Cuban Family Code

Led by Dr. Leonardo Pérez Gallardo and Dr. Yamila González Ferrer, jurists and media workers held a training session in Las Tunas on notes, comments, and doubts about the Family Code.

A necessary clarification is related to the affective union, which is made between persons of legal age and must be with the consent of both parties.

Leonardo Perez Gallardo Las Tunas 2023 0001Pérez Gallardo emphasized that adoption can only be done by two people united in marriage, not by friends. "The Code is very clear in this sense, it covers all the types of families that exist in the country, and to carry out an adoption, the marriage bond between two people must be demonstrated.

"Another of the great doubts of society, and our law experts, is related to polyamorous families or the so-called triples; we must clarify that they are not included within the legal regulations, and this is because in the bibliography consulted, surveys and studies of the different types of families that coexist in the country, there is nothing that addresses this issue; although we are aware that families with these characteristics exist in Cuba."

"It is the same with parallel families, they are also not protected within the Law but studies are being carried out to see to what extent these people are offered protection because we cannot deny the fact that in our country, it is mostly men who lead a double family life."

In the debate, it was made clear that the greatest responsibility for the application and enforcement of the provisions lies with the judges, because they are the ones who can either catapult it as a law that guarantees the law and corresponds to the times we live in, or they can bury it, falling into the hands of the most conservative minds.

To enforce this Code, it is necessary to have an open mind, just as family judges did a few years ago when the existing law needed to be changed because it was no longer in line with the Cuban reality, and under the protection of the Constitution of the Republic of 2019, they made some adjustments that could resolve conflicts between the parties.


Yamila González FerrerAddressing other issues, González Ferrer alluded to the stereotypes that affect gender equality when deciding in court; therefore, judges must take into account that in society there are different types of direct and indirect violence, and that a person's appearance cannot be the yardstick when making decisions.

"International conventions and the general recommendations of expert committees must be taken into account. Especially when talking about violence, our experts need to be aware of what the National Program for the Advancement of Women refers to, which devotes space to the different forms of gender-based violence.

"In the Code, more than 30 articles talk about violence and discrimination because the first is an extreme form of discrimination, but it is not the only one, and we should pay as much attention as possible to this.

The Doctor of Science also pointed out the importance of listening to children in every process because Cuban law looks after the best interests of the child.

"Their opinion must be taken into account to guarantee the quality of what is being done; they must be in the presence of a trained professional who translates what the child is saying because, in our society, there is an adult-centered education of parents towards their children where the only truth is considered to be that of the adults."

There is no denying the reality that perhaps in 15 years, this Cuban Family Code will require a new revision to add new types of families and to change some ways of acting, but at the moment we are looking for the best possible way to recognize those that already exist and to give them legal protection.