Information on German Family Law

13.11.2017 - FAQ


Surrogacy contracts in which a woman declares her readiness to undergo artifical or natural insemination or to have an embryo, which is not hers, transferred to her or to carry a baby otherwise to the full term are viewed as unethical and therefore treated as void in Germany. Pursuant to the Embryo Protection Act and the Adoption Placement Act, the activities performed by those arranging surrogate mothers and by physicians in connection with surrogacy are punishable offences. Under German law, the woman who commissions a child in such a way (commissioning mother) is not the mother of the child. The mother of the child is the woman who gave birth ot him/her, that is, the surrogate mother and not the commissioning mother.

Therefore, the recognition of a commissioning mother as the legal mother would as a rule lead to an outcome which is incompatible with essential principles of German law insofar as the case has a link to Germany. For this reason, German authorities cannot recognize the maternity of a commissioning mother even if a foreign birth certificate confirms her as the ostensible mother. The husband of the commissioning mother cannot claim paternity based on his marriage because he is not married to the mother of the child.

As the children of surrogate mothers are not in the cited cases related to the commissioning parents in the legal sense, they do not attain German citizenship through birth. In such cases, the foreign missions are unable to issue the children with German passports!

Travelling with the children from their home country to Germany is not permissible without the relevant identification papers.

For the aforementioned reasons, a family reunufication bringing a child born of a surrogate mother abroad to the commissioning parents in Germany is not possible under the Residence Act.

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