Stonewall Cymru | Donor insemination and fertility treatment for lesbians
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Donor insemination and fertility treatment

Donor insemination

Donor insemination involves using donor sperm. This can be obtained by using an anonymous sperm donor (from a sperm bank), or using a known donor or a friend. All information below is for babies that are conceived after the 6 April 2009 when the laws changed which affected the rights of same-sex female couples.

Prospective parents can inseminate at home or through a licensed fertility clinic. Depending on which method you use there can be implications with regards to legal parenthood.

  • If the baby is conceived in a licensed fertility clinic or at home and the couple are in a civil partnership or married, then the non-birth parent will automatically be the second parent and will be named as such on the birth certificate. The donor will have no legal parenthood.
  • If the baby is conceived in a licensed fertility clinic and the couple are not married or in a civil partnership, then they will need to complete a simple form at the clinic for the non-birth parent to be the legal parent and to appear on the birth certificate. The donor will have no legal parenthood.
  • If the baby is conceived outside of a fertility clinic and the couple are not in a civil partnership, the non-birth parent must apply to adopt the child to gain legal rights.

Fertility treatment

Licensed clinic or at home?

For many people trying to conceive using a licensed fertility clinic can take a lot of the worry out of the process as being treated by professionals brings the benefits of experience and specialised care. Should you decide you wish to be treated by professionals there are two options for you to consider.

Fertility treatment on the NHS

To access fertility treatment on the NHS you will need to be referred by your GP. Because NHS IVF treatment is expensive, there are some restrictions on who can access it for free but your GP should be aware of this. Alternatively you can contact your local health board to find out more information. Anyone who fulfil the criteria should not be refused treatment just because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

The Welsh Health Specialised Services Committee produced guidance on fertility treatment which indicates that an individual or couple must demonstrate 'subfertility' before there can be access to NHS funded IVF treatment. Subfertility is defined as no live birth following insemination at or just prior to the known time of ovulation on at least five non-stimulated cycles or a fertility problem demonstrated at investigation.

Going private

Some couples prefer to conceive via a private clinic as a private patient. As a private patient you will have to pay full costs for any treatment you receive. Costs will vary depending on what treatments you require and the clinic you use. This can be expensive, especially if you have to try a few times. Some couples have told us that they prefer accessing treatment via private clinics because they are more confident that they will be treated equally. The process and procedure is normally the same as accessing treatment via an NHS clinic.

External groups


Wales Fertility Institute - operated by Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board with a second site at the University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff. Offers a wide range of fertility services across South Wales - 01639 862698

WFI Neath - 01639 862 698, WFI Cardiff - 029 2074 3047

London Women's Clinic, Wales - Provide expert fertility treatment and support - 02920 236 301


For further information please contact Stonewall Cymru's Information Service on 08000 502020 or email