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ow do people become a family today? Who will be assigned the term 'parcnt~ when we consider adoptive families, people who have recourse to medically assisted reproduction, reconstituted families or homoparcntal famllics?I In Western societies kins} lifl has traditionally been based on the coincidence of social kinship and biological kinship !his led us to believe that knowledge of the biological would provide "he ultimate e#planation for kinship, since the parents were the gent"ors and there are only two parents$ a father and a mother !he construction of kinship could be described but it could not be %uestioned, &ubse%uently, with advances in biological understandings of procreation concurrent with new family configurations and new possibilities for dissociating se#uality and procreation, the construction of the family has become increasingly complicated$ the two genffors are no longer automatically the parents of the child, since kinship does not always emanate from their bodic 'rfhrotor, the body of the mother ml the body of the f(her do not contribute in the same way to the production of thc child and the reproduction of the family )esearchers have recently shown a renewed interest in studying kinship *t the dawn of the twcnty+first cenlury~ they are asking how these two different forms of kinship, the biological and the social, are combined into the same family unit ,an kinship still be called natural? If not, how should thc old nature+culture debate be posed? How can the truth about Western kinship be discovered? -r, rather, we could ask$ What arc the ground rules for establishing the truth of Western kinship? Is it a truth ob.ect resting on a single gene or is it, on the contrary, a personal truth, bound up with a

family or a situation and drawing on several different elements?