LGBTQ+ Family Building

We believe that every adult who desires to have a family has the right to do so. Our inclusive environment provides a safe, compassionate place for our LGBT community.

We believe that every adult who desires to build a family has the right to do so. The LGBTQ community often faces physiologic fertility challenges that their heterosexual counterparts do not. For this reason, Northern California Fertility Medical Center provides family building services to same-sex, same-gender and transgender individuals and their partners.

Family Building Services for the LGBTQ Community

We welcome loving partners, as well as individuals, to learn more about the range of fertility treatments and services available to you, in order to decide which offerings are the best fit.

Some of the most relevant treatments used to achieve pregnancy include:

  • Intrauterine Insemination (IUI). Using sperm from a donor, women can use intrauterine insemination (also called artificial insemination) to fertilize their own egg(s). IUI is also used for gay and same-gender male couples who use a surrogate.
  • Surrogacy (synonymous with Gestational Carrier). Gestational carriers carry the baby after receiving embryos generated from the intended parents’ eggs and sperm by using IVF. For male couples, an egg donor is also involved. In California, gestational surrogacy with IVF is well established in the medical field and legal system protecting both the biological/intended parents and the gestational carrier.
  • In Vitro Fertilization (IVF).  IVF is also used for lesbian couples who have a fertility diagnosis requiring an IVF treatment or gay couples who have a friend or professional surrogate carry their baby for them.

Scheduling a consultation with a fertility specialist is a smart first-step in LGBTQ+ family building, providing critical information for you to process, discuss and ponder as you create your fertility road map.

Lesbian & Same-Gender Female Couples

In most cases, lesbian and same-gender female couples use IUI or IVF to get pregnant. Things to consider include:

  • Who will be carrying the baby?
  • Should the sperm come from a known or anonymous donor?
  • Whose egg(s) will be used?

Lesbian couples sometimes opt to use IVF so both women are physically a part of the pregnancy – one donating the egg and the other carrying the baby. This is now commonly known as Reciprocal IVF. The woman carrying the baby, and/or providing the egg(s) will go through a thorough fertility screening to determine the best course of fertility treatment.

Gay & Same-Gender Male Couples

Gay and/or same-gender male couples typically use sperm from one (or both) of the partners, an egg from a known or anonymous egg donor and a gestational carrier.  Typical considerations for these couples are:

  • Which partner’s sperm will be used (or both partners)?
  • Who will donate the eggs?
  • Who will carry the baby?

Typically, we use a semen analysis to verify the sperm quantity, motility and morphology of the partner providing the sperm. The gestational carrier and egg donor will both complete a thorough fertility, medical and psychological screening to optimize your fertility chances. We will recommend a family law attorney that specializes in surrogacy.

Transgender Individuals

Family building for transgender, nonbinary, and gender-nonconforming individuals can involve various options depending on their specific situation and goals. Here are some common paths:

  • Sperm Banking (for transgender women): Transgender women (assigned male at birth) who have not undergone procedures that affect sperm production (such as certain hormone therapies or surgeries) may choose to bank their sperm before starting these treatments. This allows them to preserve the option of biological fatherhood in the future.
  • Egg Freezing (for transgender men): Transgender men (assigned female at birth) may opt for egg freezing if they wish to preserve their eggs before starting hormone therapy or surgeries that may impact their fertility. These eggs can later be fertilized with sperm for use in assisted reproductive technologies (ART) like in vitro fertilization (IVF).
  • Surrogacy: Transgender individuals or couples may choose to use a surrogate to carry a pregnancy. This can involve using the genetic material of one or both partners, or using donor gametes (sperm or eggs) if needed.

Have Questions About Fertility Treatments and Family Building For LGBTQ + Couples?

Please contact Northern California Fertility Medical Center to learn more about your fertility and family building options. We are proud to collaborate with LGBTQ couples and individuals, making your dreams a reality as you build a happy, healthy family.

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