Kinship (law)

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Kinship in the sense of family law or legal kinship differs in many countries from what is colloquially referred to as kinship - it is not congruent with "(family) relatives ", because these include spouses and registered civil partners as well as by- laws , but they do exist no legal relationship.

Germany, Austria, Switzerland

Legally, kinship is regulated in the German Civil Code in paragraphs 1589–1772, in the Austrian General Civil Code mainly in Section 40 and following, and in the Swiss Civil Code in Articles 252–359.

In all three states, kinship is legally defined as biological descent from one another or from the same third person (compare BGB § 1589, ABGB § 40, ZGB Article 20). In addition to this consanguinity, there is also the legal relationship through the determination of parenthood for a non-biological child ( adoption , acknowledgment of paternity , birth after egg donation ).

A distinction is made between relationships in a straight line or in a side line :

Until 1970 in the Federal Republic of Germany the father and his illegitimate child were not considered to be related to each other, this traditional idea was removed with the illegitimate law .

The legal degree of kinship (the kinship relationship) between two persons is determined by the number of births that mediate their kinship; for example, brother and sister are second-degree relatives to one another because two mediating births lie between them.

No relationship exists between spouses or same-sex life partners - through their marriage or partnering but creates a affinity to the relatives of the partner, commonly known as is married or indirect relationship referred.

Close relatives are an obstacle to entering into a marriage or civil partnership: Relatives in a straight line and (half) siblings are not allowed to marry or become partners; this also applies to adopted children (in Austria only blood relatives).


Relationship in the legal sense also arises through the adoption of a person “in place of a child” (adoption); it is legally equated with consanguinity. When a minor is fully adopted, the adoptive child loses his legal relationship to his or her family of origin (parents of origin) and is instead related to all relatives of his adoptive parents; it is treated equally with their biological children (adoptive brother, adoptive sister) . A kinship under inheritance law also applies to all relatives of the adoptive parents.

If the adoptive child is single or part of a same-sex civil partnership, the adoptive child has only one parent. In Germany, however, a life partner is not allowed to adopt an adopted child of his partner as his stepchild, nor is he allowed to participate in an adoption (because he is same-sex, see adoption by life partner ).

There is also a legal ban on marriage or civil partnership for adopted children, and in Germany and Switzerland also on cohabitation (see German incest prohibitions ). This also applies to biologically related members of the family of origin of the adoptive child. In the case of adult adoption, which is generally less common, the legal systems provide for less drastic changes in family relationships.

See also

Individual evidence

  1. German Civil Code : § 1589 Relationship : “Persons, one of which is descended from the other, are related in a straight line. Individuals who are not directly related but are descended from the same third person are related in the sideline. The degree of kinship is determined by the number of the mediating births. "
  2. BGB : § 1307 Relationship : “A marriage may not be concluded between relatives in a straight line or between full and half-born siblings. This also applies if the relationship has expired through adoption as a child. ”Explanation: An adopted child may not marry his biological parents or siblings (expired legal relationship), nor his adoptive parents or siblings (new legal relationship).