20 Dec 2014 Germany Recognizes Parentage of Babies Born Via Surrogacy Abroad
In a historic ruling today, Germany’s Supreme Court ruled that the government must recognize the children born via surrogacy in other countries as the legal offspring of German intended parents. In its ruling the high court stated that German authorities must respect the decisions of foreign authorities in regard to the parental rights of German intended parents, according to Deutsche Welle, even though surrogacy is not legal in Germany.
The Supreme Court ruling concerned the case of a gay couple, German citizens, who had a child born via surrogacy in California in 2010. Even though the two dads have been living with their child in Berlin for the past three-and-a-half years, German authorities had refused to recognize them as the child’s parents. Under German law, the surrogate is the presumed legal mother of the child. Gay marriage is not legal in Germany, and legal recognition of same-sex relationships is limited. Adoption by gay or lesbian individuals is also not allowed, although in a few cases, a gay person has been allowed to adopt his partner’s child from an earlier relationship.
Although today’s ruling falls far short of a governmental embrace of assisted reproductive technology and gay parenting, it is good news for gay or lesbian Germans who are willing or able to travel to another country to become parents via surrogacy.
Stay tuned for more on this important milestone for German intended parents.