This article demonstrates a basis for comparative analysis of family laws. It illustrates the extent to which political constraints influence the development of legal policy and reception of foreign models. The article takes the form of a case study and examines Finnish law relating to unmarried parenthood, informal cohabitation, and same-sex partnerships. Comparisons are drawn with Swedish law. Finland and Sweden have maintained a remarkably close association. Similarities and points of departure in the reform process and detail of legislation in these two jurisdictions point up the institutional dimensions of family law
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