Stonewall, the gay and lesbian rights group, has published a guide for lesbians on how to get pregnant in the wake of the new laws protecting the rights of lesbian couples seeking fertility treatment.

The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008, which is due to come into full effect on October 1st, will remove the “need for a father” in IVF treatment and instead place a requirement on “supportive parenting”. It means that lesbian couples will no longer face discrimination from health services.

It also means that when a lesbian couple have a child, the non-birth mother no longer has to adopt the child in order to be named joint legal guardian on the birth certificate.

The right will be automatic for civil partners or couples who use a licensed fertility clinic.

Ruth Hunt, Stonewall’s head of policy and research, said the guide will help people in “knowing your new rights” and how to “make full use of the services they’re entitled to – and if discrimination occurs, the same knowledge can help them demand fair treatment”.

She added: “Now lesbian couples in Britain who make a considered decision to start a loving family will finally be afforded equal access to services they help fund as taxpayers.”

The guide, entitled ‘Pregnant Pause’, is available to download here.