Exploring your options: Same-sex family planning and fertility treatment options for men
When beginning to research and explore options for male same-sex couples, the journey to parenthood looks quite different than the journey for opposite-sex couples undertake. For male same-sex couples, it might feel like there are limited options to experience biological parenthood. However, technology and science have made strides that provide more options now than ever. Being aware and well informed about the options and challenges you and your partner have and may face for starting your family is important in order to make the best decision for your growing family.
For same-sex male couples, there are a variety of different options depending upon which partner wants to be genetically involved. For same-sex male couples, an egg donor and gestational carrier, also known as a surrogate, will be necessary when looking to start their family. Couples have the option of using a known egg donor or going through a donor agency with an anonymous egg donor, which can be difficult to decide what option is best. Depending on the circumstance, ideally, the donor candidate is 35 or younger, will undergo an intensive screening process, including medical, genetic, psychological, and FDA infectious disease testing to make certain she is a good candidate for IVF. These screenings are in place to make sure that the surrogate is healthy to carry your child to full term and that she is emotionally and physically ready to begin this journey with your family.
When you and your partner decide what option is best for your family, the next step would be for the embryos to be created with either with one or both partners’ sperm and then the embryos can be transferred to a gestational carrier for the pregnancy. It is important to remember that there is more than one way to choose a surrogate. The surrogate can be someone that has offered to carry the child for the couple or an individual through an agency.
Costs associated with this process can be quite expensive, as the donor must undergo IVF and the gestational carrier will undergo an embryo transfer. Unfortunately, most insurance plans are limited in their definition of infertility and to whom the fertility benefit applies. This means that it is very important to discuss this with your partner before you begin this journey to make sure your goals align for this process. More companies are expanding their insurance policies to allow same-sex couples greater access and coverage to fertility benefit, alleviating some of the financial stressors. While this is a great step, it still does not solve every financial issue. By using known donors or gestational carriers can cut down the costs significantly because this removes the donor agency fees from the list of expenses.
At Center For Reproductive Care, we support all paths to parenthood and will work with you to achieve a happy and healthy family. There are many factors when it comes to parenthood for same-sex male couples and Center for Reproductive Care is focused on making this process as smooth and transparent as possible, so patients make the right decision for their family.