At least two Netherlands IVF clinics to help gay couples and surrogate mothers

According to PinkNews, at least two clinics in the Netherlands will begin offering IVF treatment to gay couples and surrogate mothers from 2019. This could reduce outbound fertility tourism from Holland.

The change means that gay couples who want to become fathers will no longer have to travel abroad for treatment or surrogacy.

According to Dutch law, the person that gives birth to the child is the legal parent, even if the child “was conceived using a donor egg.” The current state of the law, experts say, would have to adjust to better regulate evolving surrogacy practices.

The law changed in 2014 to simplify the process by which the woman in a lesbian relationship who does not give birth to the baby can be recognised as the child’s legal parent. The change has not affected gay couples, who need to seek a court’s approval before obtaining joint responsibility of a child born through surrogacy. In the case of adoption, the same-sex couple obtains automatic joint responsibility.

The PinkNews article says that gay couples in Holland are not the only ones who are being forced to seek IVF treatment or surrogacy abroad.

It says earlier this year, the Israeli LGBT+ community went on strike after a new surrogacy law ignored the needs of gay couples. In the UK, the NHS has been struggling to meet demand for IVF treatment from both straight and gay couples, forcing hundreds to go abroad for the procedure, and in France, President Emmanuel Macron’s plan to allow lesbian couples and single women to access IVF treatment has face a backlash from certain parts of society.