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Anna Moring

Anna Raisa Aurora Moring
Born December 12, 1978, Espoo

PhD, 2013 (gender studies) and Master of Arts, 2005 (women’s studies), University of Helsinki; Bachelor of Arts, 2003, University of Turku (literature)

Project manager, Kaikkien perheiden Suomi (‘Finland for all Families’) project, 2013–
Education coordinator, Rainbow Families, 2012–13
General Secretary, Green Women’s Association
PhD student, University of Helsinki, 2007–12
Sub-editor, Naistutkimus-lehti, 2004–05

Written by Suvi Uotinen
Translated by Matthew Billington

Doctoral Dissertation on Rainbow Families

Anna Moring’s doctoral dissertation Oudot perheet: Normeja ja ihanteita 2000-luvun Suomessa (‘Strange Families: Norms and Ideals in 21st Century Finland’) dealt with the position of rainbow families in society. Rainbow families are families formed some other way than through a relationship between a man and a woman. At the time of completing her dissertation, in June of 2013, Moring concluded that family law should be rewritten with the true diversity of families in mind.

More than two years later she mentions the reformed paternity law as one sign of progress. One of its benefits was to make it easier to acknowledge paternity. The right of a social mother in a same-sex partnership to acknowledge parenthood before the birth of the child was, however, excluded from the law.

“That disadvantages rainbow families. Children and families suffer when the starting point for the law is not the reality many of us already live in.”

In her doctoral dissertation, Anna Moring demonstrated how new ways to look at parenthood and family have developed in rainbow families.

The next challenge is the changes planned to family leave.

“All changes should take into account the diversity of families. It being difficult is not a reason not to do it. Anything is possible if there is sufficient political will.”

In her dissertation Moring found that society was more demanding of rainbow families, making them work much harder to justify their right to parenthood. Parenthood is understood as something you do instead of something you are. What inevitably follows is that parents of rainbow families are forced to share parenthood in a very equal manner—even to such a degree that a social mother becomes a kind of ideal father: in everyday life she already does the things that society is only starting to expect and demand of fathers.


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