LGBTQ Family Building
Starting a family is no easy feat for any couple. As a member of the LGBTQ community, you will face some unique choices. We work with you to develop a tailored plan to meet your needs and help you start or grow your family.
The following are questions we often receive from LGBTQ individuals and couples as they begin the journey of starting a family.
LGBTQ Family Planning FAQs
Which partner's DNA will my child have?
Your child will have the DNA of the egg provider and the sperm provider. We do not mix semen samples together.
What is reciprocal IVF?
Reciprocal IVF is a type of in vitro fertilization (IVF) treatment where one female partner donates the egg for the embryo, which is transferred to the other female partner who carries the pregnancy. Some couples opt for reciprocal IVF because it physically involves both partners.
How do I obtain donor eggs?
Midwest Fertility Specialists offers a donor egg program as a part of our services. Our egg donors undergo extensive screening and are ready to be matched when you are. Once you are a patient with us, you will receive a password to our egg donor database and are able to actively begin looking for your donor. There is no waiting list if you select a donor that is currently available and not in another donation cycle. Our staff will also work with outside egg donor agencies if this option best fits your needs.
How do I obtain donor sperm?
We work with 11 anonymous donor sperm banks to provide you access to a donor that will fit your needs. Sperm donors are extensively screened, and specimen undergo effective testing. You are able to access the bank databases online and have your specimen delivered to our office.
What is a donor embryo?
A donor embryo is an embryo (a sperm and egg that have already been combined) that was created by previous patients who have gone through IVF and have completed their families or fertility treatment. These patients have altruistically decided to donate their remaining embryos to allow another patient or couple to have the opportunity to conceive. Each partner, upon donating, undergoes additional screening to ensure the safety of recipients.
What is a gestational carrier?
A gestational carrier, also known as a surrogate, is a woman who has been medically screened to carry a baby for another woman or a couple who is unable to carry a pregnancy. IVF is performed with your embryo or with a donated embryo. The embryo is transferred to the carrier to potentially create the pregnancy.
How do we find our gestational carrier, or surrogate?
We work with a local agency that specializes in finding gestational carriers — or surrogates — in Indiana to avoid the added complexity of distance. We also work with national agencies to help you find a carrier if that route best fits your needs. You can also use a known carrier who may be a good friend or family member who has offered to carry a child for you.
Is my age a factor in starting a family?
For women, fertility begins to significantly decline after the age of 35, as egg quality diminishes with age. There is less of a decline in male fertility during this timeframe. A woman can carry a pregnancy into her 40s as long as she has a functioning uterus and is in good health.
Can I freeze my eggs or sperm if I am considering gender transition?
Yes, you can freeze and bank eggs and sperm if you are gender transitioning. You will need to bank the eggs or sperm prior to beginning the transition process. To maximize your options to conceive, we strongly recommend FDA testing and screening as well.
What support services are available to me as I go through this process?
We work with attorneys and counselors who specialize in third party reproduction. Our team of embryologists, physicians and nurses is dedicated to making your journey to parenthood as smooth as possible.
What are the costs of fertility treatment for LGBTQ couples or individuals? Is financial help available?
Every situation is unique and the cost of treatment will vary. We work with all major insurance providers and offer financing options to make fertility treatment more affordable. There are also a number of grant programs available that help LGBTQ couples and individuals start and grow families.