Medically assisted reproduction in Europe: a state of play

Paris - France is set to become the latest member of the European Union to allow medically assisted reproduction (MAR) for lesbian couples and single women.

According to the LGBTI group ILGA-Europe, some 14 European countries -- not all members of the EU bloc -- allow fertility treatment for couples of women.

On its internet site Rainbow Europe, it says that 26 countries, including Russia, Belarus and Ukraine, allow single women to have the fertility treatment, while excluding it for couples of women.

In adopting its new "bioethics" legislation on Tuesday, France will become the 11th of the 27 EU member states to allow MAR for both single women and lesbian couples.

It will join the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Ireland, Spain, Portugal and Malta.

The United Kingdom and Iceland, which are not members of the EU, also give single women and couples of women this possibility.

A number of EU countries allow medically assisted reproduction for single women, but not couples of women: Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Estonia, Greece, Hungary and Latvia.

Austria on the other hand allows couples of women to have MAR but not single women.

Italy is the only heavyweight EU country to allow neither couples of women nor single women to have recourse to the fertility treatment.