parentage and citizenship

France does not permit surrogacy but will recognize a US birth certificate and US Parentage Order/Judgment in certain instances.

French counsel for the parent(s) will require the following documentation:

  • Certified and Apostilled US Parentage Judgment/Order

  • Certified and Apostilled Birth Certificate

  • Notarized Affidavit of Law of US Counsel (signed post-birth)

  • US Adoption Decree (if applicable)

French citizenship can be obtained together with the Apostilled Birth Certificate, Apostilled US Parentage Judgment/Order, and the Intended Parent’s proof of French nationality.  The Intended Parent providing proof of French nationality will also be the same person who signed a paternity acknowledgment or who is biological father.   For purposes of clarification, no biological connection is required.

In all cases, parentage can be established by having the Apostilled US Parentage Judgment/Order recognized by French authorities. The US Judgment/Parentage Order has the same effect as an adoption in France and both parents will be listed on the French Birth Certificate.  As of September 2018, French counsel recommends obtaining a Post-Birth Parentage Judgment/Order noting, as the concept of a pre-birth judgment/order is foreign to French authorities.

In a case of a single father, parentage and citizenship can be obtained via the French Consulate in either Los Angeles or Washington D.C.   All materials may be submitted by mail.

Instead of having the US Parentage Judgment/Order filed and recognized by French authorities, the other parent (i.e. Intended Mother or Intended Father who did not sign the paternity acknowledgment) can adopt the child in France. However, an adoption decrees are only issued to Intended Parents who are married (same sex or opposite sex).

GC Matching Criteria / Complex Cases

French counsel must advise before any match is approved for any clients falling in the following categories:

  • The parent(s) has other nationalities/connections with other countries (they may need advice in those countries if they want to secure nationality for their child there)

Birth Certificates

For single males, the birth certificate should only list the father's name (i.e. no mother).

For same sex couples, the initial birth certificate may list both fathers, unless the Intended Parents intend on obtaining a US Adoption Decree, in which case the initial birth certificate should only list the Intended Father with French nationality who will be signing the paternity acknowledgment.  Once the US Adoption Decree is entered, a US amended birth certificate can then be requested reflecting both fathers' names.

For hetero couples, the birth certificate should reflect both the Intended Father's and Intended Mother's name, unless a US Adoption Decree will be obtained, in which case the Intended Father who will be signing the paternity acknowledgment should be listed alone on the initial birth certificate.  Once the US Adoption Decree is entered, a US amended birth certificate can then be requested reflecting both the Intended Father’s and Intended Mother’s names.

Returning to France / Clearing Immigration

Parent(s) may use either the EU or non-EU immigration line.

Parent(s) should have the following documents with them when clearing immigration:

  • US Birth Certificate

  • US Parentage Judgment/Order

preferred Counsel

Caroline Mecary

5, Avenue de l'Opera

75001 Paris

Tel: +33 1 42 61 62 56

Fax: +33 1 42 61 62 85


Fabien G. Joly

197, boulevard Saint-Germain

F-75007 Paris

Direct line: +33 6 60 430 174

Fax: +33 9 57 37 94 43