• Sweden's news in English
Single women in Sweden told they can soon get free IVF
A woman having an ultrasound in Sweden. Photo: Simon Paulin/Image Bank Sweden

Single women in Sweden told they can soon get free IVF

Maddy Savage · 14 Jan 2016, 16:13

Published: 14 Jan 2016 10:16 GMT+01:00
Updated: 14 Jan 2016 16:13 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit
The move comes after a huge majority of politicians passed the law in the Swedish parliament late on Monday, with 218 members voting in favour of the policy, 40 opposing it and 13 people abstaining.
It means that women without a partner will soon be entitled to the same rights as heterosexual and gay couples in the Nordic country who are usually offered three free rounds of IVF at public hospitals.
Anna Kinberg Batra, leader of Sweden's largest centre-right opposition party, the Moderates, described the result as "one of several important steps towards a modern family policy".
Speaking to the TT news agency she added: "It makes it possible for all children to grow up in secure families and ensure the legislation works for as many families as possible and is adapted to what society actually looks like."
The idea was originally put forward by an inquiry funded by the former Moderate-led government in May 2014. Led by investigator Eva Wendel Roseberg, it suggested that it should be up to doctors to determine whether or not potential mothers are capable of taking care of a child by themselves, following a range of medical and psychological tests.
Private IVF treatment in Sweden costs around 30,000 kronor ($4,150) per cycle. In recent years, increasing numbers of Swedish women have travelled abroad for fertility treatment instead, especially to neighbouring Denmark.
"They leave because they don't enjoy the same opportunities in Sweden, because Swedish rules for such a treatment still assume that two parents are required to raise a child. It is an outdated view," Justice Minister Morgan Johansson, Equality Minister Åsa Regnér and Public Health Minister Gabriel Wikström wrote in an opinion piece for Swedish broadcaster SVT's online debate section last year.

A Swedish child enjoying a snowy car ride. Photo: Melker Dahlstrand/Image Bank Sweden
"Today we are eating cake!" Sweden's independent sexual health and advocacy body RFSU posted online on Monday, just after the decision was announced.
"It's a real victory - we have been waiting for this for years and years and we are so happy for the result," its head Kristina Ljungros told The Local.
"The most important thing is that whether you can have IVF will no longer be a question of your financial situation. But also we are now recognising better all those families that are already one parent familes in Sweden - this is sending a sign to them," she added. 
It is estimated that between 1,500 and 2,000 single women could take up the chance to get fertility treatment in Sweden every year once the law comes into force. According to the RFSU there are "at least 500" Swedish women who have already sought IVF privately, although there are no official statistics available.
The legislation was opposed by the nationalist Sweden Democrat party and the right-wing Christian Democrats, which both argue that children should ideally have both a mother and a father and oppose the idea of the state assisting the growth of one-parent families.
Story continues below…
But supporters of the new policy argue that their approach is an old fashioned one.
"Becoming a parent is not something you are deciding in a coffee break. It is something women think about for years, and if they don't have a partner and are getting older and older they might think it's better to get a baby now and find a partner later. They might also want to be single and are not looking for a partner," said Ljungros.
She suggested that while most mothers or fathers currently who become single parents do so unexpectedly, either because of a death or because a partner leaves them, single women signing up to have a baby alone can benefit from being able to plan ahead and organise help from friends and family.
"It's also still the case that there can be two parents but only one parent is really 'present' in a child's life. So there are already lots of positive examples of people already being single parents in a way."
Single mothers in Sweden will be entitled to the same 480 days of paid parental leave that is offered to all couples in the Nordic country, where partners are encouraged to split the time off between them. 
In addition, they will have access to state-funded day care available for children aged between one to five, capped at 1,260 kronor a month (around $150) for their first child and lower costs for each subsequent addition to their new family.

For more news from Sweden, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Maddy Savage (maddy.savage@thelocal.com)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Today's headlines
Creepy clown messes with the wrong dog walker in Sweden
Not the clown in the story. Photo: Pontus Lundahl/TT

A dog helped its owner fight off a creepy clown chasing the pair in southern Sweden.

A million Swedes are digitally excluded: report
How should Sweden bridge the digital divide? Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

Tech-savvy Swedes? Perhaps not. A new study suggests that at least a million of its residents feel the pain of the digital divide.

Malmö's 19th Swedish title sets Champions hopes alight
Malmö fans celebrating after the match. Photo: Björn Lindgren/TT

Malmö FF have their eyes set on the Champions League after winning the Swedish league for the 19th time.

What's on in Sweden
Five great autumn events in Sweden this week
Jazz in northern Sweden. Photo: Umeå Jazz Festival

Food, music, movies and more food. What better way of helping yourself forget that the days are getting shorter and colder?

Here's how slow Sweden's high-speed trains are getting
A Swedish SJX2000 high speed train. Photo: Tomas Oneborg/SvD/TT

The high-speed rail journey between the three biggest Swedish cities is about to get longer.

The Local List
12 Swedish words with just awesome literal translations
A filthy-minded lobster, i.e. a snuskhummer. Photo: Gorm Kallestad/NTB scanpix/TT

One of our favourite things about the Swedish language is its wonderful compound words, which range from being utterly bizarre to making perfect sense.

US election
Donald Trump won't get new Ericsson head's vote
Trump pictured at a campaign rally in Florida. Photo: Evan Vucci/AP

The new Swedish-American boss of telecoms giant Ericsson has revealed he will not vote for the Republican nominee in the forthcoming US presidential election.

Swedes named fourth most gender equal in the world
A file photo of men and women pushing prams in Stockholm. Photo: Claudio Bresciani/TT

Sweden has closed 81 percent of its overall gender gap according to the World Economic Forum.

Sweden: Russian warships in the Baltic 'worrying'
Swedish Defence Minister Peter Hultqvist. Photo: Vilhelm Stokstad/TT

Two Russian warships equipped with long-range missiles have entered the Baltic Sea after passing Denmark.

Why businesses are worried about Sweden's drone ban
A drone filming in Stockholm. Photo: Pontus Lundahl/TT

The Local investigates what Sweden's new drone ban could mean for businesses in the country.

Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
Sweden cuts 2016 refugee forecast
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Is Game of Thrones coming to Sweden?
Property of the week: Kungsholmen, Stockholm
Blog updates

6 October

10 useful hjälpverb (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hej! I think the so-called “hjalpverb” (auxiliary verbs in English) are a good way to get…" READ »


8 July

Editor’s blog, July 8th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hej readers, It has, as always, been a bizarre, serious and hilarious week in Sweden. You…" READ »

Sponsored Article
This is Malmö: Football capital of Sweden
Will Swedes soon be looking for fairtrade porn?
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
The Local Voices
'I simply don’t believe in nationality'
Why we're convinced Game of Thrones is based on Sweden
People-watching: October 21st-23rd
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
Fury at plans that 'threaten the IB's survival' in Sweden
Sponsored Article
Swedish for programmers: 'It changed my life'
Analysis & Opinion
Are we just going to let half the country die?
Angry elk chases Swede up a lamp post
Sponsored Article
Top 7 tips to help you learn Swedish
The Local Voices
'Alienation in Sweden feels better: I find myself a stranger among scores of aliens'
Sponsored Article
‘Extremism can't be defeated on the battlefield alone’
People-watching: October 20th
The Local Voices
A layover at Qatar airport brought this Swedish-Kenyan couple together - now they're heading for marriage
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
Swede punches clown that scared his grandmother
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
Fans throw flares and enter pitch in Swedish football riot
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
Could Swedish blood test solve 'Making a Murderer'?
Sponsored Article
One expat's strategy for making friends in Stockholm
Swedish school to build gender neutral changing room
Sponsored Article
Nordic fashion in focus at Stockholm University
People-watching: October 14th-16th
Man in Sweden assaulted by clowns with broken bottle
Nobel Prize 2016: Literature
Watch the man who discovered Bob Dylan react to his Nobel Prize win
Record numbers emigrating from Sweden
People-watching: October 12th
The Local Voices
'Swedish startups should embrace newcomers' talents - there's nothing to fear'
How far right are the Sweden Democrats?
Property of the week: Triangeln, Malmö
The Local Voices
Syria's White Helmets: The Nobel Peace Prize would have meant a lot, but pulling a child from rubble is the greatest reward
jobs available