This is the update pertaining to the French case of Dominique Mennessan and Sylvie. The earlier post on the decision of the Court of Appeals is here.
The Supreme Court of France, which is the highest judicial forum in France, (Court of Cassata) had turned down the application by the couple for inclusion of the names of their twin daughters in the French registry. The twins were born ten years ago through surrogacy in the month of October 2000. Isa and Leah have a birth certificate indicating that American parents are Menesson, but the French Government challenged transcription of these documents. The couple is fighting, since the birth of twins, for that French law recognizes their parentage.
The couple has been struggling for 10 years with the legal procedures for including the names of twin children in the French registry. The Court of Appeal, too, had not recognised the children to be French citizens. The children were born to an American surrogate mother, Mary. She gave birth to Isa and Leah from the embryos created from sperm from Dominique and the egg from a friend.
France does not allow surrogacy, practice to be carried by another woman, for a fee, an embryo conceived in vitro. In this case, the embryo has been conceived with sperm from the joint French, Dominique Menesson, and the oocyte from a friend of the couple. Dominique, the husband, however retains a recognition of parentage of their child through official documents issued in the United States.On the birth of the twin children, their birth certificates were prepared in accordance with the Californian Law. The couple have been considered to be the legal parents as per the United States authorities, but not by the French authorities.
In France, the woman who gives birth to the children is considered to be the legal mother of the child. This being so, French Law does not recognize surrogacy arrangements. According to Court of Cassata, the father of the children, Mennessan is the legal father of the child due to the biological connection. However, the commissioning mother, Sylvie is not considered the legal mother of the children. For all practical reasons, the children are considered as living with two different parents.