What Types of Fertility Services Are Available For Gay and Lesbian Couples?

Gays and lesbians who want children often turn to adoption to fulfill that dream. Adoption can be a fulfilling and rewarding experience, but some gay couples want a child that is biologically related to one of them. When this is the case, fertility procedures may be used to help them achieve that goal.

Lesbians who want a child that is biologically related to one of them may opt for intrauterine insemination or in vitro fertilization. Donor sperm are obviously needed to complete these procedures and may run the cost a bit higher, although compared with the use of donor eggs, donor sperm are relatively inexpensive.

Intrauterine insemination involves the direct injection of sperm into the uterus where they have the opportunity to swim into the fallopian tubes to fertilize the egg. In vitro fertilization involves the combination of sperm and eggs in a glass dish to form embryos. The highest quality embryos are then transferred to the uterus where they will hopefully implant and develop. Prior to egg retrieval, some women choose to take fertility drugs to help them produce more eggs. These are very simplistic and basic descriptions of what are considered by some to be complex procedures, so further details should be sought.

In terms of fertility treatment for gay men, surrogacy is an option. Surrogacy involves a surrogate carrier who will carry a child created using sperm from one of the partners and eggs from either the surrogate carrier or donor eggs. When the surrogate carrier’s eggs are used, intrauterine insemination may be an option, while in vitro fertilization is utilized when donor eggs are used.

The surrogate carrier will carry the child until childbirth, at which point she will immediately release the child to the couple. In vitro fertilization is an expensive procedure that often sees costs extend upwards of $10,000. Intrauterine insemination is a much cheaper route with prices ranging from $300 to $800, although this varies. Surrogacy requires a fee for the surrogate carrier and the couple pays for the surrogate carrier’s pregnancy-related expenses and the procedure itself. The total cost of surrogacy ranges greatly between $20,000 and $120,000, although this is very variable.

Gays and lesbians considering fertility treatments should explore all of their options and take into consideration factors such as the physical demands of the procedures and the cost that each treatment carries. Gay couples considering surrogacy must also consider the legal paperwork and contracts involved in the process.