a year later, the extension of the PMA mainly attracts single women

A little over a year after the extension of medically assisted procreation (PMA) to female couples and singles, and while professional projections were counting on an influx of lesbian patients, the majority of requests come from single women . They represent 53% of new candidates, according to the latest report from the Biomedicine Agency.

“I did not expect to receive so many single ladiesconfirms Claire Naudin, clinical psychologist at the University Hospital of Nantes. The majority of them are approaching their forties and have not found the “right partner”. They mourn a classic family pattern and, pressed for time and declining fertility, turn to medically assisted procreation. » More situations than expected but not so surprising. The surprise comes on the other hand from women who would still have time to have a child without needing medicine, but who decide, by choice, to resort to PMA.

Freedom and autonomy

“These women assume to become single mothers”, observes Marion Forveille, spokesperson for the Mam’en solo association. “Making a baby alone is not a new phenomenon, Jean-Jacques Goldman even made a song of it in the 1980srecalls sociologist Gérard Neyrand, a specialist in parenthood (1). At the time, this posture, carried by the new feminism, mainly affected women who had done advanced studies and who decided, once their career was consolidated, to have a child. » Today, this desire has widened “to other backgrounds, more modest and younger, in connection with the notion of freedom and autonomy”.

These candidates for PMA “discorrelate parenthood and conjugality, procreation and sexualityanalysis Marion Forveille. Because some women are asexual (without interest for the physical reports, Editor’s note) or aromantic (without interest for sentimental relationships, Editor’s note)the desire for a child is stronger than the desire for a married life”. And since medicine allows it, “These women are like, ‘Why wait?’ Especially since they find that the classic heterosexual pattern does not necessarily work: couples divorce, spouses are violent or have little involvement…”

“To emancipate oneself, to have control over one’s body”

Claire Naudin is witness to this evolution. “There is a loss of confidence in the couple. Many of the women I see have been burned by previous relationships. » If they are not the cause, the #MeToo movement and the freedom of speech on sexual violence have nourished this movement, by participating “to the rejection of patriarchy and the contestation of the place of the masculine”believes Gérard Neyrand. “Beyond love and transmission, which are the basis of these demands, raising a child alone – with all the difficulties that entails and of which these women are aware – is also to emancipate themselves, to have the control over his body, his fertility, his life plan.recognizes Marion Forveille.

But this “freedom of women” does she have to practice “to the detriment of men? », asks the philosopher Bertrand Vergely. According to him, the father “is erased. It is the reversal of a founding landmark which reminds us that a child is made up of two”.

Some doctors wonder

“Doing alone and doing without are not quite the same thing, and I don’t forbid myself from meeting people and leaving room for a man. My child will have male referents,” answers Johanna Luyssen, mother of a 2-year-old girl and author of If I want (Grasset). Mégane, five months pregnant, also disputes: « I myself grew up without a father and had a very happy childhood. »

These files nevertheless question the medical teams. “We are discussing it, without value judgmentsays Claire Naudin. We question the possible support that the mother will have, but the interviews are in no way passing exams. » A vision that not all physicians share. “Women tell us that they have not been considered a priority because of their celibacy”, assures Marion Forveille. “It is normal for us to debate, the law requires that the interests of the child be taken into account, justifies a doctor. And because we contribute to his coming into the world, we have a responsibility. »


“The interest of the child disappears in the face of the desire for motherhood”

Olivia Sarton

Scientific Director of the association Juristes pour l’Enfance

“Today, when we talk about the interests of the child in the context of assisted reproduction, we too often limit this interest to the fact that the child will be desired and loved by his parent. But love is not enough. It is also important for a child to be part of a filiation which reminds him that he has two parents, so that he understands, symbolically, that he was not self-generated by his mother. More factually, we can also worry about the fact that single-parent families are sometimes more precarious, more exposed to the vagaries of life. But it’s complicated to even dare to raise this question: the interest of the child can disappear in the face of women’s desire for motherhood. »


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