Every California resident deserves the chance to have a family, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity. A proposed bill in Congress could lead to equality for all when it comes to fertility treatments.
Current state of fertility treatments
Although the laws have caught up regarding equality for LGBTQ individuals and couples, the area of fertility has long been a gray area. Members of the LGBTQ community have a tougher time getting the same access to fertility treatments to have a child. Many couples’ only option is surrogacy and using a donor egg or donor sperm. Depending on the couple’s situation, they might even need to get both to start their family.
Sadly, fertility treatments are not always successful for everyone. What might work for one person or couple may not work for the next. More invasive treatments like in-vitro fertilization (IVF) may be necessary. If that doesn’t work or isn’t possible, the next step might be gestational surrogacy. However, these procedures are often not covered by insurance and are expensive. Gestational surrogacy, in particular, is very expensive unless the carrier is a family member or close friend of the couple. People who can’t afford any of those options might give up, as a result.
New bill proposes to help everyone
The new bill, called the Equal Access to Reproductive Care Act, aims to help LGBTQ couples start their families. Representatives Adam Schiff and Judy Chu introduced the act in June 2022 as a solution to cover fertility treatments as medical care. If passed, the bill would be included in the federal tax code so that anyone who wants to start a family can — through fertility treatments — and would not have to shell out tens of thousands of dollars. Members of the LGBTQ community would be able to deduct the costs of their treatment as medically necessary from their taxes, which is something heterosexual couples are already able to do.
If the Equal Access to Reproductive Care Act is passed, it would bring much-needed financial relief to many LGBTQ couples yearning to start a family of their own.