Assisted Reproductive Technology for Gay Couples
Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) is a catchall term to describe the technology used to achieve pregnancy using procedures such as fertility medication, in vitro fertilization and surrogacy. With the availability and advancements of assisted reproductive technology, more gay couples are able to have biological children.
Lesbian couples more generally use ART through intrauterine insemination (IUI) with donated sperm to have their children. The ways in which they can obtain this sperm is by using a donor from a sperm bank or a friend or family member. Some lesbian couples do choose reciprocal IVF, where eggs are retrieved from one partner, inseminated with donated sperm, then transferred into the uterus of the other partner. Another option is embryo donation. Although it’s less common, some lesbian couples do use a surrogate to grow their family due to various reasons. The chances of a lesbian couple needing a surrogate are much lower since there are two people who might be able to carry a child.
Gay male couples can utilize ART by using donated eggs and inseminating them with one or both partners’ sperm and transferring the embryo into the uterus of a surrogate. Some gay couples choose to transfer two embryos, one embryo biologically related to each of the fathers. Another option is to use donated embryos and transfer them into a surrogate.
Traditional surrogacy is an option as well. This is when a woman uses her own eggs and goes through an intrauterine insemination procedure to fertilize her eggs. This can become emotionally more complicated, since the surrogate is biologically related to the child. It is also not legal in all states, so if considering that option, please consult an attorney in the surrogate’s state that is an expert is Assisted Reproductive Technology Law. [Also, please note that Colorado Surrogacy does not find matches for traditional surrogacy.]
The unfortunate challenge for same sex couples is that although surrogacy, whether it be for compensation or altruistic, is that even though surrogacy is legal in many states, that doesn’t necessarily mean the laws in that state are LGBTQ friendly. Gay parents need to do their homework and definitely consult with an ART attorney who is familiar with the laws of the particular state you’re looking into. It seems odd, but the laws surrounding surrogacy are state specific, and can even vary from county to county within a state, including laws pertaining to same sex parentage. Although completely unfair, there are a number of states that do not recognize a parent who is not biologically related to the child as being their parent. Several more states are added to the problem list when it comes to not recognizing a gay parent who is not biologically related to the child as their parent. Colorado is a great state for a gay couple to have a surrogate in. Colorado has proven time and again to be surrogacy friendly, and the courts are supportive of LGBTQ parents through surrogacy.
Whoever you are and however you choose to build your family, we are here to support you.