What are the rights of children born by surrogacy or MAP?

Publié le : 4 April 2014

 On the liberation.fr website, Jean-Philippe Wolf, Head of the Department of Reproduction Biology at Cochin Hospital questioned the future of children born by surrogacy or medically assisted procreation (MAP). 

Although he views same sex marriages and the rights of homosexuals and transsexuals in a favourable light, Jean-Philippe Wolf is "not exactly enthusiastic about granting MAP across the globe". Although he considers it legitimate to grant new rights, J-P Wolf wonders what "MAP children would say about their existence 10, 20 or 30 years down the line". In fact, "the demands of children produced from donated sperm to reveal the identity of the donor" are becoming increasingly strong, he explained: "when they become adults, the children will express their sadness and pain, and say that they are victims of an arrangement made behind their backs. They will demand to meet the donor". 

J-P Wolf considers the example of "two deaf and dumb lesbians who were seeking a deaf and dumb donor in an attempt to create a child with the same infirmity": should we agree to all of these demands so as not to discriminate? "I don’t think so," he replied. "Children have their own rights regardless of their parents. Their demands cannot be the same". He went on to insist that "there is no right to a child as there is a right to a dwelling or freedom of speech […] We cannot, in any case, just listen to those who want a child for themselves and disregard what the future holds for that child". Of course, some children live without a father, if he dies, or without a mother for the same reason, "others live with homosexual parents but to go from this to creating tailor-made situations voluntarily is a step that demands a great deal of consideration". 

Questions also emerge about surrogacy. Although "defenders of this practice describe ideal pictures of responsible, independent women who want to help other women or gay men", the "reality is, in fact, quite different". In fact, "a woman cannot happily market her uterus without taking stock of the economic demands of our globalised world". Similarly, we should not forget the risks associated with these pregnancies such as multiple pregnancies or imposed caesarean sections, as is the case in India "so that the ‘intended parents’ from the United States can be present at the birth". 

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