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French legal procrastination in recognizing families formed by female same-sex couples

Laurence Brunet

For several years, French judges have been regularly asked by female same-sex couples to recognize the legitimacy of a “social” mother, as opposed to the legal mother (i.e., the woman who gave birth to the child). How do judges respond to these requests? The French law of May 17, 2013 allowing same-sex marriage also, as a consequence, allows a child to be adopted by the female spouse of the child’s mother. But even before this law passed, there was jurisprudence for the recognition of a quasi-status for “social mother,” both during the couple’s relationship and after it has ended. Now that same-sex families have been legally recognized in France for over a year, a status report of the situation is warranted.