15 Sep Did you know that all children have the same rights and obligations, regardless of the circumstances of their birth, including children born of assisted reproduction?
Oliver and Arthur have been together for nearly 10 years. Being well established in their careers, they feel ready to start a family together. Lana, the couple’s closest friend, having already given birth to two beautiful children of her own, has always maintained that it would give her great pleasure to bring this much-desired child into the world. After several months of discussions, Oliver and Arthur finally decide to go through with this lifelong project. Procreation is quickly realized by implanting an ovum fertilized in vitro with Arthur’s sperm in Lana’s body. It is agreed, with Arthur’s consent, that the child will be adopted after the birth by Oliver. Nine months later, Lily is born perfectly healthy. The birth certificate indicates that her father is Arthur and her mother is Lana. The couple immediately takes Lily home. Oliver wonders if he could validly adopt his daughter and exercise parental authority over her.
Did you know that all children have the same rights and obligations, regardless of the circumstances of their birth, including children born of assisted reproduction? To be recognized as Lily’s father, Oliver will have to file a motion for an adoption placement order before the Youth Division of the Courthouse. He will have to prove that the adoption is in Lily’s best interests. Even though the couple did resort to a surrogate mother, the judge should not consider the circumstances surrounding the birth. Once the motion is granted, Oliver’s name will appear on Lily’s birth certificate under the mention father, while Lana’s name will disappear.
It is important to distinguish surrogacy contracts and the right of children born from surrogacy. The interests of the child always have priority. However, if the couple had decided to sign a surrogacy contract, it would have been considered null and void. This means that the couple would not have been able to force Lana to continue with the pregnancy had she decided to interrupt it. This also means that they would not have been able to invoke the agreement if she had refused to sign the consent to adoption.
Parental projects involving assisted procreation still have several legal risks. If you face such a situation and need advice, do not hesitate to contact us.