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French ‘inundating’ Belgian fertility clinics

Published on 24/10/2005

24 October 2005

BRUSSELS – A Brussels fertility clinic claims it is being swamped by demand from French lesbian couples seeking fertility treatment.

“Last year, of the inseminations using a donor’s sperm, 72 percent of patients came from France, with a majority of them being homosexual,” the Erasmus fertility clinic’s head Anne Delbaere told La Libre Belgique.

She said the clinic had never turned down requests for insemination from lesbian couples, or single women, since it opened 15 years ago.

But she said it would have to start limiting consultation appointments to French couples.

“We haven’t got enough sperm samples in stock to meet all the demand,” she said. “We don’t want to close access to French female couples, but we can’t welcome them at the expense of heterosexual couples,” said Delbaere.

Many patients come from France for fertility treatment after being refused it at home. France’s 1994 bioethical law limited the treatment to married couples or heterosexual couples who have been living together for longer than two years.

By contrast, Belgium has not banned anyone from treatment, leaving eligibility criteria to be decided by individual clinics.

Delbaere said in turning couples away, the clinic would be suggesting that the women work to “change mentalities in France”.

Marketing director Marie-Pierre Micoud, a 41-year-old French marketing director, has had three children with her partner, midwife Nathalie Bassac, thanks to Belgian fertility treatment. She told La Libre Belgique: “In Belgium we were welcomed without any judging. We had to wait six months for our first interview. Now it’s two years.”

[Copyright Expatica News 2005]

Subject: Belgian news