Reproductive Medicine Associates of Florida (RMA-FL) is on the front lines of LGBTQ fertility care in the United States. Today, families take many forms, and we are very proud to offer fertility services to our LGBTQ patients and we take extra care in treating every one of our patients equally, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, or marital status.
This process can be overwhelming for our LGBTQ patients, and our dedicated staff wants to make the reproductive treatment process as simple and painless as possible. Let our staff manage the logistics so you can turn your attention to the important decisions as you explore your path to parenthood.
Find support with ThePath. ThePath’s private Facebook group is a safe and supportive space to share your experiences, connect with other hopeful LGBTQ parents, celebrate our success stories, and support you on your road to becoming a parent. Join the conversation.
Congratulations to you and your partner on your decision to become dads! The RMA-FL team is committed to helping all families pursue parenthood using safe and proven effective methods. Below you’ll find some helpful information that should be supportive during this journey, even if this isn’t your first foray into reproductive medicine.
Gay couples can either pursue egg or embryo donation with a gestational surrogate. It’s only possible for the sperm of one man to fertilize an egg, and some gay couples opt for split inseminations. This process fertilizes half of the donor eggs with sperm from one of the men, and the other half is fertilized with the other partner’s sperm. The split insemination process requires a significant investment of both time and money for the medical treatment, legal contracts, agency fees, and all other applicable expenses. The team at RMA-FL will work closely with you and your partner to ensure we can provide the best possible care at every step of the process. Each one of our patients receives a completely custom-tailored treatment plan that takes their unique needs, goals, and medical concerns into account.
Call the team at RMA-FL today to speak with one of our patient liaisons about your options.
Finding a Gestational Surrogate
The woman who will carry the pregnancy for you and your partner is a gestational surrogate, also known as a gestational carrier. The carrier, or surrogate, has no genetic tie to the developing baby. Gestational surrogates carry pregnancies for others who cannot do so for themselves.
The RMA-FL care team will help you find the right surrogate for your family. Some gay couples have close friends or relatives who are willing to carry the pregnancy, and we try to facilitate these arrangements whenever possible. However, for gay couples who don’t have any such volunteers, a reputable agency will help match you and your partner with a compassionate woman who is willing to carry and birth your child for you. Ultimately, whoever you choose to carry your baby is going to be working closely with you, your partner, and your care team throughout the journey.
Gestational surrogacy involves a great deal of legal issues. It’s vital for you and your partner to understand the laws governing your plans for parenthood and consider your options carefully. We recommend that our patients work with an experienced attorney who specializes in family law or third-party reproduction. The RMA-FL team only works with carriers from states with surrogacy-friendly laws. States like Florida, New York and New Jersey have murkier reproduction laws that complicate the establishment of legal parentage, and for this reason, we do not consider surrogates from these states as eligible for surrogacy through our organization. Our team will help connect you to the right legal resources you’ll need to make the safest family-building decisions possible.
Most of the gay couples we help will choose to look for an egg or embryo donor at the same time they begin searching for a surrogate. This helps cut down on the time needed to get the process started. We can also match you and your partner to a donor first to start the embryo creation process. This way, the embryos will be ready for transfer into the carrier as soon as she is found.
Finding Your Egg or Embryo Donor
There are three main options when looking for an egg or embryo donor: known egg donors such as friends or family, anonymous egg donation, or embryo donation. While known donors and egg donation allow for a genetic link to your child, donated embryos have no genetic ties to either parent or the carrier. These anonymous gifts were previously created by another couple pursuing IVF treatment. The RMA-FL care team assigned to your case will help you navigate these options and find the solution that feels most right to you and your family.
Our Ovatures Egg Donation Program offers exceptional live birth rates and a typically short waiting period for the matching process. Every Ovatures donor undergo an extensive screening process that covers their medical, genetic, and psychological health and acceptability. We use the standards established by the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) during the screening process to ensure our donors and recipients are as compatible as possible. We set very high standards for our donors to ensure our clients have access to only the healthiest and most reliable donors.
Our team also works closely with various trusted egg donation agencies across the country. Our specialists have carefully screened each of these agencies to ensure they meet our exceptionally high standards for patient care and medical responsibility. Whenever our clients decide to work with an outside agency, our team will screen the donor using the same criteria we use for our own donation program to help ensure the best possible match.
Patients may also opt to work with a donor egg bank to use frozen eggs. A frozen egg bank can lead to less time spent in the donor matching process as the eggs are immediately available. You and your partner simply choose your own egg donor match from the bank’s database.
RMA-FL’s Embryo Donation Program started thanks to the generosity of previous clients who have successfully reached parenthood using RMA-FL’s services. After successful implantation, many clients donate their remaining embryos to match them to hopeful parents. The process we use to match embryo donors to recipients is very similar to our egg donation process. You and your partner can review very detailed profiles of every potential donor. Depending on the selection criteria you and your partner determine, matching times are generally shorter and RMA-FL reports a 53.3% delivery rate, about 20% higher than the U.S. average for embryo donation. Embryo donation is fantastic option for parents who don’t require a genetic link to the child.
Every hopeful parent’s path is different. Regardless of whether you choose anonymous egg donation, embryo donation, or working with a known donor, the team at RMA-FL will be there to guide and support you and your partner through every step of the process and do everything we can to ensure a safe and satisfactory outcome.
IVF for Gay Men
Thanks to IVF (In vitro fertilization), gestational surrogacy, and egg donation, gay men can contribute to their children’s genetic makeups.
The egg donation, IVF and gestational surrogacy process involves several steps. Generally, the donor eggs are retrieved from a donor and mixed with sperm to create embryos. Then, the embryos are implanted into the gestational surrogate’s uterus. You can expect to work very closely with your RMA-FL care team during this entire process. We’ll help to ensure you and your matched egg donor and your surrogate will be in sync during all phases of the IVF treatment cycle. The RMA-FL team will keep you, the soon-to-be parents, informed during every step of the process.
Some patients opt to do comprehensive chromosome screening (CCS). This process involves testing embryos to ensure they have the correct number of chromosomes so they can develop into healthy babies. The CCS process is also known to decrease the chances of miscarriage and improves live birth rates. CCS can also reveal the sex of an embryo, and this can be very important information for some couples. Every couple has different priorities, but we want to help all our clients explore all of the options and services at their disposal when they work with RMA-FL.
Options for Fertilization
Gay men have various fertilization options for their family building plans. It’s only possible for one man’s sperm to fertilize any given egg, so babies born to gay couples will only share genetic links to one parent. However, many gay couples opt for split insemination procedures. Split insemination combines sperm from both men with two sets of donor eggs.
The intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) process is a common fertilization procedure for IVF cycles that produces more fertilized eggs than traditional fertilization processes. ICSI is the process of taking one sperm and directly injecting it into a donor egg. After injection, am embryologist will observe the egg over the next day to determine whether fertilization and proper maturation have occurred. If so, the embryo is transferred into your gestational surrogate’s uterus or frozen for later use.
If you’d like to learn more about your options for pursuing parenthood, remember that the RMA network has been at the forefront of LGBTQ assisted reproductive technology for decades. Our Florida office will continue to be a leading ally to many hopeful LGBTQ parents across the country. Contact our team today if you’d like more information or to explore your options more deeply.