Top European Court opinion on surrogacy provides more questions than answers

European countries are not obliged to register a “commissioning mother” in a surrogacy arrangement as birth mother in their civil registry. That’s according to the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights when it delivered its first advisory opinion on surrogacy last week. The court however also advised that it is in the best interests of the child to establish some legal relationship between the child and the “commissioning mother”, though it would leave it up to states how best to recognize that legal relationship.

The case stemmed from a French couple who “commissioned” a child through surrogacy in the USA and then attempted to bring the child back to France and register it as their own. The child was genetically related to the man, but not to the woman.