Break up just before ivf. Where do I stand?

I am in a same sex relationship and my girlfriend is about to leave me. We have been trying to get pregnant for a while now. It is she who is receiving the treatment. After 6 unsuccessful attempts at iui the nhs are now going to fund 3 ivf attempts. I have suggested we put things on hold as I fear if we go ahead just because we've come so far. She will get pregnant and take my child away from me and raise them with someone else or take them to a different country as she is originally from Sweden and all her family are there. She refuses to put things on hold as is approaching 40 so time is not on our side. I don't know what rights I have. We have been attending the treatment as a couple. Will they allow her to go ahead if I say no? I'm at a complete loss I had our future all planned out in my head and now it's all been taken away. She seems to think we can still go ahead and raise a child together even if we are no longer together.

14 Replies

  • Hello Laura288, I am sorry to hear that your relationship is breaking down. I'm obviously not aware of the reasons but IVF can be a huge stress in all our lives and it may be worth considering counselling.

    Is the intention for the IVF to be with your eggs but with your partner as the surrogate? If so, you would need to sign consent forms before she could proceed with treatment. If the treatment is donor sperm and your girlfriends eggs then I expect it's down to the IVF requirements in the area. She may still be able to have treatment as an individual but unfortunately I'm not sure.

  • She's leaving me for someone else. Younger which is ironic given she's 39 and I'm 27 it should be me who leaves for someone younger. The ivf is to be with her own eggs and donor sperm. But we have all the paperwork signed to make me a legal parent and paid half the costs of all the treatment so far. I want to do everything I can to rescue the relationship but I'm not hopeful anymore. There was appointments at the beginning of the treatment with a counsellor about the implications so I'm going to make an appointment to go back.

  • What a difficult situation I would be honest with the clinic for everyone's sake especially any little ones that come along and if necessary seek legal advice. I think knowing where you stand is very important.

    Good luck

  • Laura listen by signing the paperwork and going through the treatment as a couple you are legally the intended parent for any subsequent children, just make sure your as involved in the pregnancy as much as possible and be there when your child gets registered and get your self on the birth certificate. However it is very tricky because when I went to register my daughter with my partner they still asked me if I wanted my partner on my daughters birth certificate.

    Get more legal advice but I would suggest to stick by it if she does get pregnant and be at every appointment, like any other parent. Seek further legal advice as well private message me if you want to talk further.

  • Hi Laura288,

    Sorry to hear you're faced with this awful situation after investing years into the relationship and planning a child together. Afew things came to mind when I read your post, so I don't mean to be patronising at all as you know your own mind. I have just written a bit about how I see it, sometimes a strangers perspective & all that.

    As Yvey says, you are currently the "intended parent" of a child.

    If I was in your situation, I would take some time out to seriously decide if you can handle the possibility of seeing a child of your partner being raised in a)another house, b) with a new partner. On top of that you will essentially not ever be the primary carer of this child, and time spend with the child will be on your own (mostly) until you get into a new relationship. You will be legally obliged to pay maintenance and financially support the child without having the child living in your house or spending all the time you would like. Also if your partner does go off with a new partner then you will have to spend a lot of your time negotiating childcare times and more importantly you will always have your ex in your life. I mean - you will have your ex as part of your life for the REST OF YOUR LIFE until you die! When you still love your current partner that doesn't seem so bad , but when they become an ex and have a new life & partner then it gets plain irritating and you may just want to never see them again.

    I have two friends in similar situations where they are raising a child with an ex partner and both of them wish they did not have to deal with the exe ever again, but they are trapped because of the child. Both have also had issues when new partners come into the picture. All I'm saying is think very carefully what you want from the rest of your own life. You honestly do have plenty of time on your side to create a family with another partner.

    From reading your post it sounds like your partner is expecting you to continue your commitment to this process when she has clearly broken her part of the deal entirely. The family life you wanted is not possible if the two of you split up. Try looking at the relationship issue separate from the ivf issue. Dealing with a break up is the most pressing issue here, even if she thinks it is the IVF. It's not, it's the relationship that you have that is important if you're to go ahead and bring another life into the world.

    Currently is she really the best person to be the mother of your child?

    Honestly as a complete stranger to you (apologies if this is wrong), she sounds like a terrible person who has cheated on her partner and then selfishly expects to have her exe continue to support her and her child. She seems to want her cake & eat it.

    I split with someone after 9 years together, that was five years ago now and I was 35 at the time and scared I would never become a mum. I never thought I could find happiness again but I did, and I wouldn't swap the life I have now for anything in the past. If the dream isn't real then you make a new dream.

    All my best wishes for you, take time for yourself to listen to what feels right for you.


  • Apparently I should be rational and understand that thousands of children are brought up by parents who aren't together anymore. But not by choice. Her parents sort of halved their responsibility in the craziest of ways. She lived with her father until she was about 11 then it was her mams "turn" to have her. I don't understand how a parent could do that. I would need to be in my child's life. I couldn't watch another person raise them. If I could have anything I would just want it to be back to how things were

  • Easy for the one having the affair, the child & the exe's support to say -be rational! She "thinks" she has it all at present, but she has already lost you by abusing your trust.

    The thing is you're still at the planning stage, the child has not been conceived yet. That is an advantage in some ways, whereas the examples she mentions are after the child already exists. The status of your relationship at the time of the child's conception is all important. Counselling could really help you clarify all these issues.

    It sounds like you already know what you need to do, and that soon you are splitting up and moving on. Personally someone cheating or planning to leave me would be the biggest deal breaker in the world. Put yourself first and get the support to move on to a happier life away from this selfish person.

    You deserve to be happy and don't let someone else dictate how you create your own family.

    Best wishes, xxx

  • it sounds like you are likely to split up before the child is born. So another thing to consider is whether you may want to go through IVF at another time with another parter, as you may not be eligible in many areas if you are the legal parent of a child, even if you end up with no access to the child

  • Laura I'm so sorry to hear you're having to go through something so awful at the moment. I really think some of the advice you've been given above is very good and worthwhile thinking about. I would definitely speak to your clinic about this as they may have an angle you haven't thought of yet. You definitely need some specialised legal advice here too, as some people above have said, to put it bluntly, you could end up being financially and morally responsible for the rest of your life for a child you hardly see who is being raised in another country by someone else, and this could harm your chances of starting a family via IVF with someone else in the future. I know when you're in the middle of it all it doesn't seem as cut and dry as that, but from the outside looking in they seem to be the obvious cons to this situation. What do your family and friends think about it? Xx

  • I haven't much family to talk with about it. I've got 2 brothers but they're your typical one word grumpy boys. And I've got an aunt who knows about it, but I don't think she really knows what to say but she does her best at trying to provide a distraction. general consensus though seems to be that the ivf treatment shouldn't go ahead :-( I'm making an appointment to see the fertility counsellor and see what she advises. Then maybe get some legal advice if need be still.

  • That's a shame, although perhaps your aunt and brothers might have more of a helpful opinion on it than you think? youve gotta do what's best for you at the moment, not what's best for your partner/ex. Just go with your gut instinct on this and don't get railroaded into anything. A break up is bad enough without having this situation on your hands. Don't let your ex take advantage of you. Keep us posted and remember there are lots of people on here who are happy to try and help you if they can xx

  • Hi Laura, sorry for what you are going through. sorry if this has already been said as well but I think it's very important for you to consider.

    IIf you go ahead & have funded IVF with this partner that will mean in the future you will not be eligible for any funding with a future partner as you will have a child.

    You need to consider if you want to give up your right to NHS IVF funding to someone who openly admits they are ultimately staying with you to have access too it.

    Awful to view it from a financial angel but it's your future happiness & family that matters. I think given your age I would remove all consent & not allow myself to be classed as a legal parent given all the unknowns that you are currently facing.

    Sorry again, good luck with whatever you decide xx

  • Ok my relationship is over and I'm distraught about that and the future baby we had planned won't happen anymore. However I've seen the counsellor and doctor..the verdict is that as we were been treated as a couple the treatment can no longer continue unless we are a couple and even then would need to attend relationship counselling. Also she can't continue the treatment on her own on the nhs and would need to start and fund the process again by herself. Thanks everyone for your help and advice x

  • Good luck for the future I hope you find happiness. You sound like you're in control xxxx

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