At the Arizona Center for Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility, our mission is to help every couple that wants to experience the love and joy that comes with having a baby. As part of our mission, we’ve tailored our services to welcome and serve same-sex and LGBT couples.
Many gay, lesbian, and LGBT couples come in without knowing the pregnancy options available to them, and it’s incredibly rewarding to see them get excited knowing that conceiving their own baby is a possibility. Often, the couples we work with have several questions regarding their options. These are the five most common ones we’ve received.
1. We want to have a baby. What do we do?
By visiting our center, you’ve already taken the first step toward starting your family. Conceiving a child centers on where the sperm or egg donor will come from. The donor can either be a family member or an anonymous donor, either of which will be carefully reviewed and screened for health. Ultimately, couples just need to initiate the process by coming in. We’ll walk them through the donation process and help make their dreams come true.
2. What are our chances for success?
The Arizona Center for Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility has an almost 30 percent pregnancy rate for a single live birth, making us one of the top 10 fertility clinics in the country. Dr. Timothy Gelety and the rest of our team have been helping couples get pregnant for more than 20 years. And many of them even get pregnant on the first try, because we have the experience and know what we are doing.
3. As a male couple, what are our options?
For male couples, pregnancy requires three participants: the sperm donor, an egg donor, and someone to carry the baby. The idea is that one of the male partners donates the sperm—the male contribution to the offspring—and then the female component is through an egg donor and surrogate. Sometimes the egg donor and surrogate can be the same person, which makes it easier; other times they can be different people. The woman can either be a family member or another female the couple knows. Or, if the couple wants to go the anonymous route, they can choose a donor based on physical characteristics, ethnicity, education level, and even interests.
4. As a female couple, what are our options?
The process for female couples is as simple as artificial insemination. The women choose the sperm donor, either a male friend or via a sperm bank where they can choose the donor based on physical and personal characteristics, like eye color, hair color, ethnicity, and interests.
Female couples have a unique option that allows both partners to participate in the pregnancy. We can use the eggs from one partner, fertilize them, and then transfer them into the other partner for her to carry. With this process, the baby ends up having two moms: the biological mom who donated the eggs and the birth mom who carried the baby for nine months and gave birth.
5. Who should carry the baby?
If it hasn’t been chosen already, the next question is who is best to carry the baby. For female couples who choose to have both partners participate in the pregnancy, we recommend that the younger partner contribute the egg, and the older partner carry the baby. As long as the eggs we are using are healthy and growing, really, anyone can carry embryos to term and deliver a healthy baby.
To us, it’s the ultimate gift to be able to help LGBT couples start their family, whether they’re a same-sex couple, a heterosexual couple, or a nontraditional couple. The most important part of our job is making everyone we work with feel welcome and confident in knowing all the options they have to get pregnant. To schedule an appointment at the Arizona Center for Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility, visit us online or call us at 520-326-0001.