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France Recognizes Children Born Abroad to French Parents
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surrogacy in France

Summary: Surrogacy is banned in France so parents traveled abroad to have children born but the French government was refusing to recognize the children born this way as citizens until now.

France’s highest court, the Cour de cassation, passed a new law granting children born through surrogacy in another country citizenship rights. Surrogacy is illegal in France so couples needing help having children of their own have to visit other countries.


Prior to this ruling, children born through surrogacy to French parents were treated like “ghosts of the republic”. They were not given a legal connection to their parents, instead were born of unknown legal parents. To be eligible for state health care and many other services, children need ID cards or passports but without even a civil status in France, these children and their parents faced many problems. Now these children will be able to be legally tied to their French parents and attain immediate birth certificates to prove their citizenship.

Surrogacy is done by in vitro fertilization with the egg and sperm of a heterosexual couple or, in the cases of male gay couples, sperm with the egg of the woman carrying the baby. France bans the act because it is seen as turning the womb into a commodity. France also bans for-profit sperm banks. Many infertile and same-sex couples are hoping the ruling will open up options for parenthood.

The basis for the change in law was the decision by the European Convention on Human Rights, realizing that their law was contrary to the European ruling. In the case of male couples, the French court will require that the birth mother be listed on the birth certificate as well as the fathers. It is unclear how the birth certificate will have to appear in cases of heterosexual couples.

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