Paula Marckx passed away: journalist, pilot, nude model, but especially the woman who gave unmarried mothers extra rights

Paula Marckx had become pregnant in 1973. That was not the intention, because she was 47 at the time. But she decides to keep the child, and gives birth to a daughter, Alexandra. But then she gets acquainted with the Belgian descent law, which dates back to the time of Napoleon: “I had to officially recognize my child, otherwise there would be no legal bond between my daughter and me. Then she would not be able to bear my name. I could have just put that child on the street, and everyone could have taken it, because she was supposedly nobody’s. ”

At that time, legislation in our country made a distinction between natural children (from unmarried mothers) and legitimate children (from married couples). To give Alexandra the same rights as children of married parents, she would even have to adopt her daughter. And she refused. That is why she lodged a complaint with the European Court of Human Rights on behalf of her daughter: “Je suis un bébé de 10 mois, et je porte plainte contre la Belgique.”

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