Information Note on the Court’s case-law 219
Gauvin-Fournis v. France (communicated case) – 21424/16
Respect for family life
Respect for private life
Legal prohibition, for persons born of sperm or ova donation, to access donor’s identity: communicated
[This summary also covers the judgment in the communicated case Silliau v. France, 45728/17]
The applicants were born as a result of artificial insemination using donor sperm. When they reached adulthood their parents told them how they had been conceived. The applicants then took steps to discover the identity of their respective biological fathers (or obtain certain non-identifying information) but their efforts were thwarted by the legal rules on egg and sperm donation, as French law prohibits the disclosure of the donor’s identity and only doctors are permitted to provide certain non-identifying information, for the purposes of treatment. The Conseil d’État has taken the view that the rules on the anonymity of egg and sperm donation are designed to protect the private and family life of donors, recipients and their families, and that the legislature made a balanced assessment of the risks inherent in lifting secrecy. The applicants maintain that these rules infringe their right to be informed of their origins and are discriminatory.
Cases communicated under Article 8, taken alone and in conjunction with Article 14 of the Convention.