Judgment 12482/21

Applicant name A. and B.
Applicant type Natural person
Number of applicants 2
Country France
Application no. 12482/21
Date 08/06/2023
Judges Georges Ravarani, président,
 Carlo Ranzoni,
 Lado Chanturia,
 María Elósegui,
 Mattias Guyomar,
 Kateřina Šimáčková,
 Mykola Gnatovskyy
Institution Court
Type Judgment
Outcome Art. 8 No violation
Reason Necessary (rights and freedoms)
Type of privacy Realtional privacy
Keywords Paternity non-biological father
Facts of the case The case concerns the cancellation of the recognition of paternity of a child conceived in Spain by medically assisted procreation with anonymous donation of gametes (oocyte and sperm).
Analysis Quite remarkably, the Court rejects the claim by the mother. It finds that the annulment of the recognition of C’s paternity with regard to B releases C from the obligation to contribute to the maintenance and education of B. However, the material consequences of this cancellation on the situation of A, now alone in charge of the child, cannot be regarded as directly affecting her own right to respect for private and family life. Different from established case law, where the Court has found that paternity proceedings affect the mother, in this case, there was no bond between the applicant mother and the intended legal father.

Also interestingly, with regard to question which interest the law allowing a father to challenge paternity served, the Court refers to the rights and freedoms of others, while of course in this case, the others oppose the challenge. The Court, referring to its Mandet judgment, however, stresses that governments are under a positive olbigation to protect the rights and freedoms of others, and that this may sometimes include measures with which the others disapprove.

In the present case, the Court notes that C is not the biological father of B. C had initially developed a parental plan with the mother of child, which made him an intended father, but the couple separated and filed a petition for divorce before the transfer of the embryo, which took place in Spain on May 12, 2013. Thus C and B do not have lastingly built a full father-child relationship. More remarkably, it finds that the denouncement of paternity was in the best interest of the child. In addition, it acknowledges that this might have consequences for the child, as C was no longer required to financially contribute to its education and it even accepts that the domestic courts did not take this into account properly. But it feels that this was a marginal oversight only and that this fell within the margin of appreciation of France.
Other Article violation? No
Damage awarded
Documents Judgment