Finding Your Path To Fatherhood
If you’re a gay man looking to start or grow your family, congratulations! We know that navigating fertility options as a gay man or couple can feel overwhelming, so we want to provide resources and information on available options. Thanks to advances in reproductive medicine, there are fertility options for same sex male couples wishing to have a genetic relationship to their children – and that is where we come in!
An Overview to Fertility for Same Sex Male Couples
The main paths to fatherhood for cisgender gay couples are through adoption or collaborative reproduction with a fertility clinic. With a collaborative reproduction approach, male couples need a gestational carrier (often known as a surrogate) and donor eggs. The eggs are fertilized through IVF with sperm from one or both partners and one embryo is transferred to a carrier to achieve pregnancy. At PNWF, we have extremely high success rates (over 80%) for this process.
Donor Eggs for Cisgender Male Couples
Most gay men use non-directed egg donation to create embryos, meaning that the egg donor is not known to the intended parents. Non-directed egg donation can be done using fresh or frozen eggs. All non-directed egg donors pass extensive medical and psychological screening and cede any parental rights. PNWF recruits and manages our own pool of amazing egg donors. We help to coordinate fresh donor cycles, or we work with our sister egg bank SIMPLIFY to provide high quality embryos created from frozen eggs. PNWF can also help collaborate with egg donor agencies depending on the preference of the intended parents. >
Some men may have a friend or family member willing to donate eggs, this is termed directed egg donation. Using a directed donor is a more complicated process, with unique social, emotional, and legal ramifications. PNWF is experienced in walking families through this process.
Gestational Carriers for Gay Couples
PNWF partners with gestational carrier agencies to help with the surrogacy process. In 2019 compensated surrogacy became legal in Washington state, allowing our male patients to pursue this option close to home. Men work an agency to match with a carrier, and our medical team reviews the candidate’s history and provides approval to move forward. Unlike non-directed egg donation, there is a personal relationship between a carrier and intended parents, and it is important to find a good fit. A legal team will be involved to draw up contracts that protect the rights of both the carrier and intended parents. All parties will also speak with a counselor specializing in third party reproduction to discuss the nuances of building a family in this way. Starting a surrogacy journey can be daunting, but we are here to guide you every step of the way.
The Importance of LGBTQ-Affirming Medical Care
Building your family through collaborative reproduction is a complex and emotional experience. Make sure your medical providers are experienced in LGBTQ+ fertility care, so you can feel supported through your journey. At PNWF we are extremely proud of our longstanding history of supporting our LGBTQ+ community. We’ve helped hundreds of same-sex couples, gay and lesbian single parents, and gender-diverse individuals start and grow their families. If you are a gay man considering your fertility options, we’re here to help: contact the Center for LGBTQ+ Fertility at PNWF for a consultation today.