France, assisted reproduction extended to single and lesbian women

In France comes the yes to assisted reproduction for single women and lesbian couples. After years of heated debate and a long legislative process, the law on “Medically Assisted Procreation (PMA) for All” was approved by the National Assembly with 326 votes in favor, 115 against and 42 abstentions. Promised by the then socialist president Francois Hollande, it now sees the light under the presidency of Emmanuel Macron “after nine years of gestation and a painful birth”, comments the Inter-Lgbt association, cited by the French media. The new law also contains another novelty, the possibility for children older than eighteen to know the identity of the person who donated the sperm or eggs. In this case, however, no filiation ties with the donor will be legally recognized. Until now limited to heterosexual couples with fertility problems, even if only cohabiting, SMEs are now an important reality in France: in 2018, reports Le Monde, they represented 3.4% of births. The new law opens this possibility to all women, but maintains a series of stakes, such as the maximum age of 43 and a path that passes through several interviews with doctors and a reflection period of one or two months depending on the techniques to be adopted. Until now, single women or lesbian couples went to Belgium or Spain for PMA, a path chosen by at least 2400 people a year, according to a survey published in 2020 by the Catholic newspaper La Croix. Now it will be possible to do this in France in the context of public health. As for lesbian couples, a declaration of the two women before the notary during pregnancy will be necessary for both to be recognized as ‘mothers’ of the unborn child. Currently, after the adoption of ‘marriage for all’ in 2013, the partner of the woman who gave birth can apply for the adoption of the child. But it is a long legal process that does not always lead to a successful conclusion.

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