Non-Binary Working Group - fertility preservation sub-group minutes: 25 August 2021

Minutes from the meeting of the sub-group on 25 August 2021.

Attendees and apologies

Group members

  • Vic Valentine, Scottish Trans (Chair)
  • Megan Snedden, Stonewall Scotland
  • Katrina Mitchell, LGBT Health and Wellbeing
  • Dr Peter Dunne, University of Bristol


  • Paul Sloan, Equality and Inclusion Division, Scottish Government


  • Louise McCue, Maternal & Infant Health, Scottish Government


  • Dr Ben Vincent

Items and actions

Note of key points and actions

Key discussion points

The group discussed:

Access to services

  • long waiting times for fertility services
  • the system not accommodating non-binary people and many feeling the need to access these services by presenting as male or female

Information provision

  • view that there was inaccurate information, particularly in relation to potential or actual impact of hormones on fertility, and clinicians not considering that people may be willing to come off hormones to access treatment
  • lack of information about treatment options
  • making information available for each individual area of medical need, including trans people, would be extremely useful in ensuring greater awareness of the right to access services
  • finding out more on progress of cancer research in this area
  • international contexts where legal recognition depends upon having accessed sterilising procedures

Wider work

  • the work of the National Infertility Group, who have established a Fertility Preservation Subgroup to look at developing a fertility preservation referral pathway for health professionals and patient information leaflets
  • whether GPs could refer patients to fertility services without having to go through GICs

Gender identity clinics

  • the lack of reference to access to fertility treatment within the current Gender Reassignment Protocol
  • concern that sharing fertility hopes may impact how transition is viewed
  • the differences in approach between young people’s and adult services and how fertility is considered more in young people’s services

Scotland’s legal framework

  • Scotland’s legal framework in the context of healthcare and the impact on ability and willingness to access healthcare, particularly if it meant having to be registered as the mother/father or having no legal recognition of families
  • consideration of a recommendation around reforming family law in this area, moving away from exclusively using gendered language in birth registration

Action: SG officials to ensure the National Infertility Group, Fertility Preservation Subgroup develop a transgender patient information leaflet.

Action: the group to contact the Chair of the Fertility Preservation Subgroup to discuss further.

Action: SG officials to contact the Strategic Fertility Network programme management team to find out if training for staff could be included in their webinar series.

Action: group members to check in with parents’ groups.

LGBTI Equality Team

August 2021

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