One of the most appalling miscarriages of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR), a Chamber Judgment through which the Court’s Second Chamber would de facto have turned surrogacy and illegal child trafficking into a “human right” has fortunately been overturned: a Grand Chamber of the Court that has reviewed the case Paradiso and Campanelli v. Italy today found that – contrary to the Chamber’s assessment one year ago – the decision of Italian authorities to withdraw from the custody of an Italian couple a child that was not biologically related to either of them, but which they had bought from a Russian “reproduction clinic” for the price of 45.000 Euro, did not violate anyone’s “human rights”. Continue reading
Of course we all know that trade in human beings is a very serious crime, not a right. Of course we all know that this also applies to babies that are fabricated in vitro with the use of sperms and ova procured from so-called “donors”, and then carried by so-called “surrogate mothers”. Of course we all know that a couple that purchases a child in that way cannot have a “human right” to keep that child in its custody.
We really do not need a pompous “Human Rights Court” to tell us this, do we?
Tomorrow, 9 December, a Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) will hear the case of Paradiso and Campanelli for a second time, following a request by the Italian government to annul a judgment in which a Chamber of the Court had de facto legalized child trafficking and surrogacy. Even against the backdrop of the Courts steady and persistent decline into judicial activism and moral disorientation, this was certainly one of the most stunning miscarriage of justice we had seen for a number of years. Continue reading
The ECtHR has released its judgment in the case of Paradiso and Campanelli v. Italy (Appl. nr. 25358/12), a case concerning surrogacy.
The facts of the case are as follows: a childless married couple from Italy travels to Russia to identify a surrogate who would give birth to a baby born of a donated egg. The child was born on 10 March 2010 and his Russian-issued birth certificate indicated – without making any mention of the surrogacy – that he was the son of the couple.
On returning to Italy, the applicants requested the transcription of the birth into the Italian register. The Italian authorities immediately refused this on the grounds that the Russian birth certificate contained false information about the name of the child’s real parents.
After establishing through a DNA test that there was no genetic link between Mr Campanelli (who says that until then he believed in good faith that his sperm had been used) and the child, an Italian Court found the child to have been abandoned and determined that custody should pass to social services. The Court considered that the applicants had brought a child to Italy in violation of international standards on adoption and in violation of Italian law.
The applicants complain, on their own as well as on the child’s behalf, about a violation of Article 8 of the European Human Rights Convention, which guarantees the right to respect for one’s private and family life.
In its decision, the Court finds that there has been a violation of this article – not through the Italian authorities’ refusal to grant transcription of the birth certificate, but through their decision to take the child away from the wannabe “parents” and place it in custody. According to the Court, that decision was “not proportionate” as it did not “sufficiently take into account the best interest of the child”. Continue reading
On one of my recent travels I spent time in the VIP lounge of Vienna Airport, where I picked up a magazine whose cover page caught my attention: “TWO MEN AND A BABY – how a gay couple fulfilled its desire to have a child“.
I read the article with avid interest. Although it is a well-known fact that surrogacy motherhood, although legally prohibited in most European countries, is nowadays increasingly used by infertile couples as well as by gays and lesbians, and in some cases even by single persons, to get “their own” baby, I have so far (to my knowledge) never met someone who has actually done this. So I was wondering: what kind of people are they? How do they go about it? What makes them do this? Do they really understand what they are doing? If they do, have they no bad conscience? And, last but not least: if there is a legal ban, why is it not enforced? Continue reading