When Seam Smith and husband Kale Taylor (not in the photo) decided to have a child, they opted for a fertility procedure using a surrogate mother. The homosexual couple paid $20,000 only to find out that heterosexual couples are spending less for the same fertility treatment.
Now the LGBT couples in Hawaii seek equality to fertility treatment. The lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community is asking for equal rights, the same rights that the government is giving the heterosexual couples, with regards to fertility treatment. According to CNBC, the homosexual couples are asking that they should also have the same benefit of financial help that the married heterosexual couples are enjoying. The financial help has long been available for straight couples and now the homosexual couples are asking that it should also be available for them.
The LGBT community especially the homosexual couples in Hawaii is asking that a law be passed wherein insurance companies would include vitro fertilization in their coverage. If this materializes, the first US state that would pass such a law would be Hawaii. ABC News said that male same-sex couples who are using a surrogate mother to have a baby would definitely benefit from the said law. In a statement issued by president and CEO Barbara Collura of the national organization Resolve, she said, “Now that marriage equality is the law of the land and is accepted, now let’s turn to family building, and let’s figure out how we fix all these inequities that exist.”
Under the current state law, married heterosexual couples are the only ones getting financial assistance for the in vitro fertilization procedures. Many couples are not spending that much money and sometimes even getting the fertility treatment without paying the hospital bills. In the case of Seam Smith and his husband, they went to a lot of financial struggles to avail the fertility treatment. They are now in huge debt as a result of their goal to start building a family. There are many couples who would want to consider in vitro fertilization but are discouraged upon learning the amount of money that is needed for such procedure. If a new legislation is passed, a lot of opportunities in different aspects will be available.
The LGBT community is asking that all citizen, regardless of their sexual preferences, must have equal financial assistance with regards to surrogacy fertility treatments and that insurance companies would be compelled to cover such procedures.
Conceiving through surrogacy is the only way male same-sex couples can have children of their own so that a law that gives them such equal rights as the straight couples would really be beneficial for them.
The in vitro fertilization is a costly procedure. There are eight states in the US including Hawaii wherein the law states that insurance companies cover the surrogate mother provided that the sperm that would be used to fertilize the implanted egg would come from her spouse. In this law, only married heterosexual couples are eligible for financial assistance. The LGBT community including single mothers are not allowed to get the same benefits.
The Democratic Party of Hawaii, the Hawaii Civic Rights Commission, and the American Civil Liberties Union of Hawaii are in full support of the new bill.