Surrogacy Before the Strasbourg Court: a Discussion of Cases Against Switzerland

This paper examines pending cases against Switzerland before the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) that concern the refusal to legally recognize a parent-child relationship following a surrogacy arrangement carried out abroad (more precisely: S.C. and Others v. Switzerland, Application no. 26848/18; and D.B. and Ma.B. v. Switzerland and M.B. v. Switzerland, Applications nos. 58817/15 and 58252/15). To contextualize the cases, the paper will start by discussing the prohibition of surrogacy in Switzerland and the current practice of Swiss authorities as regards surrogate motherhood. Then the paper will analyze the cases in light of the previous case law of the ECtHR on surrogacy and will consider the potential avenues of the Court in these cases. The paper will conclude with a few reflections on the compliance of Swiss authorities with the European Convention on Human Rights.