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LGBT Families

LGBT Family Building

NCCRM, with offices in Cary and Greensboro, North Carolina, is proud of the fact that we have helped so many of our patients in the LGBT community to create families. Same sex couples will need the help of sperm donors or egg donors/gestational carriers to have a child.

These options include:

  • Sperm donation for lesbian women and single women
  • IVF with egg donation and a gestational surrogate for gay male couples and single men
  • IVF with one partner as gestational mother and one as genetic mother for lesbian couples.

Family Building for Gay Men

Family building for gay men will require IVF with the use of a gestational surrogate and an egg donor.  A gestational surrogate is a woman who accepts to bear (or be pregnant with) the embryos created from the eggs of another woman. For gay men, the egg provider is either an anonymous or known donor The gestational surrogate provides a host uterus for the baby, and does not contribute genetic material, i.e. is not the egg provider. Typically, the eggs donated by the donor are inseminated in NCCRM’s embryology laboratory through In Vitro Fertilization with the sperm of one or both of the male partners. The resulting embryos are then transferred to the uterus of the gestational surrogate, who has been taking hormones to shut off her own ovulation and to also prepare her uterus for receipt of the embryos.

NCCRM will refer the prospective intended parents to a Gestational Carrier/Surrogate agency that assists intended parents in selecting a gestational carrier. Some intended parents may have a family member or close friend that volunteers to be a gestational surrogate. In addition, NCCRM can assist with egg donation through our own in house Egg Donor Program.  Additionally, we will also support and coordinate cycles if a patient chooses an egg donor through another agency or wishes to use a known donor.

Family Building for Lesbian Women

For lesbian women, the options for conception include:

Sperm donation and intrauterine insemination using sperm from a bank, or from a known sperm donor, with or without the use of fertility-enhancing medications.

  • IVF with donor sperm with one partner providing eggs and gestating the pregnancy
  • IVF with donor sperm with one partner providing the eggs and the other partner gestating the pregnancy.
  • IVF with one partner as gestational mother and one as genetic mother for lesbian couples.

If a sperm donor is required, we can provide referrals to reliable sperm banks. Depending on the age of our patients and other possible fertility factors, we may or may not recommend adjunctive treatment with fertility medications.

If the patient wishes to use a known sperm donor, there are several requirements, including compliance with all infectious disease testing as required by the FDA, a physical exam and psychological counseling for the donor and recipient couple. Additionally, we require freezing the sperm specimen in advance of the treatment cycle. We also strongly recommend a legal agreement when possible co-parenting relationships are expected.

For lesbian patients interested in IVF Co-Maternity, we will stimulate one partner to produce the eggs as per standard IVF treatment protocols. The final event for the egg-providing partner is the egg retrieval.  While the egg-providing partner is undergoing treatment with the egg-stimulating medications, the other partner will take Lupron, estrogen injections and progesterone injections to shut off her own ovulation and prepare the uterus for receipt of an embryo. She will then undergo the embryo transfer procedure 3-5 days after her partner has had the egg retrieval procedure. The baby will have the genetic make-up of the egg providing partner and the sperm donor and the gestating partner will carry the pregnancy, give birth and breast feed the infant. We do recommend legal agreements so that both mothers can be listed on the birth certificate.

Family Building for Transgender Individuals

Although more rare, we have had opportunities to work with transgender individuals to accomplish conception. This might involve intrauterine insemination or in vitro fertilization, with or without the involvement of third parties. The treatments will depend on the individual circumstances.