Fertility treatment bans in Europe draw criticism

By Maria Cheng

Associated Press

Published: Friday, April 13 2012 2:40 a.m. MDT

When Italian residents Giuseppina La Delfa and Raphaelle Hoedts decided to have a baby, they knew that would mean crossing borders. Needing a sperm donation for IVF that they couldn't get in Italy, the lesbian couple went to Belgium for more than a dozen cycles of fertility treatment. La Delfa gave birth to daughter Lisa-Marie in 2003.

"It was very difficult and it cost a lot of money, but it was the only way," said La Delfa, a 49-year-old French teacher. "Nothing was more important to us than her."

La Delfa considers the restrictions imposed on IVF for lesbian and gay couples not only archaic, but ineffective.

"They think there's only one way to be a parent," she said, of governments that ban fertility treatments. "They don't realize people will do whatever it takes to have a family."

For the two women, that meant another IVF trip last year, this time to Spain. Hoedts is currently pregnant with the couple's second child.

La Delfa said Lisa-Marie, now 8, is proud of her unusual origins.

"I joke with her that her big ears come from her donor," La Delfa said.

Online:

Fertility group: http://www.fertilityeurope.eu/

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