France to Recognize Surrogate Children

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Here’s to some egg-cellent news in the field of fertility travel! France’s highest court recently granted legal recognition to surrogate children. This is a major turnaround that will make these children’s 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.

“Surrogate motherhood alone cannot justify the refusal to transcribe into French birth registers the foreign birth certificate of a child who has one French parent,” says a statement from the Court of Cassation, one of France’s courts of last resort which has jurisdiction over all matters.

In a traditional surrogacy, a woman carries an embryo created from her own eggs and the intended father or a donor. A gestational surrogate carries an embryo from both the intended mother and father.

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.”

Surrogacy was outlawed in France in 1991 as a means to protect the country’s values.

The Cour de cassation’s decision Friday comes after two separate cases that involved men asking for French birth certificates for their children born in Russia to surrogates.

The ruling means the children have access to ID cards, passports, state health care and other services intended for French citizens.

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