- Advice & Education
- Community Support
- International Family Equality
- Legal & Financial
- News & Politics
- Travel & Vacations
The news could hardly have been more devastating for policeman John Powell. Diagnosed with testicular cancer at the age of 32, he was given only six months to live and told that aggressive chemotherapy would leave him infertile.
That was 21 years ago – and now he and his wife are celebrating the arrival of a daughter. Mr Powell had a sperm sample frozen before he began the treatment and, when he was finally given the all-clear after two decades, it was used to create baby Jasmine.
She spent two years undergoing IVF treatment, and after four failed attempts thought she had lost all hope of becoming a mother So it’s little wonder Kate Silverton looks overjoyed as she shows off the baby she never thought she would have – conceived naturally within weeks of stopping the treatment.
A cut-price test that could dramatically increase the chances of having a healthy baby through IVF could be available within 18 months. Oxford University researchers say their test could ‘revolutionise’ the treatment as it is half the price of existing tests and may be just as effective.
It may be cheap enough for use by the Health Service. And, unlike existing tests, it does not involve the potentially risky step of taking a sample of cells from the egg or fledgling embryo, making it safer and more ethically acceptable.
The number of people accessing fertility treatments such as IVF and ICSI has risen in the UK by almost six percent in the past year.
Statistics released by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HEFA) revealed the number of fertility cycles carried out in 2010 stood at 57,652 – a 5.9 percent increase on treatments in 2009. It was also found that the age of women having such treatments is rising; within the last 20 years it has increased by 18 months.
A retired teacher who gave birth at 57 through IVF now admits that she was too old to have a child. Susan Tollefsen sparked an ethical storm after becoming Britain’s oldest first-time mother when she had daughter Freya using sperm from her partner Nick Mayer, who is 11 years her junior, and a donor egg.
Now aged 61 and separated from Mr Mayer, she believes there should be an age limit of 50 for IVF treatment for women in the UK. The pensioner said she had split from Mr Mayer in part because of the ‘shock’ of having a child so late in life.
Although the law kept her from adopting her son, a woman involved in a 20-year, same-sex relationship has the right to seek custody and visitation rights for a child born to her now-estranged partner, the Nebraska Supreme Court ruled. The Court ruled she has the right to argue she became a parent through her parenting of a boy born to her partner, Susan Schwerdtfeger, in 2001 through IVF. The case marks the first time the state court has provided guidance in the polarizing area of custody and visitation rights of same-sex couples parents.
Once known as "Australia's worst lesbian", Finance Minister Penny Wong recently announced that her partner, Sophie Allouache, has conceived through in-vitro fertilization [IVF] and is expecting their first child in December. Wong shifted her public position against marriage equality last year by announcing she would advocate at a national conference for a policy change “to support equality including in relation to marriage for same-sex couples”.