Statistics produced by the UK’s fertility regulator the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority caught headlines recently because the numbers of women conceiving with a female partner through UK fertility treatment had risen. It isn’t surprising, with progressive changes to fertility law over the past 20 years making LGBT+ family-making more accepted and more common.
As a same-sex parent myself, I have lived and breathed this revolution. My daughter turned 18 this year, and we have seen the world transform over the course of her journey from birth to adulthood. When my wife and I started our journey to parenthood, we were legal strangers to each other (civil partnership had not even been passed yet) and my wife couldn’t become our daughter’s legal parent (at least until 2005 when the adoption laws were expanded to include same-sex applicants). We also had trouble accessing fertility treatment since clinics had to consider the ‘need of the child for a father’ and there were only a handful brave enough to treat single and lesbian women.
I am so grateful so much has changed since then. The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008 removed clinics’ duty to consider the child’s ‘need for a father’ and even more importantly enabled same-sex parents to be recorded together on their children’s birth certificates. And this has transformed access to conception for LGBT+ parents.