Partial victory in surrogacy battle

Couple win recognition as legal parents of twins born to a surrogate mother - but the girls are not considered French

19 March 2010

A FRENCH couple whose twin daughters were born to a surrogate mother in the US have won part of their long-running battle to be legally recognised as their parents.

Dominique and Sylvie Mennesson paid a woman in California about $10,000 in 2000 to carry their child.

The new-born twins, Isa and Léa, were given US birth certificates recognising the Mennesson couple as the legal parents - but the French authorities refused to accept these.

Surrogacy has been illegal in France since 1994. A draft law hoping to overturn this was presented to the Senate in January, but has yet to be discussed.

The Paris court of appeal has now agreed that the couple are the twins' legal parents, but refused to consider the girls as French nationals.

Lawyers say this will cause a large number of administrative problems in later life, when the girls get married, need new passports or apply for certain jobs in the civil service.

The Mennesson couple say they will take their case to the Cour de Cassation, France's highest court. They hope to set a legal precedent for other parents of children born to surrogate mothers, after six years of legal action.

Bianca de Blok - Fotolia.com

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