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Children from the GPA and the PMA: France in full evolution!

The GPA and the PMA are experiencing an evolution in France. PMA could be made available to single women and lesbian couples. For the first time, the husband of the biological father of children born abroad through the use of GPA obtained guardianship by full adoption.

Definitions of GPA and PMA:

Surrogacy (GPA) is a medically assisted procreation practice. A woman, called a surrogate mother, is inseminated by embryos, then is pregnant and gives birth to a child who is born at birth to the person or couple known as the “intentional parents”.

Medically assisted procreation (ART) is defined by Article L.2141-1 of the Public Health Code as "a set of clinical and biological medical techniques for in vitro conception, embryo transfer and artificial insemination. This also refers to any technique with equivalent effect that allows procreation outside the natural process. "This acts as a remedy infertility.

What the law says:

The PMA is currently limited to heterosexual couples, married or unmarried, one of whose members is sterile (medically proven) or cannot safely have a child (risk of transmission of serious illness). Also the couple must be of childbearing age and bring proof of co-habitation for more than two years.

Currently single women, to whom the PMA is not allowed in France, must go abroad. However, the government plans to present before the end of the year a bioethics bill that will be debated by Parliament in early 2019 for the availability of the PMA to single women and lesbian couples.

The GPA is formally prohibited in France in the name of the principle of unavailability of the human body confirmed by the Legislator of the Bioethics Law on July 29, 1994.

Recognition in France of children born to a GPA and a LDC abroad:

In July 2017, the Court of Cassation had given the possibility of legal recognition of two parents in France for children born to a GPA abroad but it was necessary to go through a simple adoption procedure only. Thus, the Court of Cassation authorized the partial transcription in France of the birth certificate of a child born through GPA abroad.

But for the first time in France, the husband of the biological father of children born of surrogacy abroad has obtained in court the recognition of his filiation by full adoption. Indeed, the Paris Court of Appeal, on September 18, 2018, granted the full adoption request for children born in 2011 through a surrogacy procedure in Canada.

Regarding the PMA, on 23 September 2018 the Court of Cassation considered that the adoption of a child born by artificial insemination in a married lesbian couple is not a fraud to the law. However this is only an advisory opinion, and is not yet binding.

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