Starting a family can be a complicated process for anyone who can’t conceive naturally
For gay men and other same-sex couples, having a baby often includes surrogacy and donated eggs
Navigating the surrogacy process is complex, emotionally taxing, and, let’s face it, expensive. It can be hard to know where to start!
To help you with your journey, we have compiled a list of 5 steps for gay men who are considering surrogacy to start their families.
- Have a sperm analysis and freeze your sperm – Before you do anything else, you and your partner should have your sperm tested. By assessing the quality of your sperm before anything else, you can take steps to improve your motility, morphology, and volume if necessary. Once you have tested your sperm, you then need to freeze your sperm. This is usually done with the clinic you are using for the entire process.
- Find an egg donor – Selecting your egg donor is a vital part of your fertility journey, as she will provide the genetic material that will affect your child. You can select different physical and education qualities, but remember that you may have to pay handsomely for specific characteristics.
- Create the embryos – Once you have the frozen sperm and have selected your egg donor, your fertility clinic will create embryos. They usually aim for between 4 – 10 high-quality blastocysts. Once this step has been completed, you can pause the process for as long as you wish.
- Find a surrogate – This is arguably the hardest part of the process. Many gay men choose someone that they know, including a close family member, to carry their child. You can also work with a surrogacy agency. You need to find someone that you work with well and relate to over an entire year. Decide if you want her to remain involved in your life, or if you would prefer a more detached relationship.
- The embryo transfer – Now that you have chosen a surrogate, it is time for her to prepare her uterus and overall health, and then undergo the embryo transfer. After the procedure, she will usually take a pregnancy test in 10 days, and hopefully, you will receive the good news that you’re going to be a dad!
Remember that while we have briefly detailed the steps, each one is intricate and involved in their own right and can take a lot of time
Sometimes it can feel that for every step you take forward, you end up taking two steps back, so have compassion for yourself and your surrogate, and remember to make time for self-care.
Many dads-to-be also find that counselling sessions can help with the anxiety around these big decisions.
Are you a gay dad who has gone through the process of surrogacy to have a baby? We would love to hear more about your experiences – send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or leave your thoughts in the comment section.