The French government is putting the finishing touches on legislation that will give single women and lesbian couples access to IVF procedures in France.
Until now, single women and lesbians were forced to seek IVF treatment abroad.
Under current French law, assisted reproduction is restricted to infertile heterosexual couples.
The new legislation will see the country’s healthcare system cover the cost of assisted reproductive for all women, regardless of their marital status or sexual orientation.
It does, however, restrict funding to women under 43, which is young compared to other Western countries, and which critics claim, doesn’t take into account the years of fertility treatment most couples undergo before turning to IVF.
The legislation will also allow children once they reach 18 years of age to learn the identity of a sperm or egg donor.
At this stage, it’s thought this will be restricted to donors who agree, leaving the offspring of donors who don’t consent to their identities being revealed, out in the cold.
It is also unclear whether the French government will require procedures to be legally recorded or leave it up to parents to tell children they were born through reproductive technology.
The bill doesn’t cover surrogacy arrangements, which are banned in France.