Italian Surrogacy Update from the European Court of Human Rights

As we discussed previously, an Italian couple that had gone to Russia to create their family via surrogacy had their child taken from them when they returned home. It occurred when they came back and requested that the Italian General Registry Office register the Russian civil registry birth document.

This request was rejected, however, since the Italian authorities verified that there was no biological link between parents and the baby. Moreover, mistrusting the couple’s identity and intentions, they removed the baby from his parents, giving him up for adoption to another family.

In recent news, a judgment has come down from the European Court of Human Rights that has determined that Italy did indeed violate the Article 8 of the Convention, which is the right to privacy including one’s family life. The Court further condemned Italy for having taken away the child without evidence of serious harm to the child.

Unfortunately, this Court’s judgment does not force the Italian authorities to give the baby back to this couple since they have to consider the deep bond he has since developed with his new family. The likely outcome will be an obligation for the Italian state to compensation the couple for this violation.

Sad news and a sad outcome for everyone.


Keywords: surrogacy, surrogate, Russian surrogacy, Italian surrogacy, parental rights, surrogate mother, gestational surrogate, California surrogacy, child via surrogacy, European Court of Human Rights

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California Passes New Law Further Protecting Same-Sex Parents via Surrogacy

California Governor Jerry Brown has signed into law a bill that will allow same-sex parents more options to identify their relationship with their child on their child’s birth certificate. Currently, parents are required to select “Mother/Parent” and “Father/Parent.”

Assembly Bill 1951 will change the format of the child’s birth certificate so the line for the parents’ names will the choice of “Mother,” “Father,” or “Parent.”

This law will go into effect January 2016. Same-sex couples that currently have children will be able to update their child’s birth certificate to the new format starting Jan 2016. Again, California is on the cutting edge of protecting the rights of both the parents and their children.


Keywords: surrogacy, surrogate, same-sex surrogacy, parental rights, surrogate mother, gestational surrogate, California surrogacy, child via surrogacy, birth certificate, California legislature, Governor Jerry Brown, AB 1951

Germany Issues Parents’ Parental Rights via Surrogacy

On December 10, 2014, a landmark court decision was made by Bundesgerichtshof, the German Federal Court of Justice, which has given legal recognition to a California surrogacy judgment of parentage. The decision states that the intended parents who are the legal parents to a child born of a surrogate mother must be recognized in Germany.

This is a groundbreaking decision as Germany has always been against granting parental rights to parents via surrogacy. In fact, it orders German public authorities to validate foreign decisions on family status and follows the ruling in the European Court of Human Rights decision in the judgment of Mennesson v. France and Labassee v. France.

In this particular case, a child was born to a gay couple from Berlin. They had a son born through the use of a gestational surrogate in California in 2010. In the US, the California Superior Court formally declared both men as the child’s legal parents; however, they were not afforded the same recognition when they returned home to Germany.

The Court effectively ruled that, in the interest of the ‘child’s welfare’ and consistency of care, the foreign authority’s decision in the matter must be respected.

The decision will certainly have an impact on both same-sex and opposite-sex couples in Germany, but particularly for gay couples, who continue to lobby for joint adoption rights in the country. And, this ruling will effectively also open the doors for parents who want to create their family via surrogacy in the United States.

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Keywords: surrogacy, surrogate, German surrogacy, parental rights, surrogate mother, gestational surrogate, California surrogacy, child via surrogacy, gay surrogacy