Homosexual Couples: Do They Have Access to IVF?
Nowadays, there is a large debate going on regarding same sex couples and whether they should have access to IVF. Bans on homosexual marriage are tumbled across the Western World and a growing number of same sex couples want to build a family, same way heterosexual couples do.
It is not rare for homosexual men and women to want children. The problem is they have to deal with fertility limitations compared to typical straight couples. Nonetheless, gay parents are already out there and have been for some time. Studies estimate that there are about 594,000 same sex partner households in the USA and one in five same sex couples has children living in their households.
Some of them adopt while others have their own biological children. But how do they do the latter? Donor insemination and surrogacy are two standard ART options for same sex couples. Donor insemination involves using donor sperm. The donor can either be a known person, a friend for example, or an anonymous sperm donor from a sperm bank. Surrogacy applies to people who cannot carry a pregnancy so someone else does it for them.
For gay women an option for conception is one partner to donate the eggs and the other to carry the pregnancy. In that case IVF is necessary since fertilisation will take place outside the body in the lab, before the embryo can be transferred. However, intrauterine insemination is also available as a fertility treatment for lesbian couples; a far simpler treatment where IVF is not necessary.
And what about male gay couples interested in IVF? Gay couples will definitely need an egg donor and a surrogate who can carry the pregnancy. Fertilisation is accomplished by IVF using their own sperm.
But the question is how easy it really is for same sex couples to get access to these IVF treatments? There is no straightforward answer to this matter but, it appears that it is easier than it used to be, since legislative restrictions on surrogacy and egg donation are getting softer in time.
On the other hand, IVF experience for homosexual couples and typical couples seems to differ, according to homosexual people reports. There may be some states where surrogacy is fine for straight couples but not for homosexual couples, giving them a rough deal when it comes to fertility treatment.
Are you in favor of same sex couples building families?