An attempt by a French mother to allow her lesbian partner to adopt her child has failed.

The Appeals Court in Paris ruled yesterday that the only way the mother could legally allow her partner to adopt the child would be to renounce her own parental rights.

If the lesbian couple were allowed to marry, then they could share parental responsibility.

However, France does not allow same-sex marriage, and only grants limited rights to such couples.

The French will go to the polls to elect their next President on 22nd April.

The Socialist candidate, Segolene Royal, made 100 pledges earlier this month as part of her campaign.

Proposition 87 of her manifesto demands equal rights for same-sex couples, paving the way for future anti-discrimination legislation should the French population elect Royal to the presidency.

The 53-year-old socialist party candidate would become France’s first woman president if elected.

In contrast, Nicholas Sarkozy, the candidate for the rightist UMP, and current Interior Minister, said in a TV debate earlier this month that he is opposed to any form of gay marriage.

Polling carried out in June 2006 suggests that the French population might support Royal’s policies on gay rights.

The Ipsos survey shows that 62% support gay marriage, while 37% were opposed.

When asked whether same-sex couples should be allowed to adopt children, the survey found more people to be in opposition (55%) than in support (44%).

Discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation at work or in the provision of goods and services is illegal in France, and openly gay, lesbian and bisexual people serve in the military. The mayor of Paris is an out gay man.

The Civil Pacts that all non-married couples in France can enter into grant many of the legal protections of marriage, excluding tax breaks, the right to adopt and the right to access artificial insemination.