American Surrogacy and Parenthood in France: Update


In earlier posts, I had reported how the Paris Court of Appeal had accepted to recognize Californian birth certificates after a French couple had resorted to surrogacy in San Diego. Surrogacy is illegal in France.

An appeal was lodged before the French Supreme Court for private and criminal matters (Cour de cassation). The Cour de cassation delivered its decision on December 17, 2008. It allowed the appeal and set aside the judgment of the Paris Court of Appeal, but did so on purely procedural ground (standing of French prosecutors). The case will have to be relitigated before the same Paris Court of Appeal, with different judges.

Not much to say from a conflict perspective then. The decision, as it is often the case with judgments from the Cour de cassation, is hard to interpret. There is much debate at the moment in France as to whether surrogacy should be allowed. It might be that the solution of the court is a convenient one enabling the judiciary to wait for a political decision. All this, of course, will be at the expense of the children, who might not be told who their parents are before they are teenagers, if not young adults.

The decision of the court can be found here (in French). As French cases are barely understandable, the court also had to make a press release.

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