Gestational Surrogacy is insidiously arriving in France

  Wednesday May 13, 2015 the High Court in Nantes, France, sided with three families by ordering the State Prosecutor to transcribe the birth certificates of three children born of surrogate gestation abroad, in Ukraine, India and in the United-States onto the civil registrars. Until this point, the Attorney General in Nantes had rejected these transcriptions, on the basis that “by using GS abroad, we are violating the rules of the French Civil Code applicable to all French citizens.” Let us recall that the practice of GS is prohibited on French territory. In criminal legislation, it is even condemned, constituting an offence punishable by three years’ imprisonment and a fine of 45.000€ (article 227-13 of penal Law) This judgment follows two previous decisions in June 2014 by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), which condemned France (who did not appeal the decision) in two cases of refusal  to transcribe the civil status for children born to surrogate mothers in the United-States. Let’s face the reality: Gestational Surrogacy is progressively imposing itself in France. Yet we remember, only last year, on October 2, 2014 the position purported by French Prime Minister, Manuel Valls, a few days prior to a huge demonstration against Gestational Surrogacy, claiming “that it is out of the question for France to authorize automatic transcription of foreign acts, because this would be the equivalent of accepting Gestational Surrogacy.” However, this is precisely what is happening before our eyes, starting with the decision of the judges in Nantes. The High Court even ordered the district attorney to reimburse the claimants 1,000 € for lawyers’ fees. This decision weakens our laws in favor of protecting women and children’s interest.  If the practice of using surrogate mothers is illegal on our territory, it is of course due to the serious ethical questions that it raises. How can one pretend to prohibit this practice, while at the same time validating its consequences?  How can one discourage people from going abroad to “order” a baby, when nothing seems to be preventing them? Validating the transcription of civil acts is an insidious way to trivialize the violation of French law, which is against children’s interests, for whom the prohibition of gestational surrogacy was established in the first place. With full knowledge of their acts, the “parents” purchasers of GS, seriously wound a child’s rights by deliberately decreeing his abandonment, by denying the maternal bond between the child and the woman who carries him in her womb, by making him an object of a contract, whether or not it involves money. It is a true case of ill treatment and abuse. Manuel Valls words must be translated into actions.     Alliance VITA supports the call “No Maternity Traffic” for the International Abolition of Gestational Surrogacy. Launched on November 20, 2014 on Universal Children’s Day, the petition, which can signed on-line, will be submitted to the Council of Europe.    ]]>

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