Human Tissue and Embryo (Draft) Bill

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2007 National LGBT Conference
20 September 2007

Conference notes that the United Kingdom (UK) Government is proposing to introduce legislation that will establish a Regulatory Authority for the use of Tissue and Embryos.

This proposed development is of major concern to the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community but in particular the black and disabled LGBT community as it will affect access to assisted reproduction and we know that for our particular communities this may be the only way or the safest way in which we choose or indeed can conceive children.

Whilst we welcome the proposal in the draft bill that same sex couples will be able to use fast track adoption procedures in fertility law to become parents of a child through surrogacy, we still have concerns on the level of regulation and hurdles that prospective same sex couples would have to undergo to become parents.

As black LGBT people we have particular and diverse issues around the preparedness to use existing Donor Insemination services or our ability to become surrogate parents. This can be due to a number of cultural, social or personal pressures, let alone the lack of anonymity that such an engagement entails.

We know that there has already been a reduction in the amount of donors available to same sex couples and this has had a subsequent disproportionate impact upon black LGBT people.

Therefore we instruct the National LGBT committee to:

1.Explore the impact of such proposed legislation over the next year on black and disabled LGBT members and their communities;

2.To consult with the formal and informal networks of black LGBT groups;

3.To report back to 2008 conference and update through the use of UNISON publications and electronic mailing the progress of the proposed legislation and the findings from the above data.