Egg donation is an excellent option for gay couples and single men who hope to become fathers
While many gay couples choose to adopt, some couples want their child to have a biological tie to one of them. Egg donation and surrogacy make this possible. Ovation® partner physicians are here to explain the process of egg donation for gay couples and single men who want to become dads.
The first step is finding and choosing an egg donor
When it comes time to find and select an egg donor, gay couples and individual intended parents have options.
- Many gay couples or single intended fathers select a known or anonymous egg donor through an egg donation agency. These agencies interview and screen potential egg donors to ensure that each donor is physically able to undergo an egg donation procedure and psychologically able to share her eggs with a family.
If a couple or single intended father wants more information about an egg donor, agencies can provide information about the donor’s medical history, appearance, education and interests. Some egg donation agencies, including Ovation Donor Services, provide access to pre-frozen donor eggs, eliminating some of the costs and risks associated with a fresh donor egg IVF cycle.
- Other people may ask a friend or a family member to be their donor. However, with this option, the intended parent(s) will be responsible for interviewing and screening the egg donor.
Whether you select an anonymous or a known egg donor, the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, ASRM, recommends that an egg donor be no older than 34 years old. This is because a woman’s eggs decrease in quality and quantity as she ages.
The egg donation process involves ovulation induction and egg retrieval
The egg donor will receive hormone medications called gonadotrophins to stimulate her ovaries to produce multiple eggs. A fertility specialist will retrieve the donor’s eggs once they are mature. These eggs, or oocytes, can then be frozen for future use.
With Ovation Donor Services, all active donors have been extensively pre-screened and have already undergone IVF cycles, so lots of frozen donor eggs are available for immediate shipping.
Once thawed, an embryologist will fertilize the eggs using the father’s sperm through the process of in vitro fertilization, IVF. The embryologist will monitor the eggs for signs of fertilization, and then any resulting embryos will be transferred into the surrogate’s uterus.
Issues to consider when it comes to egg donation
Legal issues: To avoid potential legal issues, all intended parents should have an attorney draft an egg donor contract. The contract should state that the egg donor is waiving her parental rights and that all children born from her donated eggs will be the intended parents’ children. Also, if you know the egg donor, the egg donor contract should spell out the terms of any future relationship between the donor and your child.
Financial issues: If you decide to build a family through egg donation and surrogacy, you usually must bear all of the costs associated with it. While it is worth checking with your insurance, you will likely have to cover all medical costs for you and your surrogate, including the cost of any complications.
Despite the potential legal and financial issues, many gay couples and single intended fathers still choose egg donation as a family-building vehicle. After all, it is the best way for you or your partner to share a biological connection with your future child.
Curious to learn more about egg donation or any other LGBT fertility treatments? Please contact an Ovation partner physician today.