and the child of a legal family have a claim against each other for a DNA test. A producer presumed outside the legal family is expressly excluded. The court warned against making investigations "in the blue" possible. The Senate leaves the clarification of further questions about parentage largely to the legislature.
The view therefore goes to Berlin. There, in the house of Federal Minister of Justice Heiko Maas (SPD), a "working group parentage" deals with such questions. As Maas' state secretary Stefanie Hubig said after the decision, it involves "difficult balancing ies" that are to be clarified by mid-2017.
"A serious setback"
Especially cases of "multiple parenthood", which are becoming more and more common today as a result of reproductive medicine, are likely to cause headaches for the lawyers. In relation to this, the case now being heard was almost simple. Nevertheless, even that one may not be over yet.
The plaintiff's lawyer, Paul Kreierhoff, announced that after careful consideration of the ruling, he will decide whether his client wants to go to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) and appeal the "serious setback". At the hearing in November, representatives of psychologists' and therapists' associations made it clear that the woman's interest is understandable. For a child, the knowledge of one's own parentage is simply an existential question.