How to get started as a gay, lesbian, transgender, or nonbinary intended parent
PNWF proudly supports LGBTQ+ family building through our Center for LGBTQ+ Fertility. We believe everyone who wants to become a parent should get the chance. We offer a wide variety of fertility services tailored for the LGBTQ+ community, including donor eggs and sperm, intrauterine insemination, shared IVF, gestational surrogacy, and fertility preservation. Our Center also offers financial resources as you navigate your fertility journey. We are honored to accompany you on this path, and will help create a treatment plan that meets your unique needs.
Know Your Options for LGBTQ+ Family Building
The most common fertility services for the LGBTQ+ community include:
- Intrauterine insemination (IUI) with donor sperm
- Shared in vitro fertilization (IVF) with donor sperm
- Gestational surrogacy with a donor egg
The first step to determining the best option for you is a fertility consultation and assessment. During this consultation, your fertility specialist will get to know your specific goals and questions. You will also receive some initial fertility testing to get an overall picture of your reproductive health and the available options.
Your consultation is also a good time to let your team know about any particular concerns you may have. We understand that the idea of pregnancy and reproduction can trigger anxiety or dysphoria for some of our patients. We are here for you at every step of the way, to help you navigate a safe path to your fertility goals.
Fertility Preservation for Transgender Patients
LGBTQ+ family building can also mean preserving your possibilities for having biological children in the future. Many of our transgender patients are surprised to learn about their options for egg or sperm freezing before beginning gender affirmation therapy or surgery. In some cases, fertility preservation is still possible even after starting hormone therapy. Dr. Stephanie Rothenberg, co-founder of our Center for LGBTQ+ Fertility, is a recognized leader in the field of transgender fertility preservation. We are happy to meet with adolescent patients, patients who are considering gender affirmation therapy or surgery, and patients who have already begun hormone therapy.
Consider Your Donor Preferences
Most LGBTQ+ individuals build their family through collaborative reproduction. Collaborative reproduction refers to using an egg donor, sperm donor, gestational surrogate, or a combination of the three.
When it comes to donors and surrogates, there are two choices: directed vs. non-directed. “Directed” means you know the donor, either as a friend or family member, or through an open donor arrangement where you know your donor’s identity. “Non-directed” refers to a donor you find through an agency or bank, and whose personal information you don’t know. Non-directed donors used to be called “anonymous;” however, with the ease of at-home DNA testing, no donation can truly be considered anonymous anymore.
It’s up to you whether you would prefer a directed or non-directed donor or surrogate. There are nuances to either option, including emotional, financial, and legal considerations. Our team has experience with both directed and non-directed arrangements, and can offer insight and guidance specific to your situation.
Consider Financial Resources for LGBTQ+ Family Building
Collaborative reproduction can require a significant financial investment, depending on the type of treatment. While IUI with donor sperm may cost around $2,000 per cycle, gestational surrogacy using donor egg IVF can cost more than $200,000. Unfortunately, most health insurance plans do not yet cover fertility treatments for LGBTQ+ family building. However, there are several organizations that offer grants, loans, and discounts to LGBTQ+ intended parents. Our financial counselors will help you access these resources and create a manageable financial plan.
Parenthood Is Possible
There are more options available than ever for LGBTQ+ individuals looking to build their family. We support our community and are here for you at every step of the way. For a free consultation, reach out to our Center for LGBTQ+ Fertility today.