NHS removes word 'Dad' from pregnancy handbook in case it offends same sex couplesPregnancy booklet has been revised after a complaintThe complaint said it was excluding same-sex couples to use term 'dad'Review identified 'need to use language that was more inclusive'
22:55 GMT, 27 May 2012
The Health Service has removed the word ‘dad’ from a pregnancy handbook for fear of offending gay and lesbian parents.
Officials decided to use the term ‘partner’ throughout the 200-page guide, titled Ready Steady Baby, after receiving a complaint that ‘dad’ was discriminating against same-sex couples.
But the omission of the word has angered some campaigners who claim that traditional family values are being undermined.
The NHS feared that the term 'dad' may offend same sex couples and therefore replaced it with 'partner' (picture is posed by models)
Norman Wells, of the Family Education Trust, said: ‘This is all part of an agenda to present as natural a type of family that cannot be created by natural means.
‘The NHS should not be squandering taxpayers’ money to advance the cause of a minority interest group.
‘No matter how much effort is made to present positive images of families headed by same-sex couples, the fact remains it takes a man and a woman to create a child.’
Robert Oxley, from the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: ‘It’s barmy that the NHS is wasting money reprinting guides because of a single complaint. Becoming a dad isn’t synonymous with one type of couple so it seems ridiculous to worry about changing it.
Ready Steady Baby: The 220 page guide has now been reprinted
'The NHS has bigger priorities than prescribing how to define who wants to be called dad.’
Although the guide is published by the NHS, it is given only to pregnant women in Scotland when they go to ante-natal classes. Expectant mothers in England are given a similar pamphlet, The Pregnancy Book.
A spokesman for the Department of Health, which produces it, said there were no plans to remove the word ‘dad’ from this guide.
A spokesman for NHS Health Scotland said it had been reviewing the wording anyway and had made several other changes. They confirmed it cost 100,000 to print 90,000 copies of the new version.
The spokesman added: ‘It is standard practice to review publications on a yearly basis, if not more often. At the time this complaint was received the Ready Steady Baby text had just been through its annual review, changes made and the new edition was printed in December 2011.
‘The review process identified the need to use language that was more inclusive, particularly in relation to same-sex partnerships.’
NHS Scotland has upset taxpayer organisation TaxpayerScotland with the reprinting of the pamphlet
Only last week a decision by the NHS to consider offering same-sex couples free fertility treatment angered some campaigners. NICE, the NHS watchdog, issued draft guidelines stating that gay and lesbian couples should be offered one cycle of IVF – as long as they had already tried to have a baby six times previously through a private clinic.
For the first time the guidelines also stated that women aged 40 to 42 should be offered IVF treatment on the NHS.
But Josephine Quintavalle, founder of the group Comment on Reproductive Ethics, described the same-sex move as ‘absurd’. ‘We are not prepared to accept what constitutes fertility from a biological perspective,’ she said.
‘Fertility treatment is very important but in this case what we are trying to do is rewrite biology.’