On January 1st 2007 the Danish government finally voted to provide equal rights for those in need of fertility treatment in Denmark; heterosexual couples as well as single women and lesbians. Prior to that, it was only possible for heterosexual couples to receive fertility treatments with public aid. This year we celebrate the 10-year anniversary of the amendment that changed the Danish legislation
Doctor Søren Ziebe, medical director at the fertility clinic at Denmark’s largest hospital Rigshospitalet in Copenhagen said in an article in January:
“We need to help each other in order to get the children, we want.” He also adds in connection with the larger number of single women seeking help: “…it is now or never for them. If they don’t start having children, their going to live a life without children. It is important to help them with this…we know, that it is definitely their plan B to come to us. They would certainly prefer to have children with a man, but unfortunately that was not an option.”
The progressive and innovative midwife
One of the women who were greatly affected about the inequality in fertility treatment, was the founder of the fertility clinic Stork Klinik, Nina Stork. In fact, 2017 also marks the 17th anniversary of the opening of Stork Klinik in Copenhagen. This is no ordinary anniversary: Stork Klinik was a pioneer in equal-right fertility treatment in Denmark.
Actually, the change of law in 2007 started in the opposite direction back in 1997, when the Danish Parliament decided that only heterosexual women, who were married or in long-term relationships, should receive medical treatment for infertility by a doctor. This even shut down ongoing treatments of single women or lesbian couples.
Danish midwife Nina Stork and her wife Inger were undergoing fertility treatment, and Inger actually achieved pregnancy, but unfortunately and sadly had a miscarriage. As the couple were now one of many left with no alternatives to inseminations by a doctor, Nina decided to start a non-government founded fertility clinic.
Coincidentally, the 1997 law left room for midwifes to perform inseminations, and so Nina Stork was able to open Stork Klinik in 1999.
During the years after the opening of Stork Klinik, several politicians tried to close the gap in the legislation in order to prohibit the treatment of homosexuals.
Nina Stork participated, together with LGBT groups, in often heated debates and finally the law was changed in 2007: The rights for all women to have the same options no matter their sexual orientation or marital status.
Where to go from here?
Today, Stork Klinik is one of the largest fertility clinics in Denmark, where women from all parts of the world come to fulfill their dream of children, but the fact is that Denmark is a pioneer when it comes to fertility treatment. In this small country, more than 15 clinics assist in making people’s dreams of babies come true.
If you need any assistance in finding a clinic in Denmark or any other country, please don’t hesitate to contact us.