It’s illegal for gay people to adopt in France, and only heterosexual couples with fertility problems have access to medically assisted reproduction facilities there. So a phenomenon has begun with a number of lesbians are taking the high-speed train to Holland or Spain for insemination.
According to CafeBabel.com, the percentage of women creating families in France is increasing constantly; from 40% in 2001 to 60% in 2005.
The trend has become so popular that Belgian fertility clinics have taken steps to provide specifically for French lesbian couples. In 1998, the university hospital Erasme helped about 30 such couples to have a child. In 2000, there were 170 cases and it was even necessary to launch a recruitment campaign for extra sperm donors. In 2002, faced with a flood of requests, the hospital chose to limit the number of cases to 600 a year. Other institutions have chosen to make block-bookings in their schedules exclusively for French lesbians.
In France, only a child’s biological mother has legal recognition. Unlike in neighboring countries, gay parent families can’t have their family unit recorded in the official figures. It’s believed between 200,000 and 300,000 children are being raised by gay parents.