Ambiguity on Surrogacy at ECHR


The Court of Cassation chose to request an advisory opinion from the European Court of Human Rights on surrogacy, rather than follow the French law, which bans surrogacy. This represents an alarming signal for Alliance VITA.

Until now, the authorities at the Council of Europe have not shown unwavering determination to preserve the rights of women and children regarding surrogacy. If it does not point out the human rights violation, which is inherent in surrogacy, the ECHR’s stance remains grievously ambiguous.

Tugdual Derville, Alliance VITA’s General Delegate states:

“Although we commend ECHR’s refusal to yield to the most insulting claims from surrogacy promoters, we deeply regret that a court dedicated to human rights does not firmly contest the serious violation of these rights. Instead, this court merely mentions the “risks of abuse”. Is it necessary to repeat that surrogacy is inherently based on exploiting women’s bodies? This constitutes a flagrant regression for human rights. The act of surrogacy treats women as objects, and imposes a fragmented maternity and an artificial bond of filiation on the child. Even if the advisory opinion comes in support of France’s position when refusing the transcription of birth certificates established abroad, it also conveys the idea that this fraud against the law is relatively unimportant. The ECHR requires member states to establish parentage, whether by adoption or other means, based solely on the fait-accompli of surrogacy performed abroad. Therefore, this ambiguous position is interfering with French bioethics laws, ignores any consideration of the child’s best interest, and is contradictory to enforcing the ban on surrogacy.”

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