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The Soaring Rate of 'No-Father' Families
The number of lesbian couples and single women seeking to start a family through IVF has rocketed since the law governing a child’s need for a father was relaxed.
There has been a doubling of lesbian couples undergoing fertility treatment, while three times as many women are taking the plunge into single parenthood.
Almost 350 lesbian couples underwent IVF treatment in the UK in 2009 – just after same-sex couples seeking to become parents were put on an equal legal footing with heterosexuals – compared with 176 in 2007 and only 36 in 2000.
The number of single women undergoing IVF has risen still further, going up from 347 in 2007 to 1,070 in 2009.
IVF treatment resulted in the birth of 358 babies to lesbian couples over the past three years while the same treatment for single women led to 660 births.
The figures were collected by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority, the UK’s independent regulator of fertility clinics.
Over the same time period the number of would-be lesbian mothers having donor insemination at registered clinics has stayed roughly constant at just more than 300 per year.