Happy LGBTQIA+ Couples with Babies | LGBTQIA+ Community Family Building | RSC New Jersey

LGBTQIA+ Community Family Building

At Reproductive Science Center of New Jersey (RSCNJ), we proudly offer LGBTQIA+ community family building services. Same sex females who identify as lesbian or queer, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning, intersex, asexual, and nonbinary individuals and couples who dream of having a family can often do so with our assisted reproductive technologies.

We offer our LGBTQIA+ patients the same reproductive medicine fertility treatment options that we offer to our patients experiencing infertility. While our fertility treatments can help all LGBTQIA+ people have a family, it is important to consider that many LGBTQIA+ patients also have infertility.

One in six individuals of reproductive age experience infertility. This is a disease that affects everyone, regardless of gender identity. That’s why LGBTQIA+ people seeking to have a family need to be tested for infertility before they begin steps to have a child using assisted reproductive technologies.

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You have choices. We can help.

Where everyone has the opportunity to become a parent: RSCNJ, helping small miracles happen since 2004.

Why choose RSCNJ for LGBTQIA+ family building?

We recognize that no two families are the same, regardless of sexual orientation. We are proud to use our cutting-edge treatment and technology options to help all couples and individuals with their dream of parenthood.

We are sensitive to the needs of the LGBTQIA+ community and can limit office procedures as necessary for the comfort of our patients. We acknowledge that accepted and desired terminology for LGBTQIA+ people is constantly changing. For example, queer has been rejected in the past to denote non-heterosexual identification, but it is now a term that some same sex female couples prefer over lesbian.

Reproductive medicine services for LGBTQIA+ couples & individuals

Because of the same sex nature of many LGBTQIA+ couples, they often require a combination of such reproductive services.

Fertility testing for gay men, lesbians or queers, transgender and nonbinary patients

We will perform a fertility evaluation and fertility testing on the partner whose reproductive system will be involved in the fertility treatment/reproductive services required for a pregnancy. In a gay couple or for those with male reproductive systems, we will evaluate the fertility of the man providing the sperm that will be used to impregnate a gestational carrier surrogate who carries and delivers the child.

Similarly, for same sex female couples who identify as lesbian or queer, transgender men and those with female reproductive systems the person who will bear the pregnancy will be evaluated and tested.

If fertility testing shows that the desired contributing partner has infertility issues, the other partner will be tested. Both will be tested if using reciprocal IVF (see further below). If neither partner can be a viable contributor with either healthy eggs or sperm, the couple may need the services of a third party for all aspects of having a child.

Medical history, ovarian reserve testing, semen analysis & more

Fertility testing includes a thorough evaluation of medical history, reproductive history, physical examinations to evaluate anatomical problems and other specific assessments. The sex of the patient and information discovered in the evaluations mentioned will determine these additional assessments.

For gay men, transgender women and those with male reproductive systems, the evaluations performed during fertility tests will ensure that a man’s reproductive organs are functioning properly (creating sperm) and that there is no indication of male infertility. A semen analysis will evaluate a man’s sperm to ensure that it is viable to fertilize a woman’s egg for pregnancy.

For lesbians or queers, transgender men and those with female reproductive systems, fertility testing can include bloodwork to evaluate reproductive hormone levels, evaluations of ovulation and ovarian reserve testing to determine if the fallopian tubes are obstructed and suitable for egg fertilization. The evaluations performed during fertility tests will ensure that a woman does not have female infertility. These tests also indicate whether or not a woman’s body is able to carry a pregnancy.

It is possible that a lesbian or queer couple will need a gestational carrier surrogate to carry a pregnancy when neither of the partners is able or willing to carry a pregnancy. This would require the eggs of one partner be fertilized through IVF and the subsequent embryo transferred to the gestational carrier for pregnancy and birth.

Third-party reproduction with egg donation, sperm donation & surrogacy

Depending on the individual circumstances and type of sexual reproductive systems of LGBTQIA+ patients and couples, family building steps may involve third-party reproduction assistance. This will usually include egg donation, sperm donation, embryo donation or a gestational carrier surrogate. The fertility treatments involved will be IVF and/or artificial insemination via IUI.

Egg donation

Gay men, transgender women and those individuals with male reproductive systems who do not identify with the male gender will not be able to achieve fertilization, pregnancy or birth without third-party assistance of egg donation and a gestational carrier surrogate.

RSCNJ offers access to a pool of racially diverse, screened egg donors, as well as partnering with egg donor agencies. This allows us to offer both fresh eggs and frozen eggs, both of which are suitable for fertilization. We assist patients in selecting the best option for them. All egg donors undergo FDA-mandated testing and screening.

The person donating the egg can be known or remain anonymous. Sometimes patients can ask a friend or family member to donate eggs. RSCNJ can accommodate these options.

From there, a couple can determine if one or both partners would like to contribute their sperm to the pregnancy. One (or both) of the partners’ sperm will be used during IVF to fertilize the egg(s) of an egg donor to create an embryo. The embryo will then be implanted into the uterus of a gestational carrier to carry out the pregnancy.

Embryo donation

Embryo donation is another option. This is when a frozen embryo that has been created through IVF but was not used by the parents is donated to another couple or individual. An advantage of embryo donation over egg donation is that it eliminates the prospect of donated eggs not becoming an embryo through IVF.

Sperm donation

Lesbians or queers, transgender men and those with female reproductive systems will need donated sperm to create an embryo. Since an egg’s fertilization by sperm is necessary in order to create a pregnancy, both IUI and IVF with a sperm donor are available options.

Sperm can be donated by a friend or family member after the appropriate testing is done, or by an anonymous donor through a sperm bank.

Gestational carrier surrogacy

A gestational carrier surrogacy is necessary for gay men, transgender women or those with male reproductive systems in order to become pregnant with the embryo created through IVF. Eggs of an egg donor are inseminated with sperm of the male partner (or a sperm donor if neither male’s sperm is adequate), and the resulting IVF embryo is implanted in the gestational carrier’s uterus for pregnancy.

This person carries the pregnancy and delivers the baby to the intended couple or individual. RSCNJ assists LGBTQIA+ patients locate a gestational carrier, carry out the IVF treatment and care for the carrier through the first 7-8 weeks of pregnancy.

Reciprocal IVF for lesbians and transgender men

Reciprocal IVF allows lesbian (or queer) and transgender male couples to share in the process of conception by using one partner’s eggs to create embryos & implant them in the other partner.

Patient testimonial

This couple shares their patient testimonial and discusses their experience with the staff and doctors at RSC New Jersey.

RadioMD “Fertility Talk” Podcasts

Dr. Alan Martinez discusses fertility options for same-sex couples.

LGBTQIA+ Fertility Options

Counseling for LGBTQIA+ family building

In all cases of third-party reproductive treatment as described here, we recommend counseling for the individuals or couples involved to assist with the complicated issues this type of family building can present. In some cases legal counseling and formal contracts are required as well. We will refer LGBTQIA+ patients to experienced providers in this area to protect all parties involved and provide an extra layer of expertise to their care.

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