President Francois Hollande’s promise to legalize gay marriage was seen as relatively uncontroversial when it first came up as a campaign pledge. Then, as the debate began this week, his justice minister quietly issued an order to grant French birth certificates for children born to surrogates abroad.
The news reopened a raw and unwelcome national debate on fertility treatments, surrogacy and adoption. Assisted reproduction is off-limits to all but heterosexual couples showing at least two years of companionship. Egg donation has been regulated nearly into non-existence, and surrogacy of any kind is punishable by a prison term.
Although surrogacy is currently illegal in France, children born through Surrogacy in other countries can be registered by the French government entitling children to rights and benefits given to all French citizens. We expect that, in time, the French government will endorse legal and ethical arrangements that are conducted in places like the United States where reputable agencies such as Building Families have a high degree of success.