LDCs in France: what the law says

LDCs in France: what the law says

Medically assisted procreation (MAP) could soon be open to homosexual couples women and single women. Update on the current state of legislation and the challenges of a new law that could be proposed in 2018.


Medically assisted procreation, which also bears the name of medically assisted procreation, is a set of chemical and biological processes involved in the reproductive process to allow a couple to have a child outside the natural process. These practices include, in particular in vitro conception, embryo transfer and artificial insemination.
To benefit from this assistance, couples must fulfill various requirements of the law.

Legislation and conditions

PMA is governed by the provisions of the Public Health Code (Articles L2141-1 to L2141-12).

PMA is currently reserved for heterosexual couples. However, it is not accessible to all of them but only to couples where one member suffers a medically certified infertility. It is also open to couples where the man or woman has a serious disease that can be transmitted to the child.

Applicants must be a married couple or cohabiting for at least 2 years. Separated couples are not concerned. Both members must be alive (the PMA is impossible in case of death of one of them) and of reproductive age.

The PMA is not accessible to gay couples and single women in France.

Donation of sperm or oocyte

In France, the donation of sperm or ovum is legal. However, it should be done anonymously and for free.

Cost of LDCs and social security

The costs of LDCs are fully covered by Social Security. However, reimbursement is limited to 4 in-vitro fertilization and intrauterine insemination 6. In addition, complementary health can nevertheless support these costs under certain conditions.

Macron and 2018

President Emmanuel Macron has expressed support for the opening of the LDCs couples to homosexual women and single women. Legislation could be passed along in his five years in order to expand access to LDC conditions.

In a report released June 27, 2017, the National Consultative Ethics Committee (CCNE) issued an opinion largely in favor of opening the PMA women to couples and single women. A minority on the committee did comment to the legal status quo, taking particular account of "consequences for the child".

CCNE has however decided against legalizing surrogacy (GPA).

In a statement on September 12, 2017, Secretary of State for Equality between women and men, Marlène Schiappa, announced that a text legalizing LDCs for couples to homosexual women and single women would soon proposed to Parliament. This measure would be adopted as part of the revision of the bioethics law. The text could be debated in 2018 for a vote in early 2019.

GPA and surrogate

French law prohibits couples to use a surrogate mother and therefore to resort to surrogacy (GPA).

ABM is however legalized in some foreign countries, where the French use them.

In four judgments 5 July 2017, the Supreme Court authorized the partial transcript in France of the child's birth certificate with a GPA born abroad. When a foreign birth certificate mentions as parents Men and women who used the GPA, it can be transcribed on the French registers but only regarding the father once the biological reality of his paternity is uncontested. On the other hand, "Mother of intent" can not be designated as the mother.

In that same line of decisions, the Supreme Court also stated that the use of GPA abroad did not prevent the adoption of the child by the spouse of the biological father.
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