Page URL: https://www.bionews.org.uk/page_93473

Indian-born surrogate twins accorded French civil status despite ban on surrogacy

5 March 2012
Appeared in BioNews 647

The Court of Appeal in Rennes, France, has upheld an earlier decision to accord civil status - similar to nationality - to twins carried by a surrogate mother in India for a French couple.

The decision is in marked contrast to that arrived at in a separate case less than a year ago by the French Supreme Court (reported in BioNews 604). There, twins born via a surrogate mother in the US were denied civil status. Surrogacy is illegal in France and the Supreme Court's decision further confirmed that surrogacy agreements made abroad would not be recognised.

But the Court of Appeal in Rennes arrived at a different interpretation of the law. In a statement explaining their decision, the judges said that although they could not validate the surrogacy agreement, they could nonetheless accord civil status to the children as they would be acting in accordance with article 47 of the French civil code. Article 47 stipulates that 'any act of civil status for French or foreign citizens made in a foreign country and written on the relevant documents should be upheld'.

Lawyers acting for the commissioning parents in last year's Supreme Court case had invoked article 47, but to no avail.

Caroline Mécary, the lawyer acting for the parents in the current case, said that the Court of Appeal's statement represented 'considerable progress when one considers the elements that certain tribunals feel obliged to include [in their judgments] despite the request they are considering being only concerned with an act of civil status'.

She added her approval that the decision 'was free of value judgments' and in the best interests of the children.

The decision upholds the judgment of the local civil court in Nantes in March 2011 where judges referenced the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child to insist that the interests of the children should be paramount in such cases.

For the parents of the twins, who have remained anonymous, the legal wrangling may not yet be over. The French director of public prosecutions could still take the case to the Supreme Court. Any decision to do so had not been announced at time of going to press.

SOURCES & REFERENCES
La justice valide les actes de naissance d'enfants nés de mère porteuse
Libération |  23 February 2012
Mères porteuses : deux inscriptions à l'état civil autorisées
Terrafemina |  16 July 2019
Mères porteuses : la justice ouvre une nouvelle brèche
TF1 News |  23 February 2012
RELATED ARTICLES FROM THE BIONEWS ARCHIVE
7 July 2014 - by James Brooks 
France will no longer deny citizenship to children born via surrogates to French parents overseas, Minister for Families Laurence Rossignol confirmed, after a decision at the European Court of Human Rights...
12 May 2014 - by Jessica Ware 
A French court has ruled that a woman may not adopt a child her partner conceived using fertility treatment abroad. The decision has sparked outrage from equal rights activists...
11 March 2013 - by Ruth Retassie 
The Irish High Court has ruled in a landmark case that a woman who is the genetic mother of twins born through a surrogate can be recognised as the legal mother of the children....
4 February 2013 - by James Brooks 
The French Justice Minister's instruction to courts to accept citizenship applications for children born via surrogates in other countries has unleashed a political and popular furore...
28 January 2013 - by Nina Chohan 
An Irish couple has brought a legal challenge against the State for refusing to remove the surrogate mother from their children's birth certificates and to register the genetic mother as a legal parent...
4 July 2011 - by Louisa Ghevaert 
Assisted reproduction in the form of IVF, donor conception and surrogacy is challenging global attitudes towards medical science and is presenting a unique global regulatory challenge....
18 April 2011 - by Nisha Satkunarajah 
France's highest court has denied French citizenship to 10-year-old twins born to a French couple using a surrogate in the USA, reaffirming the country's ban on surrogacy...
29 March 2010 - by Professor Donna Dickenson 
'Certain countries in Europe, France in particular, are trying to resist the ultra-liberal individualist ideology of the reproductive market. It's too bad that some other countries have maintained a conspiracy of silence on that subject.' ...
25 June 2001 - by BioNews 
A French woman has given birth to a baby boy at the age of 62, making her the world's third oldest new mother. The baby was conceived using an egg donated from a younger American woman and fertilised with the sperm of the French woman's handicapped brother, aged 52. The...
HAVE YOUR SAY
Log in to add a Comment.

By posting a comment you agree to abide by the BioNews terms and conditions


Syndicate this story - click here to enquire about using this story.