The French bioethics authority has approved plans to allow single women and lesbian couples to access fertility treatment, paving the way for Emmanuel Macron's government to introduce legislation. 

At present, fertility treatment is only open to heterosexual couples in France, largely because previous attempts at liberalisation have been thwarted by pressure from the Catholic church. The change will bring the law in France more into line with most of the rest of Europe, including the UK.

At the same time, the French government is reported to be considering seeking to legalise surrogacy arrangements. Unlike in the UK, where surrogacy is permitted as long as it is altruistic and not undertaken on a commercial basis, surrogacy of any kind is not legally recognised in France, which means that French couples wanting to enter into surrogacy arrangements must go abroad. As with fertility treatment, previous campaigns to reform surrogacy law in France have run into opposition from religious groups. It remains to be seen whether it will be different this time.