California law makes having children easier for lesbian couples

The bill AB 2356, known as the Sperm Donor Law, faced near to no opposition as it made its way through government

California law makes having children easier for lesbian couples
29 December 2012

A California law will make it easier for gay couples to access same-sex couples to access fertility services on 1 January.

Originally only prioritized for straight couples, AB 2356 will ensure sperm donations will be available for all women.

Assembly member Nancy Skinner, who introduced the bill, said AB 2356 removes the obstacles LBT and single women faced when they sought medically-assisted insemination.

‘I am proud to have authored legislation that will eliminate those barriers and level the playing field for all women seeking medical services in their effort to conceive.’

Leading up to the bill passing, Equality California shared the story of Maya Scott-Chung who became pregnant by using sperm donated by a friend via an artichoke jar eight years go.

‘Maya and I have been together going on 16 years,’ her partner Chino Scott-Chung explained. ‘We both wanted to have kids and we both knew it when we got together. That was one of the big reasons we knew we could be together.’

Their at-home donation resulted in the birth of their daughter Luna, who was technically illegal.

When the couple had trouble conceiving a second child with the same method, they sought out medical assistance.

The doctors told them the only way in California they could have access to assisted reproduction is for one of them to go in with a sperm donor and pretend to be a straight couple.

‘Basically we would have to lie,’ Scott-Chung said. ‘And the thought of needing to lie about who we love and who we are in order to expand our family just seemed so painful and fundamentally wrong.’

But now, with the bill, they will have equal access.

Equality California Board President Clarissa Filgioun said: ‘This unequal treatment has, heartbreakingly, denied many couples the opportunity to conceive a child of their own.’

The United States Food and Drug Administration, who will enforce the ruling, declined to comment on the new law.

However they did cite a pending lawsuit brought last summer by a California woman who wanted to use artificial insemination from a known donor outside of a clinic and is challenging the testing requirement.

Check out Maya and Chino’s story here:

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