Many same-sex couples are eager to expand their families by having children. One possible consideration for the LGBT community is surrogacy. While surrogacy is generally the same for both same-sex couples and heterosexual couples, there are some unique considerations that same-sex couples should consider before starting the surrogacy process.
LGBT Surrogacy Process
Surrogacy is an excellent option for gay men who want to be biologically connected to their children, as well as for lesbian couples who are unable to conceive on their own. In these cases, pregnancy is usually achieved through an egg donor, gestational carrier and in vitro fertilization (IVF). However, there are some important decisions same-sex couples need to consider before beginning the surrogacy process:
- Decide Who Will Be Genetically Related to the Child
Same-sex parents must decide whose sperm or egg will be used. Some intended fathers choose to fertilize multiple eggs for implantation using both partners’ sperm, allowing either or both fathers to be the biological father of a child.
- Choose a Known or Anonymous Donor
Some same-sex couples work with an agency to use an anonymous sperm or egg donor. However, many LGBT couples choose to work with an identified donor to complete the surrogacy process. It is common for intended fathers to use partner’s sperm with eggs from a close family member of the other partner. This method allows a biological link to the child.
Same-Sex Surrogacy Laws
Each state has governing laws regulating surrogacy, while some states do not recognize surrogacy at all. This can make the surrogacy process complicated for intended same-sex parents.
It is important for all intended parents to work with a surrogacy professional or attorney familiar with surrogacy laws to assist in the legal process.
Additional Considerations for Same-Sex Couples
- Parenting Challenges
- When new LGBT parents bring their new baby home, they may face challenges in possible discrimination. While society is progressively accepting of diverse families, some people are still unaccepting of the idea of same-sex families. LGBT families also may face the additional challenges in discussing their child’s birth story. As children get older, it is natural for them to inquire about where they came from. Explaining surrogacy to a child can be challenging, as children have a hard time grasping the intricacies of the surrogacy process.
- HIV and Surrogacy
- It is possible for HIV-positive people to have healthy children through the surrogacy process without transmitting any health risks to the baby or the gestational carrier. If you or your partner are HIV-positive, it is important to talk to your surrogacy professional regarding your surrogacy options.
Final Thoughts on Surrogacy
Surrogacy is an excellent alternative for same-sex parents who desire to expand their families. This avenue allows members of the LGBT community to accomplish their dreams of parenthood while preserving a genetic link to their children.