While images of “traditional” pregnancy are always just a scroll away on social media, we’re still working on making LGBTQIA+ family building (in all its forms) visible and normalized. The more we see different experiences of family building on our feeds, the more that queer people will feel encouraged to pursue the path to parenthood that best works for them. Surrogacy is one of those important family-building options for the queer community.
There's nothing more rewarding for us here at Gay Parents To Be than being able to stay in touch with the families we help create. Watching babies grow up, seeing new additions join a family, and remembering how far each patient has come...well, it makes us just a little bit emotional (in a good way, of course).
One of our favorite moments here at Gay Parents To Be and RMA of Connecticut is when we receive cute baby photos from proud parents. Not only do they brighten up our days, desks, and office walls, but they are also hugely motivating - they remind us that we are helping people build the families of their dreams, even when the journey may seem long and the obstacles challenging.
For prospective parents in the LGBTQ+ community, there are many pathways that you might take to build your family. Whether you decide to pursue a private or public adoption, or biological family building, there is now a wealth of information available online to help you get started, to take that first step. For dads-to-be who have chosen to pursue biological family building with the help of an egg donor and gestational carrier, the journey ahead is exciting, yes, but also slightly overwhelming. How do you know that you are choosing the best clinic for your journey, putting your future family in the best hands?
So, you’ve decided that being a parent is in your future - congratulations! This is a major life-decision, and personally, as a parent of two young children, I can say whole-heartedly that being a parent is the most rewarding and hardest job you’ll ever have.
I’ve heard more than a few analogies for the surrogacy process since I started working with Gay Parents To Be. Family building through IVF and surrogacy - the path that many dads chose to complete their family - has been equated to a journey, a logistics equation, and a puzzle made of many pieces. To be sure, given that most surrogacy journeys for dads include:
Starting a family isn’t always easy, especially if you’re a member of the LGBTQ+ community. Whether you’re going this journey alone or hope to add a child with your same-sex partner, the road to achieving a family can be both daunting and confusing. First, you need to decide whether you’d like to adopt or build a biological (i.e. genetically linked) family.
COVID-19 has ushered in unprecedented change for almost everyone. With fluid guidelines and advice, everyone in the fertility world is working hard to be flexible and help intended parents move forward with their plans to create families through egg donation and surrogacy. As a liaison between egg donors, surrogates, parents, agencies, clinics, and more, Donor Concierge helps fertility patients navigate the uncertainties and feel somewhat in control.
The IVF portion of your surrogacy journey can take longer than you expect, and here at Gay Parents To Be we know that waiting and wishing can be the hardest part of this process. After years of helping dads-to-be build families, we understand that doing your research and preparing for your next step can help you feel more in control throughout your journey.
Here at Gay Parents To Be, we have years of experience helping intended parents build their families through surrogacy, and we know that the process can be complicated and overwhelming, as well as incredibly and hopefully so rewarding.
For many LGBTQ moms to be, questions about how you’re going to build your family, either by yourself or with a partner, revolve around logistics. What are my options? Can my partner and I both be involved? How much is this going to cost? Will my insurance cover this? Here at Gay Parents To Be we have the team and the tools available to get you answers to those questions, but we also want you to feel empowered and in-the-know about your personal fertility.
One of the biggest questions that we receive from LGBTQ couples and single parents-to-be using biological family methods is that of donor choice. Should I ask a friend to be my egg or sperm donor? How do I talk to my future child about their conception story, when it involves a donor? Each individual or couple who is hoping to use a donor as part of their family building should meet with a counselor, to discuss the ins and outs of the decision. We're lucky to have a team of experts in our Gay Parents To Be network, including two social workers who meet regularly with both intended parents and also potential donors! In the blog below, Lisa Schuman, licensed clinical social worker (LCSW), answers a question about whether a same-sex female couple should use an anonymous or known sperm donor.