French court debates legality of surrogate births abroad

France’s highest court tackled a sensitive subject Friday as parents challenged laws that effectively deny citizenship to surrogate children – children one lawyer called “ghosts of the Republic.”

Friday’s case could change how surrogate births are handled in France, where infertility treatments are highly regulated and where many consider it unethical for anyone to make money off human reproduction.

Until now, children born abroad to surrogate mothers have been denied French birth certificates and a means to prove citizenship.

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

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Infertile and same-sex couples who want a family have limited options in France. For-profit sperm banks are forbidden, as is surrogate parenthood. All sperm and egg donations must be anonymous and from someone who is already a parent.

The high court ruled in 2013, the same year that France legalized gay marriage, that surrogate babies were born fraudulently and could not receive birth certificates even if the biological father was French.

Prosecutor Jean-Claude Marin, defending the justice system, condemned the “commodification of women’s bodies” – although he said he would not oppose recognizing children whose French fathers can prove a biological link.

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis. Read full, original post: French families sue state to recognize surrogate births

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