Achieving LGBT Equality Through Litigation, Legislation, Policy, and Public Education

Summary & History

Family & Relationships

Legislation: Equal Access to Fertility

STATUS: Victory, California

Assembly Bill 2356 allows California fertility service providers to offer people seeking to conceive using a known sperm donor access to certain fertility services on the same terms as different-sex couples. It was authored by Assemblymember Nancy Skinner and co-sponsored by Equality California and the National Center for Lesbian Rights.

Increasingly, women in same-sex couples, transgender people, and single women are asking trusted friends to act as sperm donors in order to conceive a child. California was the first state to legally recognize that people may use known donors (not just anonymous sperm donors) to conceive a child.

However, people using known donors cannot access the same fertility services as women in different-sex relationships. Different-sex couples can have insemination services using fresh sperm. Known donors’ sperm must typically be frozen and quarantined for six months. Insemination using fresh sperm is more effective and less costly.

AB 2356 allows providers to provide insemination services using fresh (unfrozen) sperm to people using known donors. Currently, this procedure is generally only available to different-sex couples. Providers are not required to offer this service, but this bill clarifies that they may offer it.

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