Friday, May 23, 2008

UK: Women Win Right to Children Without Fathers

Lesbian couples win landmark parental rights as requirement that fertility clinics consider a child’s need for a father is removed.

-- From "Women win right to children without fathers" posted at TimesOnline 5/20/08

The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill will replace the rule with a “need for supportive parenting” after opponents were defeated in two votes by unexpectedly wide margins.

. . . The decisions mean that the legislation will grant the most significant extension to homosexual family rights since gay adoption was sanctioned.

It will stop fertility clinics turning away lesbians and single women because their children will not have a father or male role model. While the current law does not block such therapy, it is sometimes used to justify refusals.

. . . The law will now be brought into line with the Human Rights Act. The Bill will also allow both partners to be recognised as parents when lesbian couples conceive with donated sperm, or gay men use surrogacy. At present, only the natural mother or father is automatically considered to be a parent when gay couples have fertility treatment.

A Times/Populus poll last month found that 40 per cent of people were against the Government’s proposals and 32 per cent in favour. It also revealed a generational divide: while over-55s were strongly opposed, 18 to 34-year-olds were strongly in favour of reform.

To read the entire article, CLICK HERE.