An American company offers surrogacy in France: “the Juristes pour l’Enfance – Jurists for Childhood Association” lodges a complaint

Publié le : 17 January 2014

 On Friday, 10 January 2014, "the ‘Juristes pour l’Enfance’ (Jurists for Childhood) association lodged a complaint against X, an American company that puts French couples in touch with American surrogate mothers with a view to drawing up a surrogacy agreement". The American company, "Extraordinary Conception", is based in California and, according to its French Internet site, seeks "to facilitate communication between intentional parents and the surrogate mother to discuss arrangements and financial transactions". 

In France, according to Article 227-12 of the Penal Code, this kind of practice is considered1 a "punishable offence". According to the lawyer for the "Juristes pour l’enfance" association, evidence shows "that the offence was committed on French soil", because the company "has a French site (www.mere-porteuses.com) and commands a strong presence on the French-speaking Internet", especially by "regularly organising information sessions in France".           

Furthermore, a judicial officer appointed by the "Juristes pour l’enfance" association has discovered ‘"a list of surrogate mothers" and ‘"a surrogate mother database that can be searched on the basis of the following criteria: eye colour, hair colour, skin colour, ethnic origin, weight and height". The company also presents a price list in French and a list of French doctors "who specialise in assisting women who wish to donate their eggs to the surrogate mother and who are consequently reimbursed by social security". 

The Public Prosecutor has three months in which to decide whether or not to instigate legal proceedings against the American company for its activities on French soil.
(1) According to Article 227-12 of the French penal Code: "The penalties (one year’s imprisonment and a fine of €15,000.00) apply to acting as an intermediary between a person or a couple desiring to receive a child and a woman agreeing to bear this child with the intent to give it to them. Where the offence is habitually committed for pecuniary gain, the penalties incurred are doubled". 

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