IVF for lesbians and single women 'a risk'
A bill to legalise assisted pregnancies for lesbians and single women has provoked a warning from French watchdogs.
The country's medical ethics committee, giving its view on the proposal to relax rules on methods such as IVF, claimed that offspring without fathers posed a developmental "risk".
Under current French law, only heterosexual couples have the right to use such methods. Lesbians and single women often go to Belgium or Spain to fertility clinics.
Polls suggest most French are in favour, but the medical ethics committee said "the deliberate conception of a child depriving it of a father constitutes a major anthropological break that is not without risk for the psychological development and well-being of the child".
The father, it said, remains a "founding stone of a child's personality". But Agnes Buzyn, France's health minister, said: "A quarter of French families are single parent. Don't tell me a quarter of French children born into these families are having difficulties in constructing (their personalities)." (© Daily Telegraph, London)