Chicago IVF Blog

Assisted Reproductive Technologies for LGBTQA Families

Posted on June 10th, 2020 in Fertility, Treatments
Assisted Reproductive Technologies for LGBTQA Families

For many couples, having a child and raising a family together represents the ultimate expression of love. This is true for straight and same-sex couples alike. While some LGBTQA couples choose to adopt, many have a strong desire to have a biological child of their own. Thanks to assisted reproductive technology (ART), this goal is something that can now be achieved.

ART for Gay Male Couples
For gay male couples to have a child via ART, they require both an egg donor and a gestational surrogate. When it comes to finding an egg donor, some couples choose to work with someone they know. However, working with an anonymous egg donor is more common. To find an egg donor, couples can either consult with an egg donor agency or work with a fertility clinic that has its own egg donor database, such as Chicago IVF.

After the initial consultation, gay couples are free to peruse our database and choose an egg donor based on whatever personal criteria is most important to them. The profiles in the database consist of personal details about the egg donors, such as:

  • Physical description
  • Race and ethnicity
  • Medical and family histories
  • Hobbies and interests
  • Level of education
  • Photos

Gay male couples also have to decide who will provide the sperm and must be matched with a gestational surrogate. Getting all these details established requires a lot of medical, logistical, and legal coordination, so it’s helpful to work with a clinic that can handle the entire process from beginning to end. Once everything is in order, the eggs will be extracted from the donor, fertilized in a lab via in vitro fertilization (IVF), and then implanted into the surrogate’s uterus.

ART for Lesbian Couples
For lesbian couples who have no fertility issues, the only third-party component they need in order to have a child is donor sperm. Some couples choose to use a known donor, such as a friend or family member, whereas others choose to obtain donor sperm from an accredited sperm bank. From there, the sperm can either be deposited into one of the female partners via an at-home insemination kit or be directly placed into the uterus via intrauterine insemination. In some cases, IVF may be necessary.

Another option for lesbian couples is a process known as reciprocal IVF, which allows both women to have some kind of biological relation to the baby. In reciprocal IVF, eggs are retrieved from one female partner and fertilized in a lab. The resulting embryo is then implanted into the other female partner’s uterus. Reciprocal IVF allows one woman to be the genetic mother and the other to be the birth mother.

Learn More
Thanks to modern medical technology, creating the perfect family is easier than ever before for LGBTQA couples. To learn more about family-building options for gay and lesbian couples or to get started, contact Chicago IVF today.

If you’re in need of fertility care or think you might be, find out how the fertility specialists of Chicago IVF can help build the family you've always wanted.
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