The case concerns two Swiss nationals in a registered same-sex partnership, who had a child in the United States through a surrogacy agreement. A US court had named both parents as the child’s legal parents, but Switzerland only recognised the parent-child relationship of the genetic father and not the intended father. The intended father was unable to adopt the legally-recognised child of his registered partner as this option was, until January 2018, only open to married (heterosexual) couples. The Court found a violation of the child's right to respect for private and family life (Article 8 ECHR).
The applicant was born in the US, and his birth certificate indicated a Polish national as the father, and an unknown surrogate mother as the mother. Polish authorities refused to confirm the applicant acquired Polish nationality at birth as a child of a Polish parent, because the birth certificate is against the Polish public order, in particular the prohibition of surrogacy. The courts ruled in favour of the applicant, stating that confirmation of his Polish nationality on the basis of the birth certificate does not amount to validation of surrogacy.
The applicants are children born presumably in a surrogacy arrangement in Ukraine to two Austrian nationals. Even though the custody of the commissioning parents over the applicants was confirmed under the Austrian law, their parentage and consequently the Austrian nationality of the applicants was initially denied. The Court considered that the best interests of the child prevail in such a case over the prohibition of surrogacy under Austrian law, and confirmed the applicants' right to Austrian nationality.
The case concerns the refusal to grant legal recognition in France to parent-child relationships that had been legally established in the United States between children born as a result of surrogacy treatment and the couples who had had the treatment. The Court found that totally prohibiting the establishment of a relationship between a father and his biological children born following surrogacy arrangements abroad was a violation of Article 8 concerning the children’s right to respect for their private life, under Article 8.