New British law opens access to fertility treatment

by on October 23, 2008  •  In Family law, Reproductive rights

Pink News
Tony Grew

On Wednesday, the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill passed the House of Commons. [As feared, Parlimentary maneuvers shut out the possibility of using it to liberalize access to abortions. However, the new law will] make it easier for lesbian couples to access NHS fertilisation services and ensure that a lesbian or gay couple can become the legal parents of their children.

At present the law requires that NHS fertility clinics take account of the "need for a father" when assessing women for treatment. In practice this can lead to clinics deciding not to accept lesbians. Those women instead have to use "DIY" methods in order to conceive….

The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill contains new rules that will allow gay and lesbian couples to become the legal parents of a child conceived through donated sperm.

The provisions also mean that lesbians will have equal access to fertility services, which could mean IVF but is much more likely to mean assisted conception.

The new rules would mean that civil partners will automatically become the legal parents of the child as stated on the birth certificate, even if the child is conceived 'informally' ie: not through a clinic. For a same-sex couple who are not in a civil partnership but go through the process of fertilisation as a couple will also be listed as the parents on the birth certificate….


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