European Court of Human Rights
European Court of Human Rights

France: Court delivers first advisory opinion on surrogacy rights row

Human rights judges have published their first advisory opinion, at the request of a French court, on a surrogacy rights case.

The European Court of Human Rights declared today that states are not required to register the details of the birth certificate of a child born through gestational surrogacy abroad in order to establish the legal parent-child relationship with the intended mother.

According to the Strasbourg judges, adoption may also serve as a means of recognising that relationship.

The opinion was delivered in response to a request by the French Court of Cassation.

Judges agreed unanimously, the following opinion:

In a situation where a child was born abroad through a gestational surrogacy arrangement and was conceived using the gametes of the intended father and a third-party donor, and where the legal parent-child relationship with the intended father has been recognised in domestic law,

1. the child’s right to respect for private life within the meaning of Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights requires that domestic law provide a possibility of recognition of a legal parent-child relationship with the intended mother, designated in the birth certificate legally established abroad as the “legal mother”;

2. the child’s right to respect for private life does not require such recognition to take the form of entry in the register of births, marriages and deaths of the details of the birth certificate legally established abroad; another means, such as adoption of the child by the intended mother, may be used.

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