France's highest court has given surrogate children the right to have legal parents in France, in a major turnaround that could lead to greater acceptance of new forms of families.

The Cour de cassation on Friday ruled that, while surrogacy will remain forbidden in France, children born abroad through this practice will now be granted birth certificates and immediate means to prove their French citizenship.

Until now, surrogate children were deprived of any legal filiation or civil status. They were considered as children born from unknown legal parents since their foreign birth certificates weren't recognized. One lawyer has described them as "ghosts of the republic."

Unlike other children born abroad from a French father, these children couldn't get automatic ID cards, passports, family record books, or social security registrations.