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IVF rights in France to be extended to single women and lesbian couples

This week (29 June 2021), the French parliament passed a bill which will give single women and lesbian couples the right to access fertility treatment in France.  Up until now, restrictive laws have meant that only heterosexual couples have been eligible to undergo fertility treatment, such as IVF, in France. This left single women and lesbian couples having to travel abroad for fertility treatment.  As such, this new legislation means that for the first time in France all women under 43 will be able to access fertility treatment regardless of sexual orientation or relationship status.

The bill passed a final vote in the French National Assembly on Tuesday 29 June 2021 after years of protests and hundreds of amendments and hours of debate.  It marks the fulfilment of a commitment that President Macron gave whilst campaigning for the French presidency in 2017 to extend fertility treatment to single and lesbian women. This new legislation will also enable donor conceived individuals to learn their donor’s identity once they reach 18, ending donor anonymity in France.  Furthermore, it will widen fertility preservation options for women in France, enabling women in their 30’s to freeze their eggs whereas current laws only enable egg-freezing for women undergoing treatment for conditions like cancer which can impair their fertility. However, it still does not legalise surrogacy in France.

This new legislation was supported by 326 MP’s whilst 115 voted against and there were 42 abstentions in the French National Assembly this week. Accordingly, it marks a clear change in attitude and move away from restrictive approaches to assisted reproductive technology that have previously governed French law and policy. After years of campaigning, it represents a significant watershed moment in France for better equality of access to fertility treatment and recognition of reproductive rights. In doing so, it represents positive news in France for women seeking to preserve their fertility, access fertility treatment and for those individuals that are donor conceived.

Fertility and Family Law

Specialist fertility and family law advice navigates many complex legal and wider issues associated with fertility treatment, donor conception, surrogacy, co-parenting arrangements, adoption and complex personal situations. It can create a bespoke family building legal and practical action plan to help preserve and maximise individual fertility, understand options and make better informed decisions about conception, family creation, biological identity and legacy. It also helps effectively navigate many complex fertility and family law issues,

Discover more about the value of an experienced and specialist fertility and family lawyer and how this extends beyond technical legal guidance to help individuals:

  • Achieve peace of mind about their or a loved-one’s personal and family situation.
  • Make informed decisions about their family building arrangements and family life.
  • Become empowered to make changes and take meaningful steps forward to create, restructure or protect a much-wanted family.
  • Identify, assess and minimise unwanted personal and family risks and pitfalls.
  • Create viable action plans to help balance work, personal and family life.

If you would like to discuss your situation or you require specialist fertility, surrogacy and family law advice and assistance please contact Louisa by email louisa@louisaghevaertassociates.co.uk  or by telephone +44 (0)20 7965 8399.

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