Surrogate Children Get Legal Recognition in France

Until now, surrogate children were deprived of any legal connection to their parents

(PARIS) — France’s highest court has granted legal recognition to surrogate children, in a major turnaround that willholding baby feet image, surrogate children make their daily lives easier and could lead to greater acceptance of new forms of families.

The Cour de cassation ruled Friday that, while surrogacy will remain banned in France, children born abroad through this practice will now be legally tied to their parents and will be granted birth certificates and immediate means to prove their French citizenship.

Surrogacy can involve a woman carrying an embryo created by in vitro

fertilization using another woman’s egg and her partner’s sperm. In some cases, such as those involving male gay couples, the surrogate mother is also the genetic mother of the child.

Until now, surrogate children were deprived of any legal connection to their parents, or any civil status in France. They were considered as children born from unknown legal parents, since their foreign birth certificates weren’t recognized. One lawyer has described them as “ghosts of the republic.”

Unlike other children born abroad to a French parent, these children couldn’t get automatic ID cards or passports, or register for state health care or other services.

This exposed them to frequent problems, because many basic tasks are impossible in France without an ID or authorization from a legal parent.

In addition to potential psychological troubles due to their incomplete identities, the children were also deprived of eventual inheritance, and faced major imbroglios in case of a divorce or the death of one parent.

Many hope that Friday’s ruling will increase the options for infertile and same-sex couples in France. For-profit sperm banks are forbidden, as is surrogate parenthood, seen by many as turning the womb into a commodity.

Europe’s top human rights court last year ordered the country to change the law on surrogate children, saying France’s refusal to recognize them was “an attack on the child’s identity, for which descent is an essential component.”

Until recently, the Cour de cassation had repeatedly refused to give surrogate children any legal recognition, saying they were born abroad from a “fraudulent process.”

In Friday’s ruling, the top judges had to take into account the European decision. They found that their previous case law was contrary to the European Convention on Human Rights, and so decided to allow the transcription of the foreign birth certificates into the French civil status.

Two separate cases leading to the new ruling involved a gay couple and a single man who had gone to Russia to have babies through surrogate mothers.

The Cour de cassation said that the French birth certificates will have to mention as the fathers the men who recognized the children abroad. The mothers listed on the birth certificate will be the surrogate women who gave birth to the children. (Is this for these two cases specifically, or in general? Would it be the same if a French woman’s egg was used for IVF into a foreign surrogate?)

The overwhelming majority of the French parents using surrogacy abroad are heterosexual couples. But the judges left open the possibility of changes for heterosexual parents as well.

Source: New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2015/07/03/world/europe/ap-eu-france-surrogate-children.html?_r=0

 

Patricia Annino is a sought after speaker and nationally recognized authority on women and estate planning. She educates and empowers women to value themselves and their contributions in order to ACCOMPLISH GREAT THINGS in the world – and in so doing PROTECT THEMSELVES, those they love, and the organizations they care about. Annino recently released her new book, “It’s More Than Money, Protect Your Legacy” available at Amazon.com. To download Annino’s FREE eBook, Estate Planning 101 visit, http://www.patriciaannino.com.

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