LGBTQ Intended Parents
Surrogacy in Canada Online is dedicated to helping individuals achieve their dream of becoming parents, regardless of sexual orientation. Every parent is special and we make no distinction between heterosexual parents and LGBTQ parents. We focus on the desire and the intent of intended parents to grow their own family. Whether a child is conceived naturally, through IVF, egg/sperm donation or surrogacy, the creation of a family is a beautiful thing and should be celebrated!
While the surrogacy process is generally no different for same-sex couples and individuals than for any other intended parent, there are some unique considerations to take into account. Read on to learn more about the process, regulations, advantages and disadvantages of surrogacy for LGBTQ intended parents.
Surrogacy is a popular option for gay men who want to be biologically connected to their children, as well as for lesbian couples who are unable to conceive or carry a pregnancy on their own. In LGBTQ surrogacy, pregnancy is most commonly achieved using an egg donor, gestational carrier and in vitro fertilization (IVF), and the surrogacy process is essentially the same as it would be for any other intended parent. However, there are some important decisions that need to be made before beginning the process:
- Decide who will be genetically related to the child. Unlike straight surrogacy, in which both parents’ genetic material is often used to create an embryo, same-sex intended parents must decide whose sperm or egg will be used. Some intended fathers choose to fertilize multiple eggs for implantation using both partners’ sperm, allowing either or both of them to be the biological father of a child.
- Choose a known/open or anonymous donor. While it is sometimes more convenient to work with an agency to use an anonymous sperm or egg donor, many LGBTQ couples and individuals choose to work with an identified donor to complete the surrogacy process. Intended fathers may choose to use one partner’s sperm with eggs from a close relative of the other partner, giving both fathers a biological link to the child.
Once intended parents have made these important decisions, they should be able to continue the surrogacy process as any other intended parents would.
Pros and Cons of Surrogacy for Gay Couples
Surrogacy is certainly an option for LGBTQ couples and individuals who are interested in adding to their families, but it is not for everyone. Prospective intended parents should consider all of the advantages and challenges of surrogacy to determine whether surrogacy is right for them.
Here are some of the most common benefits and challenges of surrogacy for gay couples:
- Surrogacy can fulfill prospective parents’ lifelong dreams of completing their families.
- Surrogacy allows same-sex couples to have children with a biological connection to one or both parents.
- Intended parents have the opportunity to create meaningful long-term relationships with their surrogates.
- Many surrogates are specifically interested in helping same-sex couples become parents.
- Surrogacy is a legally complicated process that can be even more difficult for international same-sex parents (due to laws in their country).
- The cost of surrogacy can be high, and there are fewer financing options available to intended parents than to adoptive parents.
- Some LGBTQ couples and individuals may face discrimination or bias from some surrogacy professionals, prospective surrogates, or donors throughout the process.
Many of the above challenges and benefits apply to heterosexual couples and individuals as well as members of the LGBTQ community. Regardless of sexual orientation, it is important for every family to consider these surrogacy pros and cons, as well as their individual circumstances, when creating a surrogacy plan.
Additional Considerations for Same-Sex Couples
In many ways, intended parents’ marital status and sexual orientation does not have any impact on their surrogacy experience. However, there are some additional thoughts intended parents should keep in mind as they embark on their surrogacy journey.
- Choosing an LGBTQ friendly professional – For many intended parents, it is important to work with a professional that is open to and experienced in completing surrogacies for LGBTQ intended parents. As you consider potential surrogacy consultants/agencies, ask about their history of working with LGBTQ clients and find out whether they provide counselling and support specifically tailored to the LGBTQ surrogacy experience.
- Parenting Challenges – When you bring your new baby home at the end of your surrogacy journey, you will begin a new chapter in your lives — parenting. Parenting is full of infinite joys and challenges, but one challenge that especially impacts LGBTQ parents is the possibility of discrimination. While society is increasingly accepting of diverse family types, some people still are unaccepting of same-sex families. Families created through surrogacy may face the additional challenge of talking about their child’s birth story. Children often grow curious about where they came from as they get older, and explaining surrogacy to a young child can be challenging.
- HIV and surrogacy – It is entirely possible for HIV-positive people to have healthy children through surrogacy, without any risk of transmission to the baby or the gestational carrier. If you or your partner are HIV-positive, talk to your surrogacy professional for more information about your surrogacy options.
Surrogacy is a wonderful option for LGBTQ parents who are ready to grow their families. This path to parenthood allows members of the LGBTQ community to fulfill their parenting dreams while maintaining a genetic link to their children. We would be honoured to be a part of your surrogacy journey. If you are interested in receiving more information about how our surrogacy program can help you become a parent, feel free to contact us. We are here to help you!