After concluding the Eighth Ordinary Period of Sessions of the National Assembly of People’s Power, in its 9th Legislature, we are at the gates of the popular consultation on the Family Code. Debates, reflections and dissimilar proposals have arisen around this issue, as well as speculations and affirmations that do not adhere to the letter or spirit of the document.
To debate the Code, we must know its contents or at least promote a general approach to them. It is important, as well as useful, to discuss the draft, from its own articles.
With the intention of contributing to the informed debate process, we propose a route to read the document, we write down some of its contents, and we present specific articles where we can read some of the most discussed issues.
What content does it really include?
- Works on quality and not only on the forms of our family relationships.
- Establishes content that challenges unworthy treatment, exclusion, violence, and lack of protection.
- Provides for the inclusion, recognition and acceptance of all forms of relationships that enhance human dignity.
- Promulgates that family relationships are governed, among others, by the principles of equality and non-discrimination, plurality, responsibility and higher interests.
- Highlights the rights and guarantees of children and adolescents, the elderly, people with disabilities, people from the LGBTIQ+ community, people who are victims of violence (mostly women).
- Assumes the same value, recognition and protection for all types of families, both in the form of marriage and in that of a de facto affective union. One type of family does not prevail over others.
- Refers that all forms of union voluntarily agreed between two people who share a life project in common will be based on affection and love.
- Promulgates that family duties are exercised on “the basis of love, affection, consideration, solidarity, fraternity, cooperation, responsibility and mutual respect.”
- States the right of every person to form and live as a family; the right to full equality in filiation matters, to have the free development of personality, privacy and the project of personal and family life respected; the right of girls, boys and adolescents according to their progressive autonomy; the right of women to a balanced use of time; the right to the full development of sexual and reproductive health for all people, as well as to education on reproduction and family planning; the right to protection of maternity and paternity; the right to a family life free of violence in any of its manifestations.
- Refers to parental co-responsibility towards sons and daughters: legally represent them and manage their assets; exercise their custody and care, love them and provide emotional stability, contribute to the free development of their personality; educate them through positive, non-violent and participatory forms of parenting; maintain permanent and meaningful family communication in their lives; listen to them and allow them to express and defend their criteria, as well as participate in decision-making at home according to their age and mental and emotional maturity; promote an attitude of respect towards the equality of people, non-discrimination for any reason.
- Privileges the possibility of joint custody and care of daughters and sons.
- Recognizes in grandparents and other blood or related relatives, the right to family communication with minors, which includes all types of oral or written communication, including through technological means.
- Makes explicit the treatment of matters such as assisted reproductive techniques and solidarity gestation. Recognizes and regulates the conditions, scope and limits of both, in a clear exercise of opening the right to a plurality of options.
- Notes the various forms of filiation, such as a legal relationship of a family nature, which is established as a result of procreation, adoption, or the will of people through assisted reproduction techniques, under which the status of “son” or “daughter” and that of “father” or “mother” is set.
The character of the filiation includes: “related father and mother”; “blood relationship”; “kinship by affinity”; “socio-emotional kinship”; “emotionally-close people.”
- The term “parental” refers to the capacities, competencies and functions developed in the process of caring for, socializing, and educating children, which combines the biological and the psychosocial. This word replaces the institution of “custody” and goes over the difference between motherhood and fatherhood by granting an equivalent position to those who develop the same educational practices.
- It states “family or intra-family violence,” which refers to any form of abuse or mistreatment that occurs between the members of a family (physical, mental, moral, sexual, economic or patrimonial), and implies an imbalance of power that it is exercised from the strongest to the weakest.
- Recognizes the figure of caregivers, describes duties, rights and ways of protection.
How to order the reading of the Code?
To advance in its understanding we must know that the text is divided into Titles, Chapters, Sections and Articles. We share here some of them to suggest a reading of the Code ordered by themes and interests:
DRAFT FAMILY CODE (VERSION 23 – Date: 11/11/2021)
TITLE I. PRELIMINARY PROVISIONS
Article 2. Recognition of families.
Article 3. Governing principles.
Article 4. Rights of people in the family environment.
Article 5. Rights of children and adolescents in the family environment.
Article 6. Right of girls, boys and adolescents not to be separated from their mothers, fathers and family.
Article 7. Best interests of girls, boys and adolescents.
Article 8. Role of grandmothers, grandfathers, other relatives and emotionally close people.
TITLE II. ON DISCRIMINATION AND VIOLENCE AND FAMILY ENVIRONMENT
Article 12. Scope of discrimination in the family environment.
Article 13. Scope of family violence.
Article 14. Urgent matters regarding family violence.
Article 15. Liability for damages derived from violence and discrimination in the family environment.
TITLE III. RELATIONSHIP AND THE LEGAL OBLIGATION TO GIVE FOOD
Article 16. Relationship, general scope.
Article 17. Sources of kinship.
Article 18. Kinship by consanguinity.
Article 19. Kinship by adoption.
Article 20. Kinship by affinity.
Article 21. Socio-affective relationship.
CHAPTER I. ON THE LEGAL FOOD OBLIGATION
Article 45. Right of communication between relatives.
Article 46. Family communication with people with disabilities.
Article 47. Duty to facilitate communication between relatives and measures to adopt for their assurance.
TITLE IV. ON FILIATION
Article 48. Filiation equality.
Article 51. Effects of filiation.
Article 52. Proof of filiation.
Article 54. Intervention of support for people with disabilities.
Article 55. Double filiation bond.
Article 56. Exceptionality of multiparentality and sources.
Article 57. Judicial recognition of multiparentality.
CHAPTER II. ON FILIATION BY NATURAL PROCREATION
CHAPTER III. ON ADOPTIVE FILIATION
THIRD SECTION. ON ADOPTION BY INTEGRATION
CHAPTER IV. ON ASSISTED FILIATION
Article 116. Principles governing the determination of assisted filiation.
Article 119. Gametes of third parties.
FOURTH SECTION. ON SOLIDARITY GESTATION
Article 129. Judicial authorization for solidarity gestation.
TITLE V. ON PARENTAL RELATIONSHIPS
Article 132. Scope of parental responsibility.
Article 134. Content of parental responsibility.
Article 141. Voluntary delegation of the exercise of parental responsibility.
Article 142. Prohibition of inappropriate forms of discipline.
SECOND SECTION. ON PARENTAL RESPONSIBILITY IN DIGITAL ENVIRONMENTS
Article 143. Right to a digital environment free of violence.
Article 144. Balanced and responsible use in digital environments.
THIRD SECTION. ON THE DUTIES OF DAUGHTERS AND SONS WITH RESPECT TO THEIR MOTHERS AND FATHERS AND OTHER ASCENDANTS
Article 145. Duties of minor daughters and sons.
Article 146. Duties of the daughters and sons of legal age.
CHAPTER II. ON CUSTODY AND CARE AND ON FAMILY COMMUNICATION REGIME
Article 147. Modalities of custody and care.
Article 151. Prohibition of custody and care for violence.
SECTION TWO. ON FAMILY COMMUNICATION
Article 153. Family communication regime with daughters and sons with disabilities.
Article 154. Regime of family communication with daughters and sons in a situation of internment in a state institution by administrative or judicial decision.
Article 156. Right of grandmothers, grandfathers and other relatives.
Article 165. Custody and temporary care in favor of grandparents and other relatives or people.
CHAPTER IV. ON DUTIES AND RIGHTS OF MOTHERS AND RELATED FATHERS REGARDING RELATED DAUGHTERS AND SONS
Article 176. Related mother or father.
Article 177. Duties of related mother or father.
Article 178. Delegation of parental responsibility to the related mother or father.
Article 182. Regime of communication and custody and care in favor of the related mother or father through the courts.
TITLE VI. ON MARRIAGE
Article 197. Marriage.
CHAPTER IV. THE ECONOMIC REGIME OF MARRIAGE
SECOND SECTION. ON MARRIAGE COVENANTS
CHAPTER V. REGIME OF MARRIAGE COMMUNITY OF ASSETS
CHAPTER VI. ON REGIME OF SEPARATION OF ASSETS
CHAPTER VII. ON MIXED REGIME
TITLE VII. ON DE FACTO AFFECTIVE UNION
CHAPTER II. ON COEXISTENCE AGREEMENTS
CHAPTER III. ON JUDICIAL RECOGNITION OF DE FACTO AFFECTIVE UNION
Article 309. Judicial recognition of the de facto affective union in life of the members of the couple.
Article 310. Judicial recognition of the de facto affective union after the death of one or both members of the couple.
Article 312. Recognition of rights in favor of the member in good faith.
TITLE VIII. ON OTHER CARE AND PROTECTION INSTITUTIONS IN THE FAMILY ENVIRONMENT
CHAPTER I. COMMON PROVISION FOR DE FACTO CUSTODY AND FOSTERING CARE
CHAPTER III. ON FOSTERING CARE
CHAPTER VI. ON GUARDIANSHIP
Article 381. Plural guardianship.
Article 382. Probate guardianship.
Article 385. Special guardianships.
Article 386. Legal guardianship.
CHAPTER VII. ON FAMILY CAREGIVERS
Article 411. Respect for autonomy and dignity.
Article 412. Prohibition of violence.
Article 413. Training.
Article 414. Rights.
TITLE IX. ON THE ELDERLY AND ON PEOPLE IN A SITUATION OF DISABILITIES IN THE SOCIO-FAMILY ENVIRONMENT
CHAPTER I. ON THE ELDERLY IN THE SOCIAL FAMILY ENVIRONMENT
Article 417. Right to family life with dignity.
Article 418. Right to autonomous and independent life.
Article 419. Right to choose place of residence.
Article 420. Right to family life free of violence.
Article 421. Right to an accessible environment.
Article 424. Right to participation and social and family inclusion.
Article 425. Duties of the elderly towards their family.
Article 426. Duties of families towards older adults.
CHAPTER II. ON PEOPLE IN A SITUATION OF DISABILITIES IN THE SOCIAL FAMILY ENVIRONMENT
Article 430. Right to family life with dignity.
Article 433. Right to habilitation and rehabilitation.
Article 434. Sexual and reproductive rights.
Article 437. Duties of families towards interned persons with disabilities.
TITLE X. ON MEDIATION AND FAMILY ADVOCACY
CHAPTER I. FAMILY MEDIATION
Article 441. Guiding principles.
Article 444. Specialized participation.
Article 446. Application of the rules of mediation to family conciliation.
CHAPTER II. ON FAMILY OMBUDSMANSHIP
TITLE XI. RULES OF INTERNATIONAL PRIVATE FAMILY LAW
We must assume the proposals and debates on the Code from our responsibility as citizens, in commitment to human dignity.
We have ahead of us the moment of popular consultation and the referendum to vote the law. Opportunities also to take part in the dispute of the senses of which we are part within Cuban society, and of which the Family Code is a significant episode.
Note: This is the first of a series of articles that we will publish on OnCuba in order to offer tools that help to understand and assess the complexity of the issues addressed in this draft that will be submitted to a referendum next year in Cuba.