Judges in Versailles refused a request this week by a lesbian woman to adopt a 4-year-old child, who was conceived in Belgium by her partner, thanks to medically assisted procreation (MAP) or artificial insemination.
Currently in France methods of medically assisted procreation like IVF are reserved only for heterosexual couples, who have difficulty having children. However thousands of babies are thought to be born in France each year that were conceived abroad through articificial insemination.
But the couple believed that the May 2013 reforms, that legalized gay marriage, also provided for the regularisation of the rights of children conceived abroad using medically assisted procreation.
But it turns out the law was not as clear-cut as the couple believed and it has been left up to judges to decide.
The judges in Versailles who turned down the homosexual couple's request this week, said going abroad for assisted reproduction before seeking to adopt in France was a violation and “fraud of the law”.
Their ruling left the couple furious.
"I pulled the baby out of my partner's womb. I cut the chord. I take him to school," the aggrieved member of the couple told French reporters this week.
The decision was also blasted by gay-rights groups in France.
“Children of LGBT families are the new bastards of the Republic,” the group Inter-LGBT told Le Figaro.
The association of gay parents (ADFH) went even further calling the court “homophobic”. The couple themselves have vowed to appeal and say they will continue with plans to have a second child through MAP abroad.
Other gay-rights groups regretted the fact the President François Hollande had reneged on a pre-election promise to legalize MAP for gay couples.
Hollande’s government had intended for this provision to be part of the gay-marriage law but it was dropped amid huge anti-gay marriage protests in the country.
That U-turn, which was reaffirmed in February, was slammed by gay rights groups and various members of Hollande’s own coalition government.
Green party member and MP Noël Mamère said: “It looks a lot like capitulation in the face of demonstrations from France’s most reactionary people. It is truly a tragedy for the numerous families that were expecting reforms,” Namère told BFM TV. “To give in this way after demonstrations, it’s an expression on the part of the government of its fragility and vulnerability.”
However conservative groups heralded a victory.
In January last year The Local reported how Belgium was becoming a haven for French lesbian couples, who were heading over the border to get the help in conceiving children that they are denied at home.
Some 2,000 babies conceived in Belgium through artificial insemination by donor are thought to be born each year to French lesbian couples, who are not eligible to undergo the procedure in France.
"We have seen a sharp increase in demand over the past three years. The word is getting around in France, our patients are passing the message along," said Professor Michel Dubois at the University Hospital of Liege, in the southeast of the country.