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Gay couple hopes to take up NHS's IVF surrogacy option

4 February 2019
Appeared in BioNews 985

A male same-sex couple in Scotland hopes to be the first to create their family using IVF on the NHS

The story was reported after the married couple, who have not been named, appealed online to find an egg donor. 

One of the men told a friend that they did not know that they would be eligible and 'we only found out when the GP referred us'. 

IVF is available to qualifying same-sex couples on the same basis as heterosexual couples, but in many areas the NHS does not fund fertility treatment involving a surrogate, meaning that gay men are effectively excluded. 

The NHS will pay for the fertilisation of the donor eggs in the lab, and transfer of the embryo to the surrogate, plus maternity treatment during the pregnancy. However, they will not arrange or pay for surrogacy, the cost of which in the UK is limited to 'reasonable expenses'. 

Scotland has the most generous provision of IVF in the UK, with qualifying couples entitled to three funded IVF cycles across the region. This compares with two in Wales and one in Northern Ireland. Provision varies in England, in some areas IVF is not routinely available to infertile couples. 

The reports were welcomed by LGBT campaign group Stonewall: 'Everyone should be able to have a family and we welcome any move than ensures lesbian, gay, bi and trans people have fair and equal access to fertility treatment.'

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