On Thursday November 18, the Paris criminal court heard a surrogacy case, a practice that is illegal in France.

The sponsoring couple for the child as well as the surrogate mother received a 3 months suspended prison sentence and a fine 4000€. The doctor who performed the insemination was also convicted to a 6-month suspended sentence, 1 € of punitive fines, and 1000 € for legal costs to pay the French Order of Doctors who represented the plaintiff.

The case began with a complaint lodged on September 2014 by the surrogate mother herself, a young lady from Gabon. She explained that she had come to France at her mother’s request, (who had served as intermediary for the transaction) in order to bear the child for the couple. The sponsoring woman already has 3 children with a different man. At the time of the incident, she was 44 years old, and was unable to conceive a child with her partner, thus they decided to proceed with surrogacy. After the child’s birth, the conflicts erupted between the child’s birth mother and the sponsoring couple, especially regarding the frequency of visits for the mother who gave birth to the little girl. She finally obtained custody of the child.

We must point out that surrogacy is banned by French law, and that any surrogacy contract is declared invalid by public policy provisions. “Any contract concerning procreation or surrogacy for another person is null”. (Civil Code, article 16-7). This means that this contract entails no binding legal effect. Nevertheless, the criminal code only criminalizes surrogacy in an indirect way, by condemning the intermediaries (Criminal Code article 227-12) or the simulation of motherhood (Criminal Code article 227-13).


 

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French Surrogacy Case involving several convictions

On Thursday November 18, the Paris criminal court heard a surrogacy case, a practice that is illegal in France.

The sponsoring couple for the child as