What Singapore’s Move to Legalise Egg Freezing Says About its Society

Yvette Tan | BBC | April 28, 2022

The Singaporean government announced that single women from 21-35 years of age can freeze their eggs starting in 2023. The caveat is that women can only use the eggs once they are legally married, which excludes women who remain single and lesbian couples.

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Gay Couple Files Complaint Against New York City Over Denying IVF Coverage

Jo Yurcaba | NBC News | April 15, 2022

A gay couple filed a charge against New York City because the city’s insurance policy for IVF is discriminatory. The policy requires a diagnosis of infertility, which is defined as “inability to conceive after 12 months of unprotected intercourse,” which excludes gay couples.

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In Breakthrough, Israel Temporary Eases Gay Surrogacy Policy

Adir Yanko | Ynet News | April 11, 2022

Israel’s Health Ministry announced that single gay males or gay couples who have frozen embryos abroad, or are planning to freeze them until the end of April, can bring them to Israel for insemination via a surrogate.

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‘Those Who Used Surrogacy Should Lab-Check Their Child’s Genes’

Aastha Atray Banan | Mid-Day | February 6, 2022

India recently passed new Surrogacy and ART Acts, banning commercial surrogacy and germline cell sales, respectively. In this interview, author Pinki Virani acknowledges that the acts will promote a more regulated, less money-oriented fertility industry by eliminating the sale-purchase aspect of sperm and eggs and putting power in the hands of surrogates. On the other hand, Virani believes that there are still risks with IVF and third-party reproduction due to the complexity of sourcing sex cells, fertilization, implantation, and birth. In particular, she urges patients to undergo thorough screening processes to reduce the risk of genetic siblings unknowingly becoming a couple.  

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Switzerland’s Marriage Equality Law Widens to Allow Access to IVF

James Moore | BioNews | November 22, 2021

Starting in July 2022, same-sex couples in Switzerland will be able to marry and access the same assisted reproduction, adoption, and fertility services as heterosexual couples. Surrogacy and egg donation remain illegal, so families desiring these services would only have access by  traveling abroad.

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‘Shared Motherhood’ Couple Can Both be Named on Irish Birth Certificate

Michaela Chen | BioNews | October 25, 2021

Irish couple Ranae von Meding and her wife, Audrey Rooney, won the right to be legally recognized as a two-mother family. The couple’s two daughters were conceived in Spain through reciprocal IVF, in which Rooney’s egg was fertilized in vitro and implanted into von Meding’s uterus. Only von Meding was recognized as the legal parent, though the two were married when Rooney gave birth to both daughters. Children and Family Relationships Act 2015 only recognizes same-sex couples who conceive and birth in Ireland, but von Meding and Rooney conceived in Spain because no Irish clinics offered reciprocal IVF at the time. Irish legislation is still lacking legal parenthood provisions on surrogacy, home insemination, and births abroad.

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WNBA Players to Get Free Fertility Testing, Reproductive Support

Kim Bhasin | Bloomberg | October 7, 2021

Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) players can now receive free access to fertility support and testing services from San Francisco-based company Modern Fertility. This plan comes as an addition to the 2020 agreement drawn between the WNBA and its players that increased compensation and benefits such as paid maternity leave, child-care stipend, adoption, and surrogacy. The health of female athletes has been a hot topic recently, especially with high-profile figures such as tennis player Naomi Osaka and gymnastics athlete Simone Biles vocal on the topic.

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Coast Guard Aid Society Offers Loans to Offset Fertility Costs

Rebecca Alwine | Military.com | September 7, 2021

Nonprofit organization Coast Guard Mutual Assistance recently introduced the Assisted Reproductive Services (ARS), a zero-interest loan available to military personnel who wish to use fertility treatments. The loan is available to all personnel regardless of marital status and sexual orientation, and can be reapplied for multiple times. ARS provides up to $6,000 for fertility treatments, such as intrauterine insemination, IVF, surrogacy, and other ARTs. One same-sex Army couple, who spent almost $20,000 to conceive their three children via IVF, says one ARS loan “would have covered five IUI [intrauterine insemination] treatments easily.” 

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USCIS Updates Policy on Children Born Through Assistive Reproductive Technology

Jordan Williams | The Hill | August 5, 2021

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) updated its policy regarding children born through surrogacy and IVF abroad. The new policy means that a child born to a non-genetic or non-gestational parent will be a US citizen if the parent is married to the genetic or gestational parent. This allows for greater recognition of children born to same sex couples as well as families where there are not two genetic parents. 

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Duckworth Pushes For Paid Leave For Pregnancy Loss

Caitlin Huey-Burns | CBS News | July 20, 2021

Illinois Senator Tammy Duckworth introduced the “Support Through Loss Act” which would require employers to provide at least three days paid leave following any reproductive loss, including miscarriage, failed adoption or surrogacy arrangement, or unsuccessful fertility procedure. Currently, the Family and Medical Leave Act allows people to take upwards of 12 weeks unpaid leave to care for a newborn or newly adopted child, but there is no paid leave program yet.

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