In a pair of legal decisions handed down in December just before the holidays, the French Court of Cassation ruled that both members of a gay couple can now be recognized as the parents of their child born through surrogacy. Previously, only the man or woman with biological ties to the child could be considered its legal parent; the other parent would have to adopt the child at a later date in order to have parental rights.
In the two cases before the court in December, same-sex French couples used surrogates in the United States to become parents. The court’s analysis about who should be listed on the children’s birth certificates ultimately hinged on the best interest of those children. One potential option, listing the birth mother (surrogate) and the child’s biological father, with the understanding that the other parent could legally adopt the child later, was found to be an unworkable solution.
The December rulings held that in cases where a child is born through surrogacy in another country, both the child’s biological parent and the other parent can be listed on the birth certificate, as long as that birth certificate conforms with all applicable local laws.
With this court decision, France appears to be moving away from its traditional and long-held stance that the person who gives birth to a child is automatically that child’s legal parent. It is important to note that surrogacy is still not legal in France, but this ruling provides clarity and comfort for same-sex couples who choose to conceive and become parents using surrogates in other countries.
At The Surrogacy Law Center, we are committed to protecting the legal rights of individuals and couples who choose to become parents through assisted reproductive technologies, as well as the rights of their children. To learn more, contact us today!