Fertility Treatment for Gay Couples

Jul 14, 2022 | Fertility, IVF, Same Sex Couples, Surrogacy

For men, the only technique available is in vitro fertilization. The partners choose between themselves whose semen will be used for fertilization. Eggs are selected from a donor compatible with the couple’s physical characteristics.

Care is always taken to protect the donor’s identity. This egg will be fertilized by the sperm of the chosen partner, generating embryos.

For the embryo transfer, it is necessary to have a surrogate (surrogate mother). In this process the couple can and should accompany the pregnancy of the woman they have chosen to carry and contribute to the development of a healthy baby. 

In some countries, they argue that the surrogate mother should be a member of the family of either partner and should be related by blood up to the fourth degree (mother, sister, aunt, niece, cousin, and grandmother) without the involvement of profit or commercial purposes.

The in vitro fertilization technique makes it possible for homosexual couples to realize their dream of becoming parents and having a child. 

Everyone involved in the process should be aware that they need to sign an informed consent form (contract). The document gives the parents full responsibility for the baby and the costs arising from the pregnancy. The donor commits to follow medical recommendations and to deliver the child after delivery. If the owner of the “solidary belly” is married or in a stable union, the partner also needs to be a signatory of this agreement. 

Another important fact to keep in mind is that the donor of the uterus and the donor of the eggs are different donors. In this way, the baby will not be genetically similar to the surrogate mother. 

  The egg donor, therefore, cannot have her identity known either to the parents or to the child. 

 

Physical and psychological evaluation of the parents

When a gay couple decides they want to have a child through IVF, they must first have a psychological evaluation. 

In this process, it is important to understand what reasons the parents have for wanting to enter into a similar process. 

The stability of the couple, and how solid the relationship is, must be taken into account.  

There are issues that are delicate for the parents, namely how the child will be raised, and whether they opt for IVF or even an adoption process. As the child gets older, he/she will be curious to understand how it was created, as well as the whole process involved. 

Both parents should be prepared for this type of situation throughout the process and the child’s growth. 

If everything goes well, the next step is the clinical analysis of the gay couple, to find out if the parents are healthy. Tests like HIV tests are done, for example.
Genetic research is also performed to verify the risk of malformation in the baby. The parents’ sperm is also analyzed, via spermogram, to detect any type of alteration that impacts fertility.

Care with the supportive belly 

The owner of the solidarity belly is also submitted to a battery of tests before receiving the embryo. Besides HIV, tests are done to detect syphilis and hepatitis, for example.

The woman’s cynical history must be taken into consideration, as well as the existence of repeat abortions. 

Miscarriage can have several causes, ranging from genetic causes, infections, short cervix, malformations, hormonal changes, changes in the shape of the uterus or in the sperm DNA, immunological factors, and thrombophilias.

In cases where some kind of problem is detected in the donor, the doctors will try to treat the cause that can trigger abortion or even advise against pregnancy. 

Another important aspect is the blood type compatibility between the uterus donor and the baby. If the child has a positive RH factor and the donor has a negative RH, for example, the woman’s body may interpret the embryo as an intruder and consequently start working to expel it from her body.

Adoption in same-sex families

Once, the couple determines that adoption is appropriate they need to do some research on adoption possibilities.

Gay couples can explore all avenues of adoption, including adoption in an orphanage, traditional adoption, and international adoption.

As with heterosexual couples who wish to adopt, the adoption agency will request an adoption profile. The profile should include details about their life, home, reasons for wanting a child, and plans for how they will raise a child, along with photographs that clearly illustrate the type of home and lifestyle the adopted child would be entering.

There is to the later an adoption home study is one of the first hurdles in any adoption process. While the procedure can vary, a home study usually involves someone from an adoption agency visiting the family and the home to conduct a personal interview and examine the home to determine if it is a safe and stable environment to bring a child into.

 

However, there are different ways in the adoption process for some couples.

It is common that one partner adopts and the second then applies to the court as a second parent or co-parent. A couple does not need to be in a legally recognized relationship to seek a second-parent adoption, which makes it an attractive option for gay couples who choose not to marry or enter into a civil union.

Second-parent adoption is also common when one partner already has a child upon entering the relationship and the other wants to become the child’s father.

 

Child welfare 

 

Gay and lesbian groups tend to show positive results, while religious or conservative groups usually indicate negative results.

Many of the concerns revolve around understanding sexual orientation and establishing whether children will develop emotional problems from having gay parents.

However, there are no studies showing that children of gay or lesbian parents are disadvantaged in any significant way.

In indicators such as “emotional behavior” and “physical functioning”, Australian researchers found no differences between children in homo and hetero parental contexts, stressing that the qualities of education and the economic well-being of families are more important than the sexual orientation of parents.

On the other hand, “children living in homosexual families scored on average 6% better on two indicators: general health and family cohesion.

 

Same-sex parents can be good parents, just as heterosexual parents can be good. 

What is at issue is the couple’s ability to raise the child, and their ability to protect the child in their daily lives. To support them during their life journey and above all to love them unconditionally. 

The fact that the child is in a homosexual environment will not make the child behave less ethically or with less respect. 

It is up to our society to open its mind to these families who have as much love to give as heterosexual families. 

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