It may seem incredible to you, but French couples of women and single women do not have access to in vitro fertilization (IVF). Only women married to a man can conceive a child through medically assisted procreation. This is the law, and fortunately, it may change over the year.
Since always, in France, the legislation forces female couples and single women to go abroad to conceive a child by IVF.
Then, back home, the family has a hard time being officially recognized, especially the second mom.
For years, couples of women have been trying to get this right to use the medical process and better recognition of their families.
Justice has, on rare occasions, backed their efforts.
In recent years, the French have also been increasingly supportive.
Little by little, the debate has developed around the issue, but the media took hold of the subject during the last presidential campaign after the publication of candidate Emmanuel Macron’s platform, which included the opening of IVF to lesbian, bisexual, and queer women.
Macron’s wish was for the government would introduce a bill to open Medically Assisted Reproduction (PMA) to all women when the bioethics law was revised. PMA is the term used in France instead of IVF.
President Emmanuel Macron will have kept his word. The government has introduced the bill to open IVF to LGBTQ and single women to the deputies.
Some MPs are opposed to the change, and they tabled no fewer than 4,600 amendments to prevent approval of the bill. Some also could not help but link IVF to surrogate motherhood, which is illegal in France, in an attempt to rally public opinion.
Another part of MPs is in favor of the medical process, but against the recognition of the second mom without adoption procedure.
Despite all this, the Assembly approved the bill on October 15, 2019, and the Senate also approved it on February 4, 2020.
However, a second review and vote must take place in both after some amendments.
Many women are eagerly awaiting the final vote. The good news is that the National Assembly passed the bill in second reading by a 60-37 vote with 4 abstentions.
Now the Senate is expected to review the bill again, but the vote is not expected until January 2021.
If the bill is approved, not only will female same-sex couples be able to become mothers without going abroad, but the second mom could also be recognized without having to go through an adoption procedure. The couple will have to establish a joint recognition with a notary before the birth of the child.
Insemination could soon be open to female couples, the second mom could no longer have to adopt her children, and same-sex families could be officially recognized in France.
The recognition of children born from surrogate motherhood will become more complicated again. Whereas the previous government had facilitated the recognition of these families, from now on, only the biological parent will be officially recognized. The second parent will have to go through an adoption procedure.
Finally, know that women who have had recourse to IVF abroad will have three years from the promulgation of the law to have their children’s filiation recognized.