Aspire Blog

Understanding LGBTQ+ Family Building Options

Posted on June 24th, 2024

Families come in all different forms, and no two paths to parenthood are identical. For LGBTQ+ couples and individuals looking to have children, fertility treatments like in vitro fertilization (IVF), intrauterine insemination (IUI), egg donation, and surrogacy have made parenthood more achievable than ever. As we celebrate Pride Month, we want to highlight the different options the LGBTQ+ community has when building their dream families.

IVF and IUI for LGBTQ+ Family Building

IUI and IVF allow LGBTQ+ couples and individuals to have biological children. Lesbian and trans-male couples can select an anonymous sperm donor through a sperm bank. In an IUI procedure, donor sperm is placed directly into the carrier’s uterus through a small catheter that passes through the cervix. They can also choose to undergo reciprocal IVF so that both partners can participate Cisgender male couples or individuals can use IVF to conceive children using donor eggs. Once fertilized, those embryos are transferred to a gestational carrier.

Reciprocal IVF

Reciprocal IVF allows both partners in a female or trans-men couple to be part of the family-building fertility journey. One partner can provide their eggs while the other carries and delivers the baby. The process starts with fertility testing to ensure the egg quality of the person wanting to donate their eggs. Then, they’ll take medications to boost their egg production and undergo an egg retrieval procedure. The eggs are then fertilized with donor sperm and inserted into the person carrying the pregnancy. While reciprocal IVF is an enriching process that allows both parents to feel uniquely connected to the child, it can be more complex and expensive than regular IVF or IUI.

Egg Donation & Surrogacy

For gay couples, intended single gay men, and trans-women, egg donation with surrogacy is a valid option. Typically, couples decide who will provide the sperm, and that person will undergo testing to ensure their semen is healthy. Then, they can meet with a fertility clinic to find a suitable egg donor.

A surrogacy agency can help connect aspiring parents with a gestational carrier who will carry and deliver the child for them. It’s also possible to use someone they know. Once they pick a gestational carrier, they’ll undergo IVF. The fertilized embryos created from the donor eggs will be inserted into the gestational carrier, hopefully resulting in a healthy pregnancy.

The surrogacy process is beautiful but complex. It can take a lot of time and it requires many legal steps. The right fertility clinic will guide you through each step of the process, offering support and resources along the way.

LGBTQ+ Family Building Starts Here

LGBTQ+ couples and individuals have the right to build their families in the way that works best for them. At Aspire Fertility, we’ve helped countless families in the LGBTQ+ community achieve their dreams of becoming parents. For more information or to schedule an appointment with our expert team, contact us today. We have fertility clinics conveniently located in Austin, Dallas, McAllen, and San Antonio.

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We’re inspiring hope and building beautiful families. Contact Aspire Fertility today!

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