As of June 26, 2015 all American states are compelled to recognise and license same sex marriages based on the decision of the Supreme Court in Obergefell v. Hodges. There are still a few states, as of January 2016, defying these federal same sex marriage laws. The opportunity to get legally married must be seen as a major step toward LGBTQI family rights. Prior to this sodomy laws have been struck down, also in the US Supreme Court, and repeals of Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act have also occurred.
In 2010 President Barack Obama made changes to hospital visitation and moral decision-making rights to allow gay and lesbian partners recognition in this fundamental and highly sensitive area. This followed a number of distressing cases where partners and children were denied access to their partners by hospitals, even in terminal situations. LGBTQI family rights: an update on USA legislation shows it to be a work in progress; but progress is being made.
Importantly, access to IVF and sperm donors has been a LGBTQI right for some time now; which goes to the heart of family rights. Now, as the right to marry and have their marriages officially recognized by federal law, LGBTQIs can enjoy the rights of all Americans and have families. There is always a time lag between new legislation and acceptance from the public at large; but these courageous people are no stranger to insensitive behaviours by the ‘so-called’ moral majority. The big difference now is that LGBTQIs have the law on their side.
With the federal election year now in full swing, LGBTQIs will be watching the Democrat versus Republican political battle with interest. Obviously, a Republican victory would set the reform agenda back but they will not have immediate control over the Supreme Court; the freedom of the judiciary is where the greatest LGBTQI family rights victories have occurred. A Bernie Sanders or Hilary Clinton victory in the presidential race would continue the rapid progress, now being made in LGBTQI human rights.
Gay Sperm Bank (GSB) urges all LGBTQIs to get involved in the political contest and continue the great work that has been done in this area by LGBTQI activists and lobbyists to this date. GSB wants to see stronger LGBTQI communities and more LGBTQI parents having babies and children. Family rights are the rights of all American citizens. The fight is not yet over.
Conceiving a child is not always straight forward, whether you are gay or straight. Fertility support for lesbian couples is sometimes needed; as it is for heterosexual couples who are having trouble conceiving. There is no shame or anything else in seeking help in this situation; in fact it makes perfect sense. Lesbian couples have a number of options when they choose to have a child. They can contact a willing male friend to be the sperm donor and they can either use the ‘turkey baster’ method or contrive the insemination through other means.
Legally in America, they are not allowed to use fresh sperm for insemination, due to the risk of transmitting infectious diseases. The sperm must be frozen and quarantined for six months prior to insemination. In addition, the donor must be tested before he donates his sperm, and at the time of thawing it out for insemination, for HIV I & II, all STDs, Hepatitis B & C, and HTLV.
Frozen sperm rates show that only one in eight men will have sperm capable of withstanding the defrost process. The cost of testing, freezing and thawing donor sperm is also expensive; and with the sperm of a friend there is no guarantee that it will work. Fertility support for lesbian couples in America is still fairly discriminative. As insurers can demand proof of infertility before they will cover the costs involved in artificial insemination.
Success rates of turkey basting artificial insemination are very low, around less than five percent; in most cases repeated attempts are necessary. Another alternative is Intra Uterine Insemination (IUI), using donor sperm under the guidance of an endocrinologist. The success rate of this technique can be as high as fifteen to twenty five percent; especially with Clomid helping ovulation. If all of these techniques fail repeatedly then IVF treatments are available. IVF is expensive, but it has high rates of success when compared with the processes already listed. The age of the woman wishing to conceive is also a major factor and must be taken into consideration.
There are a number of natural remedies and pharmaceuticals on the market designed to improve a woman’s fertility; and thus her ability to conceive. Infertility treatment advice can be sought from a number of medical specialist clinics in this field. Intra Cytoplasmic Sperm Insemination (ICSI) is also available; and this is where an immature sperm is injected into an egg.