Unmarried couples who cannot have children are now eligible for financial support for artificial insemination in Germany, after changes to an existing law came into effect on Thursday.
"The desire of parents to have children should not falter on financial grounds," Family Minister Manuela Schwesig said, stressing that funds must be available for couples "regardless of whether they are married or not."
The minister said it was unfair that couples who cannot naturally conceive must cover the bulk of the costs of fertility treatment. She vowed to free up support from the public purse until health insurance providers amend their policies accordingly.
The amount of funding available to couples for artificial insemination varies in Germany from state to state.