Lesbian couple chose Denmark over Birmingham to have baby with fertility treatment - here’s why
Married couple Danielle and Sophie, from Birmingham, were all set for fertility treatment to have their baby in Birmingham - but ended up travelling to Denmark to have their baby for an important reason
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Happily married couple Danielle and Sophie wanted to start a family, so that three could become three and make their dreams come true.
The Birmingham wives approached a private clinic in Birmingham with their wishes, explaining that they wanted to become mothers through Danielle receiving intrauterine insemination (IUI) treatments - a process in which the donor sperm is placed directly into the uterus - to have a baby.
They were excited and full of hope for success, but fertility can be a tumultous journey, and Danielle and Sophie soon realised that they would need to be more resilient to make their dream come true.
Danielle had three failed IUI treatments. After that, the couple explained that they felt pressured into IVF-treatment - even though they wanted the pregnancy to be as natural as possible.
The pair became frustrated with the numerous tests, long waiting times, and high costs. They had already spent £4,000 in Birmingham.
After a Google search, they found a solution in heading to Denmark - which has a liberal policy about fertility procedures. Danielle was successfully insemination via IUI after the second attempt in Denmark.
The couple are expecting their first child now, and say the process went faster than it would in the UK.
Sophie said: “Having a baby would be a dream come true for us, and we needed to be treated and seen and heard like anyone else who wants to have a baby.
“In the UK, fertility treatment as a lesbian is a long and costly process, and after three failed IUI-attempts, they wanted us to try an IVF-treatment.
“So, we explored the opportunities outside the UK and stumbled upon Diers Clinic in Denmark. This may sound clichéd, but we immediately knew what we had to do – we were going to Denmark.”
Sophie and Danielle’s fertility journey
In the UK, lesbian couples must go through six attempted inseminations, before they can receive government support. But in their experience, the British clinics pressure their clients to overtreatment.
In Sophie and Danielle’s case, the clinic wanted to transfer them to IVF-treatments after only three IUI-attempts. Each round of IUI cost about 1,300 pounds per attempt excluding donor sperm, but the price in Denmark is less than half.
According to the NHS, the cost of private treatment can vary, but one cycle of IVF can cost up to £5,000 or more. There may be additional costs for medicines, consultations and tests.
Danielle said: “Fertility treatment in Britain is expensive, and the three inseminations cost us over £4,000 pounds. When you want a baby, the money is not what’s important.
“To us, the big difference was that we in Denmark didn’t have to fight for what we wanted. In Britain, we constantly had to defend our choices, and when the inseminations were unsuccessful, the system wanted us to transfer to IVF-treatment.”
She added: “It’s important to me that the process was as natural as possible, and I was relieved to come to Denmark, where we felt they listened to our wishes.
“The second insemination attempt was a success, and it shows British doctors look squarely to set predetermined treatment plans that are often best suited for heterosexual couples, and not what treatment is right for the individual couple.”
In December 2022, Sophie and Danielle were in Denmark for the second time and Danielle was inseminated via IUI, and the procedure was successful.
Denmark has a liberal policy when it comes to assisted reproductive technology (ART) and it attracts many women who want the procedures.
Liza Diers, CEO and owner of Diers Clinic, and mother to three donor children, said: “One can wonder why there is such a big difference between two neighbouring countries, but all our British clients tell the same story: It’s difficult and extremely expensive as a lesbian to go through fertility treatment in the UK.
“We can clearly see on our clients and procedures that there is a huge difference in the way lesbian couples are treated, when it comes to fertility treatment. Otherwise, such a large part of our clientele wouldn’t be foreign nationals.”