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Having a child is the most natural thing in the world. In an ideal scenario, it’s a situation born of love, commitment and the desire to procreate. But what if the usual trappings of that romantic impulse to give life aren’t available to you?
To put it into context, The UK Adoption and Children Act 2002 gave same-sex couples the right to jointly adopt children, and in the same year the English Court of Appeal judged that a same-sex couple could be seen to be “living together as husband and wife”.
The Civil Partnership Act was passed in 2004 and the Human Fertilisation and Embryology (HFE) Act 1990 was revised in2008. The new HFE Act gives lesbian couples who conceive using licensed donor sperm increased legal recognition in law, replacing the 1990 wording of “father” with “supportive parenting”. Under the new act, if a woman is in a civil partnership at the time of the treatment, then “the other party to the civil partnership is to be treated as a parent of the child”. If a woman is not in a civil partnership at the time she obtains donor sperm but has a partner who gives consent to the treatment, the non-birth mother is automatically treated as a parent of the child.
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