Pu­blished: 9. Fe­bruary 2022 | Up­dated: 14. De­cember 2023 Author: Jenia Chor­naya | Re­viewed by Jenia Chor­naya

Les­bian cou­ples with the de­sire to have children

Tre­at­ment op­tions

The me­dical tre­at­ment me­thod for a les­bian couple is fer­ti­liza­tion with do­nated sperm. Whe­ther it comes from a pri­vate donor or a sperm bank de­pends on the per­sonal cir­cum­s­tances and wishes of the fu­ture par­ents.

Do you want an an­ony­mous do­na­tion? Or would you not ex­clude the do­nor’s in­vol­vement in the child’s life? These ques­tions should be dis­cussed in de­tail in ad­vance.

There is also the so-called ROPA me­thod (“Re­cep­tion of Oo­cytes from Partner”), in which both part­ners par­ti­ci­pate in the pregnancy and pass on their bio­lo­gical ge­netic ma­te­rial to the joint child.

In this me­thod, the egg of one partner is fer­ti­lized with sperm from a donor and im­planted into the body of the other partner. In simpler terms, this me­thod in­volves do­na­ting eggs and sperm to the woman who car­ries out the pregnancy. In­iti­ally, only the woman who car­ries out the child and gives birth is con­sidered the legal mo­ther. If the two women are mar­ried, the partner be­comes co-mo­ther with the birth of the child.

lesbian couple

The legal si­tua­tion for les­bian cou­ples with a de­sire to have children

The Em­bryo Pro­tec­tion Act pro­vides the legal frame­work for re­pro­duc­tive me­di­cine in Ger­many, ac­cor­ding to which both egg do­na­tion and sur­rogacy are il­legal. Thus, the ROPA me­thod for les­bian cou­ples is only pos­sible ab­road.

Un­like egg do­na­tion, sperm do­na­tion and in­se­mi­na­tion for les­bian cou­ples who wish to have children is not ex­pressly pro­hi­bited in Ger­many. Ho­wever, if a dis­pute arises, the person who caused the pregnancy is con­sidered the fa­ther. In the case of sperm do­na­tion, this would be the donor or the trea­ting doctor in the first in­s­tance. The­r­e­fore, be­fore any pos­sible tre­at­ment, the legal basis of pa­ren­thood must be cla­ri­fied first of all, also for a pos­sible dis­pute in the fu­ture. Fur­ther­more, in a les­bian re­la­ti­onship, the mo­ther’s partner can adopt the child, but only after birth.

Fur­ther doubts are raised by the gui­de­lines on “as­sisted re­pro­duc­tion” pu­blished by the German Me­dical As­so­cia­tion, which re­com­mends wi­t­hout ob­li­ga­tion that fer­ti­lity cli­nics and sperm banks only treat he­te­ro­se­xual cou­ples.

For fear of fi­nan­cial re­spon­si­bi­lity, many cli­nics and sperm banks the­r­e­fore re­ject les­bian cou­ples with a de­sire to have children as pa­ti­ents, so that they usually have to rely on help ab­road.

Ho­wever, de­spite the patchy legal si­tua­tion, there are also a few Fer­ti­lity Cen­ters in Ger­many that ad­vise and treat les­bian cou­ples who wish to have children. These also offer de­tailed in­for­ma­tion on costs, donor sel­ec­tion and chal­lenges that a les­bian couple with a child wish should be pre­pared for.

About Fer­tilly

At Fer­tilly, we have made it our mis­sion to ac­com­pany cou­ples (ho­mo­se­xual and he­te­ro­se­xual) and sin­gles on the way to ful­fil­ling their child wish. In doing so, it is im­portant to us to create trans­pa­rency in the area of fer­ti­lity ser­vices, to pro­vide in­for­ma­tion and know­ledge on the to­pics of pregnancy and fer­ti­lity and to help you to find the most sui­table Fer­ti­lity Center. Th­rough co­ope­ra­tion with first-class Fer­ti­lity Cen­tres and cli­nics in Eu­rope, en­qui­ries about Fer­tilly are given pre­fe­ren­tial tre­at­ment. This means that our pa­ti­ents avoid the usually long wai­ting times and get ap­point­ments more quickly.

If you would like more in­for­ma­tion about Fer­ti­lity Cen­ters, suc­cess rates and prices, please contact us using this ques­ti­on­n­aire. We will ad­vise you free of charge and wi­t­hout any ob­li­ga­tion.

  • Answer the first ques­tions in the on­line form in order to book an ap­point­ment. This way we can better ad­dress your needs du­ring the con­ver­sa­tion.

  • We will find the best contact person for your in­di­vi­dual needs. Sche­dule 20 mi­nutes for the con­sul­ta­tion.

  • We will in­tro­duce you to the right fer­ti­lity clinic from our net­work, make an ap­point­ment and ac­com­pany you until your wish for a child is ful­filled.

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