“Way back in the mists of time when I first studied Family Law, we thought we knew what a family was. It was a group of people linked together by consanguinity or affinity or a mixture of both. Only those gave rise to legal consequences – property, succession, obligations of cohabitation and support. Even then, consanguinity did not count for much if a child was born out of wedlock. She had a limited legal relationship with her mother and an even more limited one with her father but she was not a member of the wider family on either side. This model of the family was clearly linked to the dynastic needs of the rich and powerful or indeed anyone with any property …”
Lady Hale, President of the Supreme Court, What is a 21st Century Family?, International Centre for Family Law, Policy and Practice, 1 July 2019.