While gay partners have plenty of options to become parents, only surrogacy allows them to have a biological connection with their children. And egg donation is an important part of the surrogacy process for same-sex male couples who want to expand their families. In this article, we’ll discuss what egg donor for gay couple involves and other important things you should know as an intended parent
What Is Egg Donation?
Egg donation is a process where a young, fertile woman donates her eggs to a couple or individual to enable them to have children. It is an increasingly popular option amongst people who want to build a family due to its high success rates. Approximately 50 percent of egg donation cycles would result in a live birth.
One of the advantages of egg donation is that it enables intended parents to have genetically related children, making it a better alternative to adoption for same-sex partners who want to become parents.
Egg Donation Process for Gay Intended Parents
The egg donation process is nearly the same for both same-sex partners and heterosexual couples. Here are the steps you can expect to take during your egg donation program as gay intended parents.
1. Finding an Egg Donor for Gay Couple
The first step in the donation process is to look for an egg donor for gay couple. There are many sources you can consider to get donor eggs for your fertility treatment. So it is important to discuss this with your partner and weigh your options carefully before making your choice:
– An Egg Donor Agency
There are many agencies whose main business is to look for prospective egg donors and match them with people who need donor eggs to have children. Getting an egg donor through an agency may be more than any other option on this list, but you will have access to a large pool of prescreened donors, increasing your chances of finding your ideal egg donor.
– Fertility Clinic
Your IVF clinic may also have a database of egg donors themselves. While some clinics require that the patients work with a donor that’s already part of their program, others are more flexible and allow you to use donors from a separate agency. So, you need to contact your potential fertility clinic to ask if they can help you secure an egg donor for gay couple.
– Egg Bank
You can also buy frozen egg cohorts from egg banks. One advantage of choosing this option is that the donor would have already made the donation, so the eggs are available for immediate use. Buying frozen donor eggs is also less expensive than completing a fresh donation cycle with an agency or fertility clinic.
– Sourcing for Your Egg Donor
As a gay intended parent, you can look for an egg donor themselves either by asking your friend or female family member to donate for you. You may also search for egg donors on social media or place advertisements in a newspaper. However, it is important to hire a lawyer to draft a contract for both parties to sign in order to avoid any emotional complications or future conflicts.
2. Egg Donor Screenings
Your chosen egg donor will then have to undergo several screenings to be sure she is medically and mentally fit to donate eggs. This will include blood work, fertility screening, and genetic testing to determine whether the donor is a carrier of any genetic diseases that can be passed on to the baby. The egg donor will also meet with a psychologist to prepare her for the journey ahead and ensure she’s doing it for the right reasons. After the screenings, the agency or fertility clinic will provide a legal contract for you and your doctor to sign before the actual egg donation procedure begins.
3. Cycle Synchronization and Ovarian Stimulation
The next step is to match the menstrual cycle of the egg donor for gay parents with that of the recipient. This is done by placing the donor on oral or injectable birth control pills (lupron). The donor will then begin to administer hormonal injections to stimulate her ovaries to produce and mature many eggs at once. While this is going on, the egg recipient will also be asked to take fertility medication to prepare her womb for pregnancy.
4. Egg Retrieval
When multiple eggs have developed in the donor ovaries, the agency or fertility clinic will fix a date for egg retrieval. During this procedure, a doctor will pass a small needle through the vagina into the donor’s ovaries to remove her eggs one after the other. This is usually carried out under mild anesthesia or sedation.
5. Embryo Creation and Transfer
The retrieved eggs are then fertilized with sperm from one of the same-sex partners to create embryos. The resulting embryos are cultured in the laboratory for 3-5 days and then transferred into the womb of the egg recipient to achieve a pregnancy.
Things to Consider When Searching of an Egg Donor For Gay Couple
Every intended parent has what they want in an egg donor, but here are some criteria you need to bear in mind when making your decision:
This may sound superficial, but physical appearance is one of the most important things you need to consider when selecting an egg donor. Many prospective parents prefer donors with the same eye color, height, body build, and ethnicity as them.
Choosing a donor with a desired physical characteristic increases the chances that the baby will also have the same feature, but this is not guaranteed. So, you may want to form a picture of your future baby in your mind and then select an egg donor with the qualities you want to see in your child.
Another criterion you will want to look at is the egg donor’s personality. Some intended parents also like to work with egg donors who share their personality traits, while others want a donor who has the same worldview as them. However, there is no guarantee that your baby will have the donor’s personality since both nature and nurture play a key role in personality formation.
Still, it is good to review the egg donor’s profile carefully to have an idea of the donor’s personality and life before making your choice.
3. Health History
Your egg donor will be contributing half of the genetic makeup of your future baby. So, you will want to ensure that any egg donor candidate you are considering is healthy and has no significant health issues. While most fertility clinics or agencies will have screened egg donors in advance, you still need to review any medical records you get carefully. For example, you will want to make sure that the egg donor candidate does not carry the same recessive genetic condition as the sperm provider.
As a gay intended parent, you probably want your future baby to share your personality traits or general worldview. If this is the case, look for an egg donor who has the same personality as you. Check the egg donor profiles carefully to get an idea of what the personality of an egg donor is like, and choose the person you connect with. Note that there’s no assurance that your baby will have your desired personality because both nature and nature play a key role when it comes to personality formation.
Lastly, you may also want to check the donor’s education or academic ability before making your choice. While it’s still unclear whether or not babies inherit intelligence from their biological mother, there is nothing wrong with reviewing your education and the test scores of your potential egg donor.
Egg Donation Cost
The average cost of an egg donation program in the US ranges between $20,000 and $30000. The exact amount varies based on many factors, including the donor’s location, qualities, experience, and type of donation. This cost usually covers the egg donor compensation, agency fees, legal fees, egg donor insurance coverage, and more. Bear in mind, though, that you may need to undergo more than one cycle of donor egg IVF to achieve pregnancy, which can significantly increase the costs of egg donation.
Egg donation offers same-sex parents a fantastic opportunity to have biological children. But you need to do your research to know if egg donation is right for you and choose your egg donor wisely. If you are worried about the cost of having a baby with donor eggs, you may want to opt for frozen donor eggs to bring down the expenses. And the good news is that studies have shown that frozen eggs have nearly the same success rates as fresh ones when it comes to achieving pregnancy.
So, contact us now and find out how we can help you find your perfect egg donor.