The Commission has replied to Égalité’s letter concerning discrimination with regard to the reimbursement of in-vitro fertilization (IVF) costs and the request for granting leave equivalent to maternity or adoption leave to gay men when having a child born through surrogacy. On IVF costs, the Commission rejects our arguments that lesbian colleagues undergoing IVF treatment are being discriminated against when having to demonstrate a “proven pathology of the male person of the couple” in order for these costs to be reimbursed. The Commission argues that the Joint Sickness Insurance Scheme (JSIS) can only reimburse “the medical expenses of its beneficiaries resulting from illness, accidents and confinement”. In this regard, lesbian couples would qualify for reimbursement if there should be “a fertility issue of the beneficiary/ies of the JSIS in a female couple, or any other woman with or without a male partner”.
The reply from the Commission did however bring good news as well: the Commission is currently revising the Decision on Leave, and in this context promised to “critically appraise” our request for introducing an adoption leave for gay men having children born through surrogacy that would be equivalent to current maternity and adoption leave provisions. The Decision is scheduled to be adopted by the end of the year.
For those of you having children through surrogacy already in the course of this year, please contact the Egalité Committee so we can assist you with preparation of your request.