Shared maternity: Child with two biological mothers
ROPA : A new use of IVF."
In Spain, since the first sperm bank opened on 14th January 1978, it has been possible to treat lesbian women using sperm from anonymous donors so they could have children.
Law 13/2005 and law 14/2006 equated the rights of a lesbian couple to those of a heterosexual couple. This means that a woman can provide the eggs, which are fertilised using semen from the sperm bank, and then the embryos are transferred to her partner's womb. This means that both women are involved in the pregnancy, they both have to give their informed consent and they both have rights and responsibilities regarding the child.

Several western countries have legalised civil partnerships or common-law relationships of homosexual couples: Germany, Andorra, Australia, Austria, Colombia, Denmark, Slovenia, Finland, France, Hungary, Iceland, Israel, Luxembourg, Mexico (some States), New Zealand, Portugal, the United Kingdom, the Czech Republic, Switzerland, Uruguay and Venezuela.

Other countries have legalised the marriage of homosexual couples: Holland in 2001, Belgium in 2003, Canada and Spain in 2005, South Africa in 2006, Norway in 2008 and Sweden in 2009.

Gay marriage is also legal in some States of the USA: Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa, Vermont, Maine, New Hampshire and New York.

The equalisation of rights, including reproductive rights, between homosexual and heterosexual couples has led to the emergence of a new family model with two biological mothers: one provides the eggs and the other carried the baby to term.

At the CEFER Reproduction Institute this technique is called ROPA (Reception of Oocytes from PArtner).

The CEFER Institute is pioneering in Europe as it has been using this technique since February 2007. The first children have already been born. Access to assisted reproduction for lesbian couples was extended by law 13/2005 and law 14/2006.

The ROPA technique complies with principle medical ethics:

1) To do good
2) Not to do harm, and
3) Patient's principle of autonomy respecting their decision.

The child is very much wanted and loved; being brought up by lesbian mothers and without a father has no impact on the child's subsequent sexuality. All the studies published show this.

A paper from the CEFER Institute on the ROPA technique has been accepted by the prestigious journal Human Reproduction and will be published shortly.

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