Gay Marriage, Adoption, Surrogacy: Revolutionary Bill Raises Hope Among LGBTQ+ Cubans

Nora Gámez Torres | Miami Herald | September 17, 2021

The Cuban government recently drafted a family code that would allow same-sex marriage, adoption by same-sex couples, and uncompensated surrogacy arrangements. Before the code passes, however, the legal framework must be approved in a national referendum, which will likely  be difficult, given opposition from religious groups. Still, LGBTQ+ allies in Cuba says the proposal already “shatters paradigms” and is “much more than what we expected,” given the repressive and homophobic history of the Cuban revolution.

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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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Breanna Stewart’s Golden Journey to Motherhood

Kurt Streeter | The New York Times | August 16, 2021

Breanna Stewart is an Olympic medalist and Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) star, who shares her journey to motherhood as a professional lesbian athlete. Stewart knew she wanted to start a family with her wife, Marta Xargay, but did not want to break her momentum in the sport, so the two hired a gestational surrogate to have a child. The article features a video with Stewart and Xargay.

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Israeli Court Annuls Parts of Surrogacy Law Excluding Gays

AP News | July 11, 2021

In February 2020, the Israeli High Court ruled the country’s surrogacy restriction against same-sex couples and single men unconstitutional. The Court asked for changes within a year, then granted a 4-month extension after the government attributed delays to the COVID-19 outbreak. Parliament did not meet that deadline, and on July 11 the Court ruled that the amended law lifting restrictions on same-sex couples and single fathers will take effect in six months. LGBTQ advocates express that this is a “historic landmark in our struggle for equality,” noting future obstacles including legalization of same-sex marriage.

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State Department Will Recognize Citizenship of Babies Born to a US Citizen Through In Vitro Fertilization or Surrogacy

Connor Perrett | Business Insider | May 18, 2021

The State Department announced that children born through surrogacy or IVF in other countries are automatically considered US citizens if one parent is a US citizen. Previously, children born abroad were required to be genetically related to the parent with US citizenship, but under the new policy, the genetic connection can be to either married parent. The updated policy will particularly alleviate the process of having children through assisted reproduction for same sex couples.

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Same-sex Couple Fight for Children Born via SA Surrogacy to be Granted Citizenship in Namibia

Kirthana Pillay and Sisipho Skweyiya | Sowetan LIVE | April 16, 2021

Namibian Philip Luhl and his husband Guillermo Delgado have welcomed three surrogacy-born children delivered in South Africa, but are struggling to obtain Namibian citizenship and travel documents for the children. The Namibian government requires proof of a genetic link to acknowledge parentage and to issue travel documents; it also does not recognize same-sex marriage. Luhl argues that these laws permit discrimination and violate human rights.

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Single Fathers Can Now Legally Register a Child Born Through Surrogacy in SA

Viwe Ndongeni-Ntlebi | Independent Online | March 30, 2021

While South Africa recognizes single women who have children through surrogacy as parents,  registering a surrogacy-born child was not available to single fathers until now. The Makhanda High Court recently instructed that Wesley Hayes, whose daughter Justin was born through surrogacy a year ago, be registered as the official parent. On the birth certificate, he will be listed as the father and, under mother, it will read “not applicable.” Hayes said his case will make it easier for single dads who follow. His story is also highlighted in Gays With Kids.

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LGBTQ and Single Prospective Parents in Illinois Would Have Access to Fertility Benefits that Heterosexual Couples Have Enjoyed For 30 Years, Under Proposed Law: ‘This is an Anti-discrimination Bill’

Nara Schoenberg | Chicago Tribune | April 5, 2021

Illinois state law requires large companies to cover fertility services if they offer pregnancy benefits. However, the requirement also details that couples must first try to conceive for a full year of unprotected sex, which excludes LGBTQ couples and single people. Representative Margaret Croke proposed a bill addressing these inequalities that will be reviewed by the House of Representatives by the end of May.

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China’s LGBTQ Community Is the Hidden Victim of a Celebrity Surrogacy Scandal

Koh Ewe | Vice | March 19, 2021

This article discusses the interconnectedness of surrogacy and the LGBTQ community in China. After actress Zheng Shuang’s scandal, surrogacy has garnered newfound attention and vehement scrutiny due to illegality in China as well as attention to the rights of women. LGBTQ couples voiced their worries about the negative perceptions of surrogacy impacting their ability to start families and affecting their recent progress towards societal acceptance.

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Portland Passes LGBTQ+ Inclusive Fertility Health Coverage for City Employees

Danny Peterson | KOIN 6 News | January 6, 2021

The Portland City Council unanimously passed an ordinance to include single and LGBTQ city employees in their fertility and family planning health benefits. Previous exclusions in coverage leading to high out-of-pocket expenses for fertility treatments, adoption, surrogacy, or fostering had disproportionate effects on marginalized communities. Elected officials expressed excitement about breaking down barriers for city employees who hope to become parents.

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