Gay men and women have unique needs when it comes to family building. In this section you'll learn about the many options available to you, offering you the chance to bring home a beautiful newborn baby.
Family building options for lesbians
If you are a gay woman hoping to have your own children, you will need to decide whether to use a loved one as a sperm donor or to pursue services from a sperm bank. Next, you will need to choose between artificial insemination or in vitro fertilization (IVF) to help you conceive. Artificial insemination is relatively affordable, and can be done at home (with an infamous turkey baster) or in a doctor's office. IVF is more costly, but may be the right choice for you if you have any fertility issues. Whichever route you choose, a visit with a fertility doctor may be helpful. He or she can make sure you are a good candidate for insemination, and can screen you for potential fertility problems.
Family-building options for gay men
Gay men also have options when it comes to becoming parents. Surrogacy is a popular choice, allowing one of the fathers to be genetically related to the child.
Here is how a traditional surrogacy arrangement works:
- You will identify a woman to be the carrier of your child.
- You may choose a friend or relative to be your carrier, or you may work with an agency to identify one.
- She will become pregnant with sperm from you or your partner, or from a sperm donor, typically using artificial insemination or IVF.
- Her own egg is fertilized (although you could also use IVF with a donor egg) and she will carry the pregnancy to term and give birth to the child.
- At birth, the child is handed to the proud new dads.
Since the child is genetically and biologically connected to the carrier, traditional surrogacy can be risky and requires thorough legal guidance. Be prepared and always do your homework before you begin.
Along with the options listed above, gay men and women also have another great option on the path to parenthood: adopting an infant or an older child. Whichever choice you make, learn all about your options here in our Topic Center on LGBT Family Building.