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First pregnant man in UK through sperm donation

16 January 2017
Appeared in BioNews 884

A 20-year-old man, who was originally born female, is the first in the UK to become pregnant through sperm donation after the NHS refused to pay for egg freezing.  

Hayden Cross has been living as a man for the past three years but has not undergone gender reassignment surgery. He began hormone replacement therapy but wanted to fulfil his wish to have his own genetic child before progressing further with his transition.

'Having a biological child has always meant a lot to me,' he told The Sun. 'I've always wanted kids.'

Cross asked the NHS if his eggs could be frozen so he could have children in the future, but his request was refused. Instead, Cross looked for a sperm donor on Facebook and met a man who provided his sperm for home insemination.

'I looked on Facebook for a group and found one – it's been shut down now. I didn't have to pay,' he said.

Cross said he was disappointed about NHS's refusal to freeze his eggs, which would have given him the opportunity to have children in the future without putting his gender transition on hold: 'I just couldn't face being years down the line and still waiting to transition so that I can have a kid. I wanted the kid now so that I can have the transition before I get old.'

However, Peter Bone MP, argued that the NHS was within its rights to refuse freezing the eggs: 'The NHS has every right to stand by its decision.... If doctors do not feel that is the right time to perform something medically then it should not be done.... The [NHS] is not a bottomless money pit. Resources have to be used wisely, no matter who you are,' he told The Sun.

The cost of gender reassignment on the NHS is on average £29,000, and there are 3000 transgender patients currently undergoing transition. The cost of freezing eggs is around £4000 per cycle.

Although this case is the first in the UK, a number of similar cases have been reported overseas. In the US, Thomas Beatie carried a child in 2008 and is now the father of three children. In Ecuador, a transgender couple had a child together in September, also before completing their transition.

Cross is four months pregnant and plans to proceed with the gender transition, having surgery to remove his breasts and ovaries once he has given birth. In the meantime, his hormonal treatments have been paused. 

8 January 2018 - by Sam Sherratt 
The NHS should offer patients the chance to freeze their eggs before they receive treatments that could damage their fertility, say new guidelines published by the British Fertility Society.
21 November 2016 - by Ed Horowicz 
Sex is one of the first identifying genetic characteristics that a new baby presents to parents and to society. But the medical and legal requirement to conform to binary biological genetic sex results in the immediate violation of the physical integrity of the intersex child...
24 October 2016 - by Daniel Malynn 
This event explored how can the law deal with the multiple-parent families created by donor conception and surrogacy, and asked: 'What makes someone a parent, and how should a birth certificate reflect that?'...
15 August 2016 - by Dr Mary Yarwood 
Transgender men are being permitted to freeze their eggs at NHS-funded fertility clinics, prior to gender re-assignment...
15 May 2012 - by Dr Vardit Ravitsky and Professor David Heyd 
Sex reassignment is an intricate and sensitive physiological, psychological, and social process that usually entails the loss of reproductive capacity. Reproductive technology can prevent this loss, but should it be used for that purpose? A recent case in Israel raises this question...
18 April 2011 - by Daniel Malynn 
On Thursday 7 April 2011, Channel Four aired a documentary in its Body Shock series, titled 'Dad's having a baby'. The documentary follows the family life of Tom and Scott. Scott was born Jessica, but identified as male. He had a partial sex change, but remained legally female. Tom - born Laura - also identified as male, had a full sex change and became legally male. The couple met in California, married and adopted Logan aged 11 and Greg aged 13...
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