Unmarried service members and those who require donor gametes and in vitro fertilization to have a baby may soon be able to access advanced fertility treatments within the Department of Defense's health system.
The DoD plans to change its policy that offers assisted fertility treatments at select military hospitals to married couples at cost and for free to troops whose infertility is tied to a service-connected injury, while barring all others from receiving the benefit.
Under the change, described last month in court documents as part of an ongoing lawsuit, the DoD will remove the requirement that service members be married and will allow the use of donor eggs or sperm — a change that will broaden eligibility to include single service members, same-sex couples and married couples unable to use their own gametes.
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“DoD is in the process of determining the exact contours of these policy changes and expects to finalize and share with plaintiff a signed memorandum by the end of February 2024 that formally directs the changes and provides further details on their scope,” wrote Damian Williams, U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York.
The National Organization for Women, the Yale Law School Veterans Legal Services Clinic and the National Veterans Legal Services Program filed a lawsuit in August against the DoD and the Department of…