Exploring Family Building Options for Gay Men
Modern reproductive technology has now made it possible for gay men to have a child to whom they are biologically related. The decision to start a family is certainly a life-changing one, but with proper planning and preparation, the family-building process is quite joyous.
The process of building a family through in-vitro fertilization (IVF) involves not only the couple but also an egg donor and a gestational carrier. Read on to learn more about egg donors, gestational carriers, and the legal information that is relevant to your family-building process.
A gestational carrier is one family-building option for gay men. A gestational carrier is not the same thing as a surrogate, although the two are often confused. A surrogate donates her own egg and carries the baby; a gestational carrier carries the baby but does not donate her egg. Gestational carriers have no genetic ties to the baby. They are simply carriers for a fertilized egg from another donor. Red Rock Fertility requires every potential gestational carrier submit to a thorough medical and psychological evaluation prior to approval.
A gay couple can have a child that is genetically related to them using sperm from one partner and the donated eggs from a female relative of the other partner. Of course, another option is to use an anonymous egg donor with no ties to the couple. Some couples choose a gestational carrier that they know, while others opt for carrier recommended by their fertility clinic or use a third-party agency. After all legal paperwork is completed, the IVF cycle and the implantation process can begin.
Red Rock Fertility Center employs an extremely selective process when approving egg donors. Each potential donor is carefully screened for not only disease but infertility, as well. Our egg donors are usually in their early 20s and provide incredibly high-quality eggs. On average, we collect between 12 and 18 eggs from each donor. Our donors represent a wide array of social, ethnic, and educational backgrounds.
The first step is choosing an egg donor. The selected donor then begins a 10-day regimen of stimulation medications; then the eggs are harvested and fertilized with the sperm of the chosen partner. The fertilized eggs are incubated for 5 days before a sample is sent out for genetic testing (PGS), the resulting embryo is then implanted into the uterus of the gestational carrier.
The decision of how many embryos to transfer to the gestational donor is between the doctor and the couple; because the egg donors selected by Red Rock Fertility produce high-quality eggs, implantation rates are quite high.
The entire process of family-building often involves the services of an experienced attorney to protect all parties involved. Your chosen attorney will review the gestational carrier’s insurance documents, take care of any escrow details, draft the contract, and obtain the court order that places the intended parents on the birth certificate of the child born via IVF and gestational carrier.
The legal process of IVF and Embryo Transfer begins with an agreement between the carrier and intended parents. Once the couple has chosen their donor and carrier, a contract is signed. The fee that is to be paid to the gestational carrier is placed in escrow; then the actual medical process begins. The attorney also takes care of verifying insurance coverage for the baby’s hospital stay.
At the beginning of the process, the couple should consult with a reproductive lawyer who can educate then on all of the legalities and protect their interests from start to finish. Red Rock Fertility is affiliated with a number of trusted law firms in the area to which we can refer our clients.
Family-Building Tips for Gay Men
The process of building a family is intended to be a happy time. Seek support from friends and family when you’re feeling stressed, or consider sharing your feelings with a family therapist. Parenting classes can help couples to build confidence and learn valuable skills. One of the most important actions is for couples to keep the lines of communication open — with each other, the gestational carrier, and with their fertility professionals. The staff at Red Rock Fertility offers ample experience with every aspect of family building and can help you to more confidently navigate this often complex life change.
Schedule Your Consultation
If you are a gay couple looking to build a family, schedule your consultation with Red Rock Fertility Center today by calling 702-749-4642, or contact us via our website.