One year ago, the use of medically assisted reproduction was opened up to lesbian couples and single women in France. Now, single women are creating a significant demand for these treatments. Previously, the only people who could use this technology were heterosexual couples experiencing issues with fertility. The public debate with changing the law was centered around same-sex couples being able to start families, but it’s now single women who are the majority seeking this procedure.
In the first quarter of 2022, 53% of the more than 5,100 requests for assisted reproduction came from single women. While this wasn’t expected, Agence de la Biomedicine (Biomedicine Agency) director Emmanuelle Cortot-Boucher said it was apparent that there were underlying social expectations that hadn’t been anticipated when the law was changed.
Others were not as surprised, citing how they had to go abroad for fertility treatments if they were unmarried and wanted to have children. Bijou Bulindera, creator of the “Concevoir en Solo” Facebook page, said that she went to Spain in 2015 to start her family. She created the online page for others like her, so they could connect and talk about their experiences as single women who wanted assisted reproduction to conceive children.
Bulindera had her first child in 2016, after successfully undergoing artificial insemination. It would take until 2021 before the procedure that allowed her to become a mother would be legal in her home country. From the number of single women interested in fertility treatments, it doesn’t look like the trend will be slowing down anytime soon.
Women from all over France are now exploring their options, and working with medical professionals for IVF and other procedures that allow them to start families. The change in the law also benefited lesbian couples, but there haven’t been a lot of them coming forward to request IVF. Whether they’re traveling to other countries for treatment or just not starting families right now isn’t clear.
Regardless of what country you’re in or where you plan to undergo IVF or other fertility treatments, working with a reproductive rights attorney can help you protect your rights and interests. Some of the services we provide to our clients include counseling future parents, surrogates, egg donors, sperm donors and embryo donors on the state of the law with respect to the different reproduction methods available; drafting of contract(s) between the parents and their surrogate, egg donor, sperm donor or embryo donor; and assisting future parents in finalizing their parental rights. Contact us today to learn more!