What do I need to think about when planning fertility treatment with my female partner?
A recent report from the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (the regulatory body for UK fertility clinics) has shown that there has been a steep increase over the last 10 years in the number of same-sex female couples who are seeking fertility treatment to start their families.
Starting a family is very exciting, but for same-sex couples who are conceiving with a sperm donor, there are some important issues to consider.
Here are 3 things you should think about while planning your journey:
· Who will be your child’s legal parents?
This will depend on where you conceive (at home or at a fertility clinic) and whether you and your partner are married/in a civil partnership. Planning is crucial, so when you are considering your options for conceiving, think about how each option will impact on legal parentage for both of you.
· Have you completed the right paperwork?
If you are unmarried and the non-birth mother wants to be a legal parent, you must conceive at a fertility clinic, and you should make sure you have both signed the correct set of clinic forms before you conceive. Once conception takes place, legal parenthood will be set, so it’s really important to make sure that the paperwork has been completed before you conceive.
· If you are conceiving with a known sperm donor, have you discussed his potential involvement in your child’s life, and are your expectations aligned?
It’s a good idea to put a pre-conception agreement in place to set out what you have agreed. It won’t be legally binding, but it’s helpful for you to put something in black and white so you know you are all on the same page in terms of your plans. A specialist fertility solicitor can help you with this.
Suzi is a fertility lawyer at Ellis Jones solicitors, advising people who are building their families through donation, co-parenting and surrogacy.