In July 2022, the government announced its commitment to provide equal access to NHS funded IVF (in vitro fertilisation) treatment for non-heterosexual couples.
Until recently, the NHS required couples where both partners were born female to provide proof that they had tried to conceive at least six times (sometimes up to twelve) on a self-funded basis, before they would be considered for NHS subsidised treatment. Heterosexual couples were only required to try to conceive for 2 years, with no minimum number of attempts before they became eligible.
Private treatments, such as IVF and IUI (intrauterine insemination), are extremely expensive. Stonewall, LGBTQ+ rights charity, reported that IUI costs between £350-£1,600 per cycle at a private clinic and estimate that a couple needing to fund 12 cycles of IUI will have to spend around £25,000 before being eligible for NHS care. For many, this can lead to couples being unable to pursue their dreams of having a family, or even considering unregulated and potentially dangerous routes.
The barrier of proving infertility has been removed, making NHS care much more accessible for non-heterosexual couples in the UK looking to access fertility treatment.
For same-sex and non-heterosexual couples, there are further issues to consider surrounding legal parenthood which we recently covered in a separate insight.
How can we help?
If you have any questions in relation to parenthood for same-sex couples, please do not hesitate to contact our Family Team who would be happy to help.