NHS transgender fertility treatment: "Everybody has the right to a family", says Stonewall charity

'The problem is transphobia', says Stonewall charity on criticism of transgender fertility treatment

Fertility treatment for transgender people is available on the NHS

Monday, August 1, 2016

Women who undergo a sex change through the NHS can be given the option to have free fertility treatment to enable them to have babies after becoming men

In most cases, women's eggs are frozen at NHS clinics before the onset of surgery or hormone therapy for gender reassignment.

In rare situations, men can become pregnant if they retain female reproductive organs, as happened to Honolulu man Thomas Beatie in 2008. 

Doctor James Barrett, from the NHS' Gender Identity Clinic in London, says three patients who have transitioned to become men there are close to having children, using previously frozen sperm or eggs. 

It can cost around £34,000 per patient for the NHS to help people reassign their gender and enable them to have children, and concerns have been raised about the amount being spent when other services are struggling for money.

But Kim Sanders, from the charity Stonewall – which campaigns for the equality of lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans (LGBT) people – believes there should be no debate about fertility provision, saying: "Everybody has the right to a family."

Sanders told Julia Hartley-Brewer: "The problem is that people think because people are trans they shouldn't have access, when they absolutely should.

"The problem is transphobia.

"I don't think it's a choice [to undertake gender realignment] and I think that kind of language is a denigration and a belittling of trans people to understand how uncomfortable it can be to live your life in the wrong gender presentation.

"I don't see anyone who goes through treatment which affects their fertility where there's not questions asked [about the possibility of receiving fertility treatment].

"So I don't understand why when it involves a trans person it then becomes a debate and a controversy."

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