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Last Updated: Monday, 8 March, 2004, 12:03 GMT
New fertility clinic for lesbians
Frozen sperm would be used to inseminate women
Plans are underway to set up a fertility clinic targetted at lesbian and single women.

John Gonzalez, who has already set up two websites allowing people to buy sperm and eggs online, intends to set up the New Life Centre in Bristol.

The clinic will offer direct inseminations on women using fully screened frozen sperm.

It has already sparked criticism from pro-life charity Life, who say it is socially irresponsible.

John Gonzalez's websites ManNotIncluded and WomenNotIncluded allow customers to choose donors by race, height, weight, eye colour, and social and academic achievements.

ManNotIncluded has already been successfully used by a lesbian in Liverpool who delivered a baby boy in January this year.

The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) has no control over the websites as they do not offer actual treatment.

'Father figure'

However the new clinic will require an HFEA licence and will undergo rigorous inspection.

The HFEA was unable to comment on the clinic as it has not yet been awarded a licence.

A spokeswoman said it usually takes around six months for a licence to be granted.

She said many clinics in the UK already offer IVF treatment to single women and gay couples, but are required to take into account the need of a child to have a father figure under a clause in the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act of 1990.

I think what is being forgotten here is the general welfare of the child that is going to be created as a result.
Patrick Cusworth, Life

John Gonzalez said this means his new clinic will not be able to give treatment to women who are unable prove there to be a father figure in the child's life.

However attitudes towards this rule could be changing, as Suzi Leather, Chairman of the HFEA recently called for the clause to be changed, telling a conference that "single women and lesbian couples should not be excluded".

Barbara Skew, an experienced insemination clinician who will run the New Life Clinic, told press many women have been 'patchily served' by the Act.

"There are many women out there in this position who are able to support a child but have no bloke in their lives."

Ms Skew said she expects the clinic to be subject to detailed inspection, but said her last inspection was exemplary.


Patrick Cusworth, spokesperson for Life, said "I think what is being forgotten here is the general welfare of the child that is going to be created as a result."

"This is a really grubby process that demeans those that are using the system," he told BBC News Online.

"What needs to be remembered is that the child's interests are not just first and foremost but paramount over any other interests at stake."

"There is no doubt that children who grow up with both mother and father are not just happier, they achieve more academically and socially than those with just one parent."

"What John Gonzalez is creating is socially dysfunctional and irresponsible."

Human eggs for sale on internet
24 Feb 04  |  Health
Buying sperm over the internet
24 Jan 04  |  Health
Internet sperm mum gives birth
22 Jan 04  |  Merseyside

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