Assisted reproduction is a method due to which a person or a couple can conceive a child by other means than sexual intercourse.[1] Heterosexual couples, pursuing their interest of having a child usually seek assisted reproduction in the case of infertility issues. Similarly, homosexual couples have an interest of having a child as well, yet in order to be able to do that they either have to have a heterosexual intercourse or seek assisted fertilization simply because they cannot reproduce with their partner of the same sex.

Considering the biological differences, the needs and challenges of the male and female same sex couples defer from each other. The comparison of the main challenges of lesbian and gay couples is reflected in two major areas, namely the legal access to assisted fertilization and involvement of third parties in the process of fertilization through sperm donations, egg donations and surrogacy.

Lesbian couples and gay couples have different struggles and challenges when it comes to legal and medical aspects of access to assisted reproduction. In both cases lesbian couples have less restriction and less complication in acquiring assisted reproduction. The main reason is that one of the partners of lesbian couple can get fertilized as a single woman, which legally gives less chance to be restricted. Yet, gay couples need an involvement of a surrogate, who would carry their child and surrogacy is still illegal in a big number of countries. The second aspect of challenges is connected to the difference between egg and sperm donations. Sperm donation needed by lesbian couples is less restricted than egg donation, which use can be sought by gay couples.


[1] Charles P. Kindregan, Maureen McBrien, Assisted Reproductive Technology: A Lawyer’s Guide to Emerging Law and Science, Page323