Unlike the rest of the world, Japan still carries on the old fashion beliefs regarding the LGBTQ community. And the current ruling party of Japan hardly shows any signs of improvement in that aspect.
Many foreign countries let same-sex couples adopt children, or in case of people capable of getting pregnant, they are allowed to get a sperm donation. But in Japan, the only commercial sperm bank in the country of 126 million doesn’t serve singles or LGBTQ couples.
Although Japan has a law to let the couples who have given birth through donated egg or sperm be the legal parents, it does not apply to LGBTQ couples. And what is amazing is that there are such old-fashioned laws in a country where there are 11.4 million LGBTQ people.
As a result, LGBTQ couples say that they have no other option than turn towards the underground market for sperm.
Vice recently talked to a few LGBTQ couples in Japan who have gone through the struggle of sourcing the sperm themselves from the underground market. Among them, Sana (family name) says that they did everything they can such as advertising online for a sperm donor, or went to donor websites, and even messaging willing donors.
And since the underground world does not have any regulation, they, in turn, got harassed a lot of times. There were times where they were asked for pictures of themselves, or some even wanted to see them inject the sperm samples into themselves. They only found success after three years of continuously looking for a donor, who was a gay male, on the website that helps to look for platonic donors.
Now Sana has a two-year-old son and wants to have another one soon. However, the struggle does not end after finding a suitable donor. Another lesbian couple, Misa and Aya ( family names), welcomed their newborn in September after luckily finding a donor. Sapporo, their place of residence, even gave them a certificate recognizing their same-sex union.
On the outside, the certificate might be extremely helpful as it helps them add their partners’ names as beneficiaries in insurances. Even Tokyo said that it would start recognizing same-sex unions not long ago. However, the certificate doesn’t help with a plethora of other discriminating laws.
Misa says that the certificate does nothing to them about recognizing them as a family. Misa’s partner Aya isn’t allowed to pick their kid from school, nor is she allowed to be in her hospital room. Anything a normal family is allowed to do, they aren’t. Still, the couple got to rent the place she currently lives in because of the certificate, so the certificate has some worth, but only inside Sapporo.