At the request of the European Parliament, a report on surrogacy, prepared by a panel of European legal experts, with the objective of assessing the practice across Europe, will be presented this Monday in Strasbourg. The MEPs’ purpose is not known, according to Laurence Brunet, a researcher at the University of Paris I, editor of the report.
The barrister Geoffroy de Vries, who was advisor to the UMP Party during the debate over same-sex marriage, points out that the report is for fact-finding only, "but that its politically effects are cause for concern." He explains that even though surrogacy is not within the remit of the European Parliament, it might, in the longer term "because it implies the issue of the principle of freedom of movement (relating to the children born through surrogacy)". Thus, the Parliament "could […] attempt to legislate to protect the interests of the child, notably in cases where the family moves." For Geoffroy de Vries, "if France is opposed to surrogacy, as François Hollande has indicated, it should follow the logic to its conclusion" and seek an international convention banning surrogacy, in the same way that the Oviedo convention bans human cloning.
For Laurent Urwicz, president of the ADFH (Association for Same Sex Parents), "this report shows a broad consensus across the eurozone that it is necessary to ensure that children born through surrogacy can have both parental recognition and citizenship rights in the country of family for whom the child is intended." The Association calls in particular for birth certificates of children born abroad through surrogacy to be registered in France, and is concerned at the inconsistent application of the "Taubira Circular" which is intended to simplify the registration in France of those children.
The organization "Juristes pour L’Enfance" (lawyers for childhood) which attached this circular in front of the Conseil d’État, fears that it will only lead to abuses and eventually to the legalization of surrogacy in France: "it constitutes an instruction to civil servants to violate the law. […] Although some individuals already go against French law [ in this case ] mass naturalizations [ of children born through surrogacy abroad ] could encourage future legalization. Decisions taken in the near future could have far-reaching consequences."
The European Parlement’s reaction to this report could therefore impact the attitude of Europe in general to this issue.