This article was published on August 7th, 2017
While adoption has long been an option for same-sex couples in many countries like Canada and the United States, there are plenty of other biological options for LGBT couples that want to become parents and start their own family. Scientific advancements have made it possible to create a child using one or more of the partners DNA. If you have dreamed of having kids, biologically or not, check out these options that are available.
- Artificial insemination. This tried and true method involves deliberately inserting semen into a cervix or uterus with the intention of getting pregnant. While often going hand in hand with surrogacy for gay male couples, this is perhaps the most standard form of getting pregnant for lesbian couples wanting to get pregnant without the actual act of intercourse.
- Surrogacy involves natural or artificial insemination of a woman who is acting as a surrogate to carry the baby to term. Surrogates can be great for same-sex parents wanting their unborn child to have as natural a gestation period.
- IVF or In Vitro Fertilization is a process of baby making by extracting both eggs and sperm and by fertilizing the two in a laboratory setting. The embryo produced is then introduced into the uterus. Often used for partners having difficulty getting pregnant, IVF has very little side effects and can be very effective in producing offspring.
- Egg sharing is commonplace. Extracted through a needle in less than 30 minutes with very little invasiveness to the female, egg sharing has become common for couples using IVF to procreate. Not all female’s eggs are capable of being fertilized, and In Vitro Fertilization of another female’s eggs implanted into the one wanting to get pregnant can lead to higher success rates.
- Like surrogacy, donor sperm is also common and useful practice to help all-female couples or men with low sperm counts. Sperm from donors is implanted into the egg through artificial insemination and can be useful in planning your child’s genetic makeup as sperm donors and agencies go through epic levels of scrutiny and investigation to guarantee one gets the best in genetics.
- Fertility treatments may also be an option. Females over the age of 35 have a lower chance of getting pregnant and face higher risks of birth defects due to issues with the eggs, hormones, ovaries, and fallopian tubes. Fertility treatments can be as non-invasive as hormone treatment or can go as far as surgery, but can be essential for couples wanting to have a natural birth with a biological mother.
- Adoption. While many longing-to-be-parents would prefer making a baby with their own DNA and genetics, there are literally millions of children around the world without parents that need a good home. Just like the aforementioned methods of procreating, adoption, especially for same sex couples, is never easy for same-sex couples. But there are a multitude of adoption agencies and resources to help you adopt a baby with your partner.
Wanting to become parents is a brave, noble step for couples to make. But there are tools out there to help LGBT couples along the way. There are options when procreating, but choosing the right one should be the first step on the exciting, wonderful, amazing road to becoming same-sex parents.