Options for Gay Couples Desiring a Baby
Today, it is more common than ever to have same-sex couples raise children of their own. Third-party reproduction, using another person to bring your family-building dreams to fruition, offers exciting opportunities for gay men who want to have a baby.
Originally, adoption was the only option for gay men. Today, advances in ART, combined with greater cultural awareness, have notably broadened their horizons. It’s increasingly possible for same-sex male couples to be biologically connected to their children and to have a personal connection with each child’s prenatal development and birth.
Common Third-Party Reproduction Options for Gay Couples
Here are some of the most common ways gay couples participate in third-party reproduction.
1. Finding the right fertility center
In most cases, you’ll be working with a fertility center at some or all points of your family-building journey. It’s essential to find a center with experience and a positive reputation for its work in the third-party reproduction niche, including fertility solutions for transgender individuals. Contact a few different fertility centers and speak to their team about your goals.
These consultations help you determine which center has the best success rates for whichever fertility services you’ll use. You also get to meet each team and decide which one makes you feel the most comfortable. We’ll be working intimately together, and we recommend finding a place that makes you feel like part of the family.
2. Using Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART)
We’ve heard stories about gay couples who chose a willing friend or family member and used DIY artificial insemination (using one or both of the fathers’ sperm) to get pregnant. Often called the turkey baster method. That method is easier said than done, and the fertility success rates are not encouraging.
Even with a known surrogate or gestational carrier (more on that below), odds are you’ll participate in IUI or IVF – both of which involve fertility treatment expertise.
3. Donor eggs
Gay men will need to find a donor egg. The egg can come from a donor they know (such as a close relative or friend) or from an egg bank. If you choose to go through an egg bank, there are many egg donors to choose from after reading their profiles. This allows you to select eggs retrieved from a woman who feels like the right fit for your family-building goals.
Read First Steps When Choosing an Egg Donor for more information on that process.
4. Deciding on a sperm source
Depending on the wishes of the couple, sperm samples can come from one or both men. Some couples have a distinct desire for one or the other to be genetically related to the baby. Some opt to take turns with one contributing sperm for the first pregnancy and then the other partner contributing sperm for pregnancy #2. We also have couples who contribute samples and choose to mix them, leaving the genetic connection to chance.
Men who have low sperm count or poor sperm quality also have the option of using donor sperm. That entails connecting with sperm banks and finding a donor that matches your preferences, usually based on the phenotype of one or both fathers.
5. Choosing a surrogate or gestational carrier
Finally, you’ll need to choose a surrogate or gestational carrier to carry your baby until s/he is born. These terms are not the same, although they’re mistakenly interchanged.
- Surrogate: Contributes her egg(s) as well as her womb to the cause. The baby’s genetic makeup is 50% of the surrogates and 50% of the sperm donor’s. Legal paperwork establishes your legal rights to the child(ren). Money may or may not change hands depending on the carrier/arrangement.
- Gestational carrier. A gestational carrier does not contribute her eggs but is willing to have an embryo transferred to her womb via IVF. She may be someone you know, or men may opt to go through a professional agency to find a gestational carrier. This is a contractual arrangement, and, in most cases, you’ll pay her a fee. You’ll also cover agreed-upon costs for pregnancy- and labor/delivery-related expenses.
Your fertility center will help you with all of the details related to third-party reproduction options, including referrals to the best sperm and egg banks and gestational/surrogate agency programs.
Are you interested in learning more about your options for bringing a baby into your lives? The Reproductive Resource Center (RRC) team has helped dozens of gay couples get pregnant and experience the joy of being intimately connected to their babies’ gestational development, labor, and delivery. Contact us to schedule a consultation.
- Egg Donor
- Egg Freezing
- Fertility Tips
- Health Tips
- Infertility Basics
- Kansas City
- Male Fertility
- Office News/In the Media
- Payment and Insurance
- Physicians and Staff
- Psychological and Emotional Issues
- Sperm Donation
- Success Stories
Receive Blog Updates
|||In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF)|
|||Give Us a Call At (913) 894-2323|
Meet Our Team
RRC has over 200 years of combined experience. As a leading reproductive health, infertility, and in-vitro fertilization (or IVF) center based in Kansas City, we're proud to have the highest level of expertise available to our patients.