Sexual orientation should NOT be a barrier to having a family in the UK. Help us demand a government review of the fertility sector.
We are Whitney and Megan Bacon-Evans, wives, YouTubers and bloggers who share our lives together online as What Wegan Did Next. We recently celebrated our 12th anniversary together, after getting married in 2017, and were excited to start our family together.
Unfortunately, we were shocked to discover the discrimination that LGBTQ+ couples face in starting their family. Not only did our GP in Windsor not know how to help us, but NHS England forces many LGBTQ+ couples and single women to pay £10,000 to £30,000 in artificial inseminations in expensive private clinics to ‘prove infertility’, before they qualify for help. Other members of the LGBTQ+ community also face even higher costs while trying to start their families. However most heterosexual couples qualify after two years of unprotected sex, which albeit a long time, holds no additional financial cost. This is discrimination. Plain and simple.
In the healthcare system, LGBTQ+ couples should be entitled to equal treatment with heterosexual couples. Being LGBTQ+ is not the same as being medically ‘infertile’ and this puts an unfair financial burden on our community.
We were also shocked to find that some of our followers gave up on having a family whilst others made dangerous private deals with men on social media, as a result of being unable to afford these high costs.
Our community are being forced to put their lives and those of their future children at risk.
We are asking for the government to:
1. Complete the review into LGBTQ+ access to fertility treatment in the UK that Health Secretary Matt Hancock said he would in summer 2019. Ensuring that they reconsider the ban on home insemination which has been in place since 2005 - forcing all applicants to use private clinics if they want to access safe, medically-screened sperm.
2. Ensure CCGs adhere to the NICE guidelines to fund three rounds of IVF for women and trans men under 40 - removing the financial barrier on same sex female couples, single women and trans men to spend money at private clinics first. As well as removing 'postcode lotteries' and streamlining the process, ensuring the requirements and information is easily accessible to all.
3. Start to officially collect data on LGBTQ+ families and LGBTQ+ people applying for access to fertility treatment.
4. Introduce formal training of all NHS staff on LGBTQ+ issues. Focusing on how to care for LGBTQ+ patients, including LGBTQ+ families seeking fertility treatment.
How YOU can help:
1. Please sign the petition and help us call on the government to carry out a review and stop discriminating against LGBTQ+ families in the UK.
3. Please email your MP - download template here.