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The changing face of same sex marriage, parentage and IVF rights

Same-sex marriage around the world

The Finnish LGBT community is celebrating the news that on the March 1st Finland started to allow same sex couples to wed. Finland is now the 24th nation in the world to legalise gay marriage and is the last of the Nordic countries to grant same sex marriage rights, nearby Denmark being the first in the world to do so back in 1989.

While Denmark may have been the first, their move has been followed around the world. Britain is one of the 24 countries that have opened up marriage to same sex couples, although some regions such as Northern Ireland are still to grant these rights. This is despite the fact that Northern Ireland is in the top five English regions and UK Countries by gay, lesbian and bisexual population (2015). For the record, London has the highest LGB population at 2.6%. It is believed that the percentage is higher in London due to London’s younger age structure and ethnic diversity.

The push for greater marriage rights for same sex couples has in many countries been accompanied by increased parentage rights. For example in 2009, Britain changed the laws on rights for same sex female couples. Women in civil partnerships or marriage who conceive at a licensed fertility clinic or at home ensure that the non-birthing mother is the second legal parent. Non-birthing mothers in a couple that are not in a civil partnership or marriage just have to complete a simple form to be a legal parent, although the conception must take place in a licensed clinic and not at home (in both cases the donor has no legal parenthood status).

Fertility treatment as a same-sex couple

Of course such changes to rights are hard won, and while in cities such as London it is unlikely same sex couples will have difficulty accessing fertility services, this is not the same across the UK. Only recently (2nd March 2017) a lesbian couple claimed that they were denied fertility treatment by the NHS in Ulster due to their sexuality.

How egg sharing can help lesbian couples

The NHS is just one option out there for same-sex couples when it comes to seeking and reducing the costs of fertility treatment. At CARE fertility we offer an egg sharing service which is perfect for women that are going through IVF who want to share some of their eggs with someone who is unable to use their own. Not only does it help another woman that cannot use their own eggs, but in return, it provides a significant discount on treatment.

The egg sharing process itself is very similar to any normal IVF cycle and we have not seen that sharing of eggs impacts the success rates of treatment. Egg sharing is available in our clinics around the country including CARE Fertility London, CARE Fertility Birmingham, CARE Fertility Manchester and Dublin and we welcome same-sex couples to contact us to discuss the options available.  

If you would like any more information on fertility treatments or specifically egg sharing, then please contact us and speak to a member of our team.




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