Frequently Asked Questions For Gay Men
Where do I Start?
You can start with a fertility center that coordinates the process between you, the egg donor and surrogate. Or, you could start by using an agency. You should also check with your insurance company to see if you need a referral from your primary care physician or OB-GYN. Then you can set up a consultation and see what steps are needed to begin building your family.
We decided to use my partner’s sperm, should I still attend doctor visits at RMACT?
Yes, both partners should be present at the visit regardless of whose sperm is being utilized.
Are you able to use both my partner’s and my sperm?
Yes, sperm can be split between eggs to provide embryos from each partner.
What type of testing is necessary before treatment?
Due to FDA regulations, blood work maybe necessary at the time of semen collection for the IVF procedure. In addition 2 specific physical exams will be required to be filled out by your PCP. An online questionnaire also needs to be completed. If there is an infectious disease present such as HIV, you will be referred to a special lab for semen processing.
Can we choose an egg donor we know personally or do we need to work through an agency?
You can choose a donor you know. Some intended parents already have an egg donor in mind. Such as a sister, cousin or a good friend. This donor’s medical profile may be presented to our medical and support team to determine her suitability as a donor. Screening will be performed as it is with unknown donors.
Can we choose a surrogate we know personally? If not, how do we go about finding a surrogate?
Yes, you can choose to use a friend or relative as a surrogate/gestational carrier. If you use an unknown surrogate there are multiple agencies available to assist you through the process. Ideally, women who qualify to be surrogates/ gestational carriers are those who have had a previous uncomplicated pregnancy and delivery, and who are medically and emotionally healthy as well as financially stable. Before completing an agreement between the surrogate/gestational carrier and intended patents, both parties undergo a comprehensive medical and psychological evaluation. In order to complete any legal issues and needs it is required that both parties meet with an attorney.
How are surrogates screened?
Surrogates/ gestational carries have their physical and mental health reviewed. Women get tested for gynecologic health associated with her uterus and infectious diseases. To make sure the surrogate/carrier understands the process psychological counseling is completed. Once you are near signing with the carrier a background check and home study may be required.
What is the difference between a surrogate and a gestational carrier?
A surrogate is a woman who carries the pregnancy and supplies the egg. The surrogate’s egg will be fertilized with the intended parents’ own sperm, or donor sperm. On the other hand, a gestational carrier carries the pregnancy, but does not supply the egg. Through IVF the intended parents’ own sperm and egg, (or donated sperm and/or egg) are combined and transferred into the gestational carrier’s uterus.
Is your Fertility Doctor/Reproductive Endocrinologist with whom you’re working a member of American Society for Reproductive Medicine and board-certified?
Reproductive Endocrinologists receive board certification by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology in both Obstetrics and Gynecology and Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility.
Which should I find first? An egg donor, or a surrogate?
You can search for an egg donor and surrogate/ gestational carrier at the same time. Usually, it takes less time to find an egg donor and create embryos. If you find the surrogate first, you may need to pay to keep her on hold while you select a donor and embryos are created.
Should I use an agency rather than search for a surrogate/gestational carrier myself?
To cut costs, many patients think about looking for a surrogate/ gestational carrier on their own. Using an agency is recommended because they specialize in finding suitable surrogates/ gestational carriers and streamlining the rigorous screening process. Agencies are experienced in finding a personality match with the intended parents.
How long does the process take from start to finish?
From the time of the first consultation with the fertility doctor or surrogacy agency to the time of pregnancy, the process can range from about 6-12 months. Timelines are different for everyone, because each experience is unique.
How much does it cost to work with a surrogate?
There are many variables that go into the cost of using a surrogate/gestational carrier. These fees can include: agency costs to find the surrogate; legal fees to generate a contract; IVF treatment costs, which depending on the surrogate’s insurance can vary; travel expenses in order to be with the surrogate for appointments and the birth. Surrogates generally get reimbursed $15,000-30,000 thousand dollars depending on their own expectations and where they live. The costs connected with a surrogate/carrier therefore are her reimbursement, costs of the agency to find and screen her, costs of medical screening, mental health screening and completion of contracts. The range for all these services runs from $50,000-80,000 thousand dollars depending on the surrogacy agency. At GayParentsToBe, in partnership with Reproductive Medicine Associates of Connecticut (RMACT), a financial advisor is assigned to help intended parents determine the medical costs and have two fixed costs plans in regards to medical expenses which will be reviewed with intended fathers.
Are your reproductive attorneys knowledgeable about the laws dictating surrogacy and egg donor arrangements in my state of residence, as well as in the states of residence of my surrogate and egg donor?
Yes, at GayParentsToBe, in partnership with Reproductive Medicine Associates of Connecticut (RMACT), there are several reputable, experienced attorneys and law offices who concentrate in surrogacy law, adoption law, and the contractual, insurance, and other types of agreements that are designed to protect gay and Lesbian parents. Often times we also work with legal counsel in other states when necessary.
Will we have a surrogacy contract and a reproductive attorney available to represent us? Does my partner need his own reproductive attorney? What about our surrogate and donor? Do they require separate legal counsel?
There are many attorneys that are experienced to work with patients and help generate the gestational carrier and/or egg donor contracts, review surrogate’s/ gestational carrier’s insurance, and acquire and file all other necessary documentation. Intended parents can use the same reproductive attorney, but the surrogate and donor should have separate legal counsel.
What legal steps are needed to be taken by my partner or by myself once our baby is born?
Depending on the state you live in different legal steps may need to be taken. In some cases, couples may have to go through a process to legally recognize you as the parents of the child and obtain a birth certificate with both parents’ names on it. There are many reputable attorneys that can help intended parents through this process.