Learn More About Family Building Options for Same-Sex Couples in Seattle
Thanks to increased cultural acceptance, the overturning of bad legislation, and advances in assisted reproductive technology, the dream of having children for same-sex couples has become a reality.
Overlake Reproductive Health is more than happy to treat each couple, or individual, that presents here for treatment, regardless of their orientation. We treated LGBTQ couples well before marriage equality was ratified in this country, or the state of Washington. We are excited to help LGBTQ couples realize the family-building opportunities they have so long deserved. We are also a proud sponsor of the Greater Seattle Business Association (GSBA), the largest and most active LGBTQ business chamber in the United States.
Family Building Options for Lesbians and Single Women
There are numerous treatment options available to lesbian and single women. These treatments tend to use donor sperm in lieu of a male partner, and we work with all the major sperm banks. Sperm from a known donor can also be used in some cases. If you are thinking about using a known donor keep in mind that there are additional medical considerations, and your choice for a sperm donor may not be medically appropriate.
Treatment options range from intrauterine insemination (IUI) to the more involved IVF. Whichever treatment you choose, the procedures are basically identical to the non-LGBTQ versions, except for the source of the sperm. You will need to pick a sperm source for your treatment. Sperm banks (list of popular banks) have evolved in recent years, and most now offer detailed donor profiles so you can pick the right donor. We can advise you what to look for when it’s time to pick a donor.
Which mother will carry the child?
Each couple will decide which mother will carry the pregnancy. Some couples decide who will carry the pregnancy before they visit their fertility doctor, while others will hold off on the decision. We advise holding off a final decision as the diagnostic workup may indicate that one partner is more medically appropriate.
IVF for Lesbian Couples and Single Women in Seattle
If IUI treatment is not suitable, In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) may be a better option. IVF involves retrieving the eggs through stimulation, fertilizing and culturing them outside of the body in the lab, and transferring the eggs back into the uterus at a later date. In the case of IVF, couples decide who will undergo the egg retrieval and who will carry the embryo. Some couples opt to retrieve one mother’s eggs and transfer the fertilized embryo(s) to the uterus of the other mother. Although we will advise you if one option will likely lead to increased success rates, the final decision is yours.
We are happy to direct you to counselors if you would like further help in making your decision.
Family Building Options for Single Men/Gay Couples
Gay and single men have fewer options to build their family. Their only options are IVF using donor eggs fertilized by the sperm of the intended parents, or adoption. During IVF the embryo will be transferred to the uterus of a gestational carrier. This is currently the only option to have their own biological children. Overlake Reproductive Health can help you find an egg donor through any of our partner agencies. We can also offer some assistance with the surrogate search as well as with the necessary legal paperwork that needs to be put into place.
Each couple will decide which father will provide the sperm that will be used to fertilize the donor egg. A semen analysis, produced here at our Bellevue office will screen the sample for treatment.
The father who provides the sperm is legally considered a sperm donor. He will need to pass the necessary FDA infectious disease screening before his sperm can be used. This screening may require samples be put through a 6 month “quarantine period” after which time the donor will be retested before any treatment can begin. This is an FDA regulation whenever donated sperm/eggs are used and cannot be worked around. The purpose is to protect the surrogate from the transmission of disease.
Legal Issues for Same-Sex family Building
The legalization of same-sex marriage has simplified many of the legal issues involved in LGBTQ family building. However, depending on your particular choice of treatment, and the type of partnership you are in, there may still be legal issues. These should be addressed before starting treatment. We can help refer you to legal professionals experienced in this area of law.
To talk about family building options with one of our fertility specialists, contact us for more information.