04-03-2016

Surrogacy: a child at the heart of a legal battle


Actress and American television talk-show host, Sherri Shepherd, is leading a legal battle “in order not to be considered as the official mother of a young 18-month-old boy”. The 48-year-old actress had recourse to an anonymous egg donation. The child conceived in vitro with her husband’s sperm then implanted in a surrogate mother for gestation, was financed by the couple for the sum of 30,000 dollars.

The star explained in People magazine she had agreed to launch the surrogacy practice only out of fear of seeing her husband leave her. Yet since then, the separation has occurred, and Sherri Shepherd clearly indicated that she did not want to be involved in the education of little L.J. in any way and is now fighting against paying alimony. However the American court has obliged the talk-show host, recognized as the legal mother on the birth certificate, to pay alimony to her ex-husband who takes care of the child alone. She appealed after the justice’s decision, but the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania refused to agree with her position.

Marie-Anne Frison Roche, aggregated in private law and a university professor, involved in the Collective for the People’s Respect (CoRP), movement for the abolition of maternity substitution, comments on her blog regarding this American case: ”the time for trials between the protagonists themselves has arrived. Some people assert that if French law would relinquish on the principle of banning surrogacy, a principle established by article 16-7 of the Civil Code, these trials would stop. On the contrary, when looking closely on this business, the opposite is observed: these trials are multiplying and they are particularly sordid”.

For Alliance VITA, urgent action is necessary to stop all forms of Surrogacy. Alliance VITA, partner of the association No Maternity Traffic, calls to sign and have others sign a petition which will soon be transmitted to the president of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.