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At VivaNeo, we know that the desire to have children remains unfulfilled among many lesbian couples and singles. We are therefore very happy to advise and treat these women at our centres, as permitted by law. We have specialized in fertility treatments for lesbian couples and singles at the StorkKlinik in Denmark since the facility was founded, so we can draw on years of experience.
An initial examination and advice session is offered at every VivaNeo fertility centre in Germany. In Berlin, we also offer you fertility treatment based on this first appointment. We treat lesbian couples and singles in Denmark and the Netherlands too. Our fertility centres in Austria are also delighted to accompany and actively support lesbian couples along the way to experiencing the joy that a baby brings. The legal situation in Austria does not however allow us to offer singles fertility treatment in the country.
The legal framework governing sperm donation is country-specific (link here, if appropriate, to the ESHRE’s overview of legal frameworks in the EU). On 1 July 2018, major legal reform is due to take effect in Germany. This will mean that all data concerning sperm donors and treatment involving donors’ sperm will be entered into a centralized register and must be preserved for 110 years.
Those children who suspect that they were conceived in connection with a heterological sperm donation then have a right to access information held by the German Institute for Medical Documentation and Information. This right is independent of the age of the children. Persons conceived before 1 July 2018 can exercise this right in connection with the doctor who treated their parents. The anonymous donation of sperm is not permitted in Germany.
Up until now, the legal environment in Germany has not made it easy for lesbian couples and singles in Germany. According to German Medical Association policy, these groups are not allowed to be offered fertility treatment. Berlin and Hamburg are exceptions to the rule. The following descriptions outline how the rules vary from country to country.
Treatment using donors’ sperm and donated egg cells is permitted in Denmark for both lesbian couples and single women. The only caveat is that the patient's own gametes must be incorporated into the conception process. By way of example, it is not currently possible to conceive using both donated egg cells and sperm (so-called double donation). This is however likely to change as of 1 January 2018 – the relevant bill is currently under consideration in the Danish parliament.
If the donor wants to remain anonymous, then their anonymity is protected by law in Denmark. This applies to both sperm and egg cell donors. Where the donor does not wish to remain anonymous, the children so conceived have the option to request information about the donor once they reach the age of 18. Where the donor wishes to remain anonymous, children have no such right to request information.
In the Netherlands, it is permitted for lesbian couples and singles to receive fertility treatment using donated sperm and donated egg cells. It must be noted that, since 2005, anonymous donations are no longer permitted. Once they reach the age of 16, the children so conceived have the right to access information regarding the donor. No more than 15 families are permitted to be treated per donor. Each donor is permitted to be involved in the birth of a maximum of 25 children.
It estimated that around 400 treatments using egg cells are administered throughout the Netherlands each year. Of course, in each case, the donor does not remain anonymous. To be accepted as a donor, one must first acknowledge the right to information enjoyed by the children so conceived, once they reach the age of 16.
In 2015, the law was revised with regard to reproductive medicine (FMedG). Lesbian couples but not singles are permitted to be treated using donated sperm and donated egg cells. Anonymous donation is not permitted, the child so conceived has a right to information upon reaching the age of 14.
The donation of egg cells was made legal in Austria in 2015. With regard to reproduction, it is a requirement under Austrian law that inter alia the donor of the egg cell must not exceed 30 and the receiver of the egg cell must not exceed 45 years of age. The egg cell donor is not permitted to remain anonymous. The child so conceived has the right to access information about the donor upon reaching 14 years of age.
It is the firm conviction of VivaNeo that lesbian couples and singles should enjoy the right to have children. Since we know fertility treatment and social attitudes to sexuality are very personal topics, we want to assist and support you in the best possible way – not only with regard to specialist medical issues but also with human ones too. Do not hesitate to contact us, we look forward to hearing from you!
German VivaNeo fertility centres do not offer guidance, treatment or any other accompanying or preparative services relating to the donation of egg cells. In Germany, egg cell donation and associated services are criminal offences under paragraph 1 sections 1 ESchG. If you have sought advice about other services at a German VivaNeo centre, then our centres in Denmark, the Netherlands and Austria are not permitted to offer you any treatment involving donated egg cells.