Homosexuals who wish to have a child must have recourse to someone other than their regular sexual partner in order to conceive a child. Lesbian couples frequently resort to [in vivo] artificial insemination with the sperm from a male friend donor, or from the sperm bank of a fertility clinic.
Not all fertility clinics will assist homosexual couples to have children; there are concerns that role models of both sexes are not present in the home for the child, that there will be less parental input from the non-biological parent, and that the child will be unhappy at school because his peers will taunt him about his non-standard family.
In 1990 a British court ruled that no group of women could be excluded from assistance in reproduction. Private donor arrangements are not legally recognized, so the non-biological co-parent has no legal rights to the child.
Lesbian couples have had children in the USA, the Netherlands and the UK. It is estimated that there might be a few hundred couples in the UK.
1. Many fertility clinics refuse fertility treatments, including sperm donation, to lesbians on the grounds that they are fertile, and therefore do not need fertility treatments. It's like asking for chemotherapy just to get your hair cut.
2. Social outrage at lesbian co-parenting stems from a presumption that the children may be sexually abused. A lesbian says that society forgets that a parent is a parent first and foremost.
1. A child of lesbian co-parents is very much a wanted child. Obviously there is no such thing as an unwanted pregnancy.
2. Homosexual couples do not have lesbian daughters and gay sons, according to one study. Their adolescent offspring are more open-minded than other children about what counts as acceptable sexual behaviour.