UK same-sex couples flocking to LA surrogacy clinic

March 30, 2007

LONDON — British same-sex couples, practically banned from using surrogates in their own country, are using an American clinic to have children. “The Fertility Institute, a clinic in Los Angeles, has started running a programme,” reports www.PinkNews.co.uk, “where male couples pay for eggs from a university student to be implanted in another woman, often from a working-class background, who carries the child. The sperm comes from one of the gay men.”

Same-sex couples are turning to America, because in England, you cannot give surrogate mothers or egg donors money. As a result, says the site, UK same-sex couples who desired biological children in the past were forced to visit many differenct agencies to get mothers, donors, lawyers and medical treatment for the process.

The Los Angeles clinic is allowing these couples to pick the gender of the child, something that is also not legal in many countries, including England. Most of the same-sex couples are choosing to have male children.

Josephine Quintavalle, a founder of a group that’s against IVF, said to UK’s The Times that "this program shows we have reached the ultimate in the manufacture of the bio-baby. There always seems to be a new way of reconstructing the traditional family. On the one hand in the United Kingdom we are saying that a child doesn't need a father, but in America we are saying that two fathers is a good idea."

The clinic told The Times they are simply fulfilling a service for men who can’t do surrogacy in England. Dr Jeffrey Steinberg, director of The Fertility Institute, told The Times that "in the past two years we have probably treated 20 British gay couples and in the past four days, since launching the dedicated program for gay couples, we have had about 25 e-mails from gay British couples. There is a pent-up demand for this."

It costs 33,000 pounds to have a child through the LA clinic’s procedure. Thirteen thousand to eighteen thousand pounds goes to the mother, says PinkNews.co.uk. – Issued by Gay Link Content

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