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Are Lesbians (U.K.) Being Failed by Fertility Treatment?

by Joanne Dunning,  The Lesbian and gay Foundation,  Oct 20, 2009
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There have been huge advances this year in IVF treatment for lesbians, with the introduction of equal recognition for same sex parents.

However, a damning report carried out by the Press Association suggests lesbians are still being denied fertility treatment on the grounds that funding is only available for women for fertility problems.

A total of 38 Primary Care Trusts (PCTs) out of 152 in England responded to the survey, along with three of Scotland's 14 territorial health boards and Health Commission Wales.

The survey asked how many lesbian couples had received or had been refused treatment over the last five years and the policy reasons for any refusal.

The results

* There was no record of lesbian couples receiving NHS-funded fertility treatment.
* 2 PCTs were "pending" decisions for two females in same sex relationships.
* 7 PCTs said they had rejected applications from lesbian couples for fertility treatment.
* 21 PCTs as well as NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde did not record sexual orientation so could not provide the data.
* 7 PCTs and two Scottish health boards said they had neither funded fertility treatment nor refused it to lesbian couples.

The amended Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 1990, which came into effect on October 1st, replaces the 'need for a father' requirement with a recognition that children need 'supportive parenting'. Read more.


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