LGBTQIA+ Family Building for Same-sex Couples

LGBTQIA+ Family Building for Same-sex Couples

June 14, 2022

Any couple that wishes to have children should be able to, plain and simple. All walks of life, all genders, all backgrounds, everyone; there should be no limitation or restriction on anyone that wants to raise and love their family, and they should be given the opportunity to have their own children if they wish. For same-sex couples, there are many things you and your partner should consider when researching and beginning an IVF cycle. Hatch Egg Donation & Surrogacy welcomes and embraces members of the LGBTQIA+ community who want to begin their journey to create their own family, we will help guide and prepare you for what’s to come on your journey into parenthood.

Gay male couples seeking parenthood will need an egg donor and a surrogate. Lesbian couples will need a sperm donor, and in some cases, an egg donor and/or a surrogate are needed as well.

This article will cover various paths to parenthood for the LGBTQIA+ community.  

Family Building for Gay Men:

Gay male couples have unique needs when embarking on the path to parenthood. At Hatch, we are proudly serving the gay community given our comprehensive egg donor and surrogacy program. We also integrate world-class medical care with our in-house fertility clinic, PFCLA. The following information will help outline some of the requirements for a male-male couple to build a family of their own.

When undergoing IVF for gay couples, you will need the following:

Embryos are created at a fertility clinic via IVG using the Intended Parents' sperm (one or both) as well as an egg donor’s egg. At the fertility clinic, an embryo is implanted into a gestational carrier, who carries the baby to term.

Finding an egg donor is a big step in your family-building journey.  Finding the right donor can be a stressful process, it takes time and careful consideration. All of our egg donors are medically pre-tested to give you peace of mind.

With Hatch, you can access egg donors within the top 5% of candidates nationwide to make your search process as smooth as possible.  When looking for an egg donor, some important criteria to consider are listed below:

  •       Medical History and Mental Health
  •       Physical Appearance
  •       Education
  •       Intelligence and Personality

Our advice for finding an egg donor is to be flexible; create your ideal list of criteria as you initially start looking through our egg donor profiles. Prioritize the most important criteria to you and start your search. The more open-minded you can be, the easier it will be to find your perfect match.  It’s important to remember that each donor is unique and finding the perfect match can sometimes be a challenge.

Hatch is the most experienced egg donation agency. Established in 1991, we were the first egg donor agency of its kind. We have set the standard for best and ethical practices. Egg donors who work with Hatch need to meet a variety of medical, psychological, and demographic screening requirements to make sure they are a healthy reproductive match for your family.  Our experienced staff has full confidence that we can help you choose the perfect egg donor.

General Timeline When Using an Egg Donor:

On average, it can take about 3-6 months from choosing an egg donor to the creation of embryos.  Once you are matched with an egg donor, she will complete her in-person medical screening appointment with your IVF specialist. The donor screening process involves a review of the donor's profile and medical records, psychological assessment, genetic risk evaluation, a specific ultrasound examination of her ovaries, a panel of blood tests including infectious panel and genetic carrier screening, and a urine drug screen. If all the results are normal, the donor will be medically considered a good candidate.

We will then connect you with an attorney that specializes in reproductive law to initiate the legal contract. This process could take as quickly as a couple of weeks to a few months, depending on the legal requirements of both parties.

When your donor starts treatment, it usually takes around two weeks counting from the start of medication used for ovarian stimulation to the egg retrieval procedure. Embryos will be fertilized on the egg retrieval date with the sperm samples provided by you.

Finding a surrogate to carry your baby is one of the most exciting milestones during your surrogacy journey to parenthood.

Gestational surrogacy is a growing family option for LGBTQIA+ individuals and couples to have biological children. It is a process that requires both medical and legal expertise, as well as strong emotional support throughout the journey. Bringing a baby into your family through surrogacy is one of the greatest joys you can experience. Finding the right Surrogate can be a lengthy process. We recommend looking for your Surrogate as soon as possible, or at least while also looking for an Egg Donor if needed.

In the United States, each state has its own laws regarding surrogacy. In addition, each country we assist with has different requirements and laws regarding surrogacy. At Hatch, we only work with surrogates from surrogacy-friendly states.

There are certain criteria on which you will be matched with your gestational carrier:

  •       Age and Health history
  •       Pregnancy and delivery history
  •       Location of the surrogate mother
  •       Level of communication with your surrogate during the journey

The relationship between you and the surrogate can be one of the best parts of your journey. We believe that strong relationships between the surrogate and intended parents lead to smoother, more successful journeys. When you work with Hatch, our specialists will support you throughout the whole journey and act as a mediator between you and the surrogate.

After you are matched with a surrogate, the surrogate will complete an in-person medical screening process at your IVF clinic. The screening process includes a physical/pelvic examination, an ultrasound examination of her uterus, a panel of blood tests including an infectious panel, and a urine drug screen.

A legal contract needs to be signed between the intended parents and the surrogate prior to planning the embryo transfer procedure. Surrogacy law is complex. We can connect you with a lawyer who specializes in surrogacy for gay couples. It is important to understand your rights as parents, what the surrogacy laws are in your state or country, and in the state in which your surrogate mother resides. Our team will ensure that your surrogate lives in a state in which you will be able to establish your parental rights safely and securely is crucial for a successful journey. We will help you navigate the events throughout your journey and achieve the final goal: welcome your baby home!

Family Building for Lesbian Couples:

There are several options available for lesbian couples who want to have a baby.  Options to explore include intrauterine insemination (IUI), in vitro fertilization (IVF), sperm donation, egg/embryo freezing, and surrogacy.

Many couples work with a surrogacy and egg donation agency to choose sperm from the same male donor, and each plans to have a child with their eggs throughout their lifetimes.

In some cases, one of the partners is not able to carry a baby or would prefer not to carry a baby but would like to form a genetic connection with the child. One increasingly popular option for lesbian partners wishing to have a child is reciprocal IVF.

In this fertility treatment, one partner provides the eggs, and the other partner carries the pregnancy. This is a great solution for many couples because it allows both women to be physically involved in the pregnancy, which can facilitate feelings of emotional involvement and connection to the pregnancy.

Otherwise, Conventional IVF is available for lesbian couples with either a known or unknown sperm donor, and many of the items outlined in the above section for gay couples also apply to lesbian couples, depending on your specific medical needs or preferences.

Family Building for Transgender Individuals

There are many options for transgender men and women to be included in the family-building journey with their partners. Transgender men and their partners can conceive using donor sperm.  Treatment options will vary based on individual cases, but most patients are likely to conceive with intrauterine insemination (IUI) or in vitro fertilization (IVF). Transgender women with a female partner most often opt to use intrauterine insemination (IUI) to conceive. Transgender women with a male partner will need to use help from an egg donor and a gestational carrier. 

At Hatch, we provide many opportunities to achieve your dreams of creating your family. Contact us to learn more about family-building options.

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