Lesbian couples in the British Isles are celebrating today because they now have the same rights as heterosexual couples when registering the birth of a child conceived as a result of fertility treatment, according to the UK Press Association.

It seems to be a step towards greater equal rights for lesbians in the UK as the British government has announced that lesbian couples that have a child through IVF will both be allowed to put their names on the birth certificate as the baby's parents. Previously the mother's female partner was unable to register as a parent.

The move will allow both parties to claim legal responsibility and joint parentage on all children born within the relationship, a huge leap in the right direction.

The law is retroactive only to April of this year, and so couples that had children before will still be required to adopt in the case of the non-birthing mother. Nevertheless, with such a law put into place, it is hoped that adoption in those cases will be easier.

Stonewall's Head of Policy and Research Ruth Hunt said:

"As the law improves to provide further equality, knowing your new rights will help people make full use of the services they're entitled to. And, if discrimination occurs, the same knowledge can help them demand fair treatment.

"Now lesbian couples in the UK who make a considered decision to start a loving family will finally be afforded equal access to services they help fund as taxpayers.

"So life for lesbian families isn't only fairer - it's also much easier."
The law goes into effect today and follows provisions contained in the Human Fertilization and Embryology Act 2008.

SheWired.com - UK Lesbians Given Equal Birth Rights