In France, citizens seem to be able to say yes to same-sex marriage but no to surrogacy:
The debate over whether society and science are overreaching when it comes to parenthood has sent thousands into the streets, turned the bridges over the Seine into billboards and prompted charges that women’s bodies will soon be for rent in a society that still has surprisingly deep conservative roots.
President Francois Hollande’s promise to legalise gay marriage was seen as relatively uncontroversial when it first came up as a campaign pledge. Then, as the debate began this week, his justice minister quietly issued an order to grant French birth certificates for children born to surrogates abroad.
The news reopened a raw and unwelcome national debate on fertility treatments, surrogacy and adoption. Assisted reproduction is off-limits to all but heterosexual couples showing at least two years of companionship. Egg donation has been regulated nearly into non-existence, and surrogacy of any kind is punishable by a prison term.
And now, a resident of Martinique speaks to his representatives in France, expressing his concern:
And what of the child? Since two men and two women cannot procreate, what are we to do? We need a man and a woman to produce a child. There is no avoiding what happens next. We will have to legalize medically assisted procreation in the name of recognizing the legality of the child of same-sex couples. But it is not laws that deprive homosexuals of children, no, it is nature. So these couples, like sterile couples, will now be guaranteed the right to have insemination or surrogacy. Therefore where is the new freedom here? How do you expect a man whose ancestors have been sold not to be haunted by this?
For history, see the French National Assembly, “Parlimentary Report on the Family and the Rights of Children,” (January 26, 2006) which I wrote about here.