Access to Fertility Treatments for Homosexual and Unmarried Persons, through Iranian Law and Islamic Perspective

Document Type : Original Article


1 Ethics Department, Royan Institute, Royan Institute

2 Andrology Department, Reproductive Medicine Research Center, Royan Institute


A family traditionally consisted of a married man, his wife, and their children. The new reproductive technologies including use of the third party as egg, sperm and embryo donation and also surrogacy have changed the traditional meanings of lineage, ancestry and family. The increasing number of lesbians and gays in addition to single women requesting fertility treatment from IVF centers in the world has brought a debate: “Can fertility treatment be offered to single persons or homosexuals?” According to ASRM and ESHRE taskforces, there is no such limitation, but as legislations and law, also ethical and social considerations depending on the culture, believes and religion of societies must be considered as limitations in some contexts like Iran.

Materials and methods
In this study we review the Iran law and also some Islamic resources about offering the fertility treatment to single mothers or homosexuals.

Homosexuality is not accepted in Islamic contexts and is considered as a crime. Children should have a family with both mother and father, unless they lose one of them or both. In the latter situation Islamic court will hand over the custody of the child to someone else like uncle or grandfather.

We concluded that according to Islam and Iran’s law, fertility treatment cannot be offered to single mothers and homosexuals mostly because of welfare of the child.