There are a few ways in which lesbian couples can create a family. Each way requires considerable thought, planning and legal advice. You should get legal advice at the start of your journey and prior to insemination or embryo transfer.
It may be that you wish to conceive using a sperm donor (known or anonymous) or, you may wish to co-parent with somebody you know.
Legal parent status is based on circumstances prior to insemination or embryo transfer including marital status, biological connection and where the insemination or embryo transfer took place. In most cases the legal and financial obligations thereafter are irreversible. There are ways to ensure that both of you are the legal parents to the exclusion of the donor. There are also ways to ensure that you are both named as legal parents on the child’s birth certificate.
If you are using a known donor, you need to be clear about the role that the donor will play in the child’s life. A known donor is attractive not least because the option gives you as much information as possible to provide your child with to complete their genetic profile. However, I understand that you may not want the donor to play any part in the child’s life. Whether the donor has any legal rights and obligations in respect of the child depends on many factors determined prior to insemination or embryo transfer.
I advise lesbian couples to get legal advice and consider a pre conception agreement to confirm what the legal and financial intentions are.
If you prefer to use an anonymous donor please note that if you conceive at a clinic in the UK, the donor’s identity details will be available to the child when the child is 18. There are obvious risks to obtaining anonymous sperm donations in any other way within or, outside of the UK.
Whether you use a clinic to find a donor or, you find a donor on the internet and self-inseminate, you should get legal advice.
You may decide that one of you will donate eggs and create an embryo with a sperm donor. That embryo is then transferred into the womb of a surrogate. I will advise you on how you can both become the legal parents once the surrogate has given birth, provided that one of you is biologically connected to the child. See here for advice about surrogacy with double donation.
Whichever way you choose to conceive, contact me to make sure that the intended parents become the legal parents.