European Region of the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association

French high court ends legal limbo of recognition for children born by a surrogate abroad

A ruling by the French high court on 5 July is somewhat good news for rainbow families. Read here why the judgment is a big step in the right direction of protecting children in rainbow families, and why more work still lies ahead.

Children born by a surrogate mother in a country outside France (where there is a legal framework on surrogacy) can now be adopted by the partner of their biological partner. This means that the child can be legally recognised by two parents in France, which effectively ends the legal limbo of recognition. Until now, same-sex couples who had recourse to surrogacy abroad could only have the birth certificate registered in France – thereby blocking the partner to have any legal bonds to the child.

However the process is a simple joint adoption, which is a long and complicated process. 

ILGA-Europe are advocating for the protection of the best interest of the child conceived by a surrogate from three main principles:

  • Principle 1: The rights of the child, which are paramount, include the right of the child to have a legal status and to have their family situation recognised and protected.
  • Principle 2: A human rights based approach should always be adopted in the development and implementation of legislative frameworks on surrogacy
  • Principle 3: Where they exist, legislative frameworks on surrogacy should never directly or indirectly discriminate against individuals or couples on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.

Read more about ILGA-Europe’s work on LGBTI families here