LGBTQ+ Family Building

Assisted reproduction fertility treatments offer a way for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer individuals and couples to grow their families. The Fertility Institute provides comprehensive fertility services for LGBTQ+ people who want to grow their family with genetically related children.

What’s Involved With LGBTQ+ Family Planning?

The fertility options and issues facing LGBTQ+ individuals are unique; there are legal and financial obstacles that need special attention and knowledge to overcome. Our fertility specialists have extensive experience working to help LGBTQ+ individuals and couples expand their families. You and your fertility specialist will talk about all legal and emotional concerns, as well as the medical procedures and options available in each person’s, or couples’, circumstances to have a child of their own.

For all patients utilizing donor eggs, donor sperm, and/or gestational surrogates, we always recommend counseling and provide names of counselors with experience working with patients undergoing third-party reproductive assistance.

Using Sperm or Egg Donors

Sperm and egg donation is available for LGBTQ+ couples and individuals who want to grow their family. Donors can help when infertility is an issue or if you and your partner both produce sperm or eggs. If you require donor eggs and a surrogate, you will find information on that in the next section.

There are two ways to utilize a sperm donor. The first and most common way is for the patient to work with a third-party sperm bank. Our clinic facilitates the usage of donated sperm in artificial reproduction technologies for LGBTQ+ patients. The second way is for patients to work directly with a sperm donor, either someone known or unknown, which is called directed sperm donation. Presently, The Fertility Institute does not use directed sperm donation.

For same-sex female couples, donor sperm can be used for Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) and In Vitro fertilization (IVF), as well as reciprocal IVF if both partners want to contribute to the process. Your fertility specialist will review your options with you based on your preferences and if there are any underlying fertility issues present.

IVF With Donor Eggs/Sperm

LGBTQ+ Family Building Through Surrogacy

While The Fertility Center of New Orleans supports all members of the LGBTQ+ community in their dream of having a family, Louisiana’s strict surrogacy laws prevent our practice from providing reproductive services to gay couples in need of a gestational carrier surrogate. The following is provided for informational purposes on what gay couples can expect in surrogacy services.

Process and Considerations for Those Assigned Male at Birth in Need of Surrogacy

For people assigned male at birth (AMAB) to have a biologically related child, they need a surrogate to carry the pregnancy for them. Most reproductive specialists recommend or require surrogates to be gestational carriers, meaning the surrogate carries the pregnancy created using donated eggs (eggs from a donor who is not the surrogate), so the child she delivers is not genetically related to her. At this time, in Louisiana, both intended parents must be genetically related to their child, so a gestational surrogate may be legally inaccessible for some couples.

There are a few options to acquire donated eggs:

  • Receive a gifted donation of eggs from someone in your life or a stranger.
  • Consult a third-party agency that recruits egg donors. These donors would go through the IVF process of egg retrieval. The eggs can then be frozen or fertilized as embryos that are frozen and ready for implantation into a surrogate.
  • Use an egg bank. With the advent of cryopreservation, frozen eggs have become the most efficient and cost-effective donor egg option. Patients can acquire eggs directly from third-party egg banks.

Our fertility specialists are here to answer all of your questions about our fertility treatments and what services may be the best fit for you. We advise our LGBTQ+ patients to seek the advice of an attorney who specializes in assisted reproduction technologies and the related Louisiana laws on embryos, surrogacy, adoption, and LGBTQ+ rights. We can recommend such experienced attorneys.

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