27 April 2021,

During her State of the Union address in September 2020, EU Commission President Ursula Von Der Leyen declared “if you are parent in one country, you are parent in every country.”

This statement is reflected in a Commission’s initiative on “Cross-Border Family Situations-Recognition of Parenthood” (link here). According to the European Commission itself, the objective of this initiative is to “ensure that parenthood, as established in one EU country, is recognised across the EU“. Yet, FAFCE would like to bring to the attention of the European institutions the primary need to first to assess the best interests of the child in these situations. Indeed, the Commission seems to prioritise the recognition of parenthood over the best interests of the child when addressing obstacles to free movement created by  uneven recognition of parenthood between EU Member States.

A child is not an entitlement and parenthood is not a right; rather, a child is a gift and parenthood is a responsibility. FAFCE’s President, Vincenzo Bassi, therefore wrote a letter to European Commission President von der Leyen, stressing the specific challenges that this initiative would raise, especially for matters such as surrogacy.

The practice of surrogacy is a clear violation of children’s best interests, as it constitutes a situation of human trafficking. Many EU-countries forbid this practice and, in accordance to the principle of subsidiarity, the European Union should not try to circumvent national legislations with a EU-wide parenthood recognition, but on the contrary support Member-States in their fight against the practice of surrogacy in cases of cross-border situations.

Please find below the Letter: