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Government Commission for Reassessment of Parenthood: Central Role for Best Interests and Rights of the Child

On Wednesday 7 December 2016 the Government Commission for Reassessment of parenthood (Staatscommissie Herijking ouderschap) presented the report ‘Child and Parents in the 21st century’ to Minister Van der Steur of Security and Justice. Prof. dr. Ton Liefaard, UNICEF Professor of Children’s Rights at our University, has served as a member of this Government Commission.

The commission concludes that the many different family situations that appear nowadays in the Netherlands, require law and policy reform concerning parenthood and parental authority. The commission recommends to adapt Dutch law and provide for the maximum of four legal parents (instead of two), and a maximum of four people having (parental) authority. The commission also recommends to draw up a regulation concerning surrogacy. ‘The best interests and rights of the child must have a central role in Dutch family law and in the recommended law reform’, according to the Government Commission.

Several researchers of Leiden University have provided significant input for this report, including Machteld Vonk, Mariëlle Bruning, Kees Waaldijk and Nelleke Koffeman.

An English summary can be found on the website of the Government.

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