A lesbian couple talk about their route to parenthood using a fertility clinic:
"As a couple we both had our different journeys of wanting to become parents, but when we made the decision the desire became so intense that we just wanted to get on with it.
Of course as a lesbian couple this wasn't going to happen by accident so we emerged ourselves into surfing the net, speaking to people and discussing it between ourselves. When we started out we kept our options fully open, from attending a clinic for help, to buying in sperm from the net or seeking a donor ourselves.
As we absorbed all this information it became clear to us that we wanted to be a two parent family, this in part was influenced by stories that we had read of when things go wrong with active donors and also in case we ever wanted to live overseas we didn't want to have to negotiate this with anyone else. The other consideration for us was the health of our baby and having the use of sperm that had been health screened seemed really important at the time.
We embarked upon the fertility service route and went to our fabulous GP to refer us. We know that other lesbians are worried about this first step and whether the GP will be supportive, but we didn't feel nervous about this as we had a good relationship with him and knew that he would be happy for us.
At this point in our journey we had no worries and seemed to be in control of our option to become parents. . .
We attended the clinic appointment and did feel a bit conscious of sitting in a room with couples who couldn't get pregnant because of fertility reasons but we still felt positive about our journey and the staff were lovely who dealt with us.
Then came the big blow, because of being overweight they wouldn't let us try until some weight had been lost, the tears could not be held back, it just very much reminded us that we were not in control of becoming parents, and that coupled with the potential financial cost seemed like we were being hugely marginalized because of our sexuality. There was a short period of considering other options again like buying sperm or asking someone to be a donor, we were upset and this seemed to give us a bit of control back.
A happy ending was around the corner though, the next visit to the clinic a tokenism of 2lbs was lost so treatment could begin, we did wonder why we were put under all that upset and emotional stress for 2lbs, however we didn't have time to dwell on it because on the first attempt we became pregnant. And now have a gorgeous little girl called Ruby. We also saved some sperm and went through the process again so each of us experienced being birth mum and partner, and now Ruby has a gorgeous little sister called Eva.
As a lesbian couple and being pregnant and having children we could never fully describe the tremendous support and friendship that we have received from our community, particularly the family friendly Manchester Lesbian and Gay Chorus, and all our friends in Rainbow Families. It would have been really difficult to be parents without their help. Good Luck with your journey".