Instituto BernabeuIn modern society, the increasing demand for assisted reproduction techniques from single women and same-sex couples has become a reality. From the perspective of reproduction, women only need to receive the male gamete (sperm). For years, these couples have solved the problem in ways that have not always been medically or legally safe and have had to face the possibility of infectious diseases and paternity suits.

Today, these inconveniencies are solved in assisted reproduction centres, where procedures that meet their demands and offer them a solid and safe foundation are regularly performed.

Thanks to Assisted Reproduction Techniques (ART), Reproductive Medicine enables us to distinguish the fact of reproduction from the act of intercourse between two people. Several options for motherhood are offered to both single women and : donor sperm insemination, In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) using the woman’s own eggs, reception of eggs from partner (the so-called ROPA method, where one partner is stimulated and the other carries the embryos, both becoming mothers: one of them, the genetic mother, and the other, the birth mother), embryo adoption (adopting embryos donated by other couples who have already realised their reproductive wishes), or oocyte donation, if necessary.

Legal Implications:

In Spain, the donation contract and the legal determination of filiation (the relationship of parents and their offspring) for children that are born using these techniques are regulated by Law 14/2006, on Assisted Human Reproduction techniques. This law has become a clear illustration of the fight for mothers’ interests and women’s right to reproduce. The prohibition of surrogate pregnancy, also known as “womb rental”, remains in force.

Article 6.1 states that: “Women shall be able to use the techniques regulated in this Law regardless of their marital status and their sexual orientation”.

Since Law 13/2005, of 1 July, allows for same-sex marriage, children born as a result of fertilisation would be legally affiliated to the birth mother and her spouse-wife, provided that the latter has signed a formal consent form.

The Spanish Constitution protects families at the social, economic and legal levels. Single parent families (a single adult who has biological or adopted children) are a clear example, as well as legally registered couples and homosexual families –other family models that need to be protected.

These types of family by choice reflect both family diversity and female autonomy to build their own destiny.

These women have chosen a life project that requires specific support from the Reproductive Medicine team. At our centre, we have professionals who specialise in treating this type of patients.

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