Steven H. Snyder & Associates Attorneys at Law

Will military members be able to use IVF to start a family?

Almost all couples think about having children, and military couples are no different from others in this respect. You should not have to sacrifice your dream of having a family when you choose to serve your country.

If you are a member of the military or a family member of a person in the military and you are considering assisted reproduction, you should know there may soon be changes in the rules regarding IVF. These changes may help military members start families. However, if you do choose to use IVF under the new rules, it is still critically important to work with an experienced law firm so that all parties have their intended parental rights properly established and protected. 

A law was passed in the 90s that banned IVF for veterans, ostensibly because the procedure was experimental and deemed by the military establishment to be unsafe and ineffective. Today, IVF is safe, successful, and no longer experimental; therefore, some lawmakers are now advocating changing this law.

Military health care under the new rules may cover IVF for active duty members with injuries that compromise fertility. Nevertheless, once they phase into the VA system, they will still lose that coverage. Lifting the two decade ban could have huge implications for military members who have suffered injuries while deployed that affect their ability to have children.

The new provisions are part of the Senate version of the pending Military Construction and Veterans' Affairs Appropriations Bill. The Senate-House conference committee met recently to discuss the bill. The bill passed the Senate, but the conference committee must meet again to resolve differences between the Senate version and the House version of the bill. The bill can then go to the president for his signature. There is no official word yet on what will come out of the joint conference committee reviewing the legislation, but the hope exists that the committee will include the IVF provisions and soon be able to send the bill out for the president's signature.

Remember, if you are a member of the military or a family member of a military individual and you are considering assisted reproduction, you should know about possible changes in the rules regarding IVF. However, if you opt for IVF, it is critically important to work with an experienced law firm so that all parties have their parental rights protected. 

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