At Donor Egg Bank USA, we have been proudly serving members of the LGBTQ+ community since our founding in 2012. And as we turn our attention toward Pride month — and all that it commemorates, celebrates, and supports — we’d like to offer some helpful guidance to gay men who are hoping to create or grow their families. We understand that parenthood (under any circumstances) can be a rather overwhelming prospect. And for gay men, the process includes even more considerations and decisions. That’s why we’d like to take this moment to walk you through the basics of becoming a dad using frozen donor egg.
IVF: a Guy (or Two), a Womb and an Egg
So, while becoming a parent begins with love, a few other ingredients are also essential. To create or grow your family, you’ll be using a process known as in vitro fertilization (IVF). With IVF, an egg is harvested, fertilized, and then transferred into the uterus in the hopes that a pregnancy will occur, and a healthy baby will be born. Let’s talk a little more about each element of this process:
You’ll, of course, need to choose someone to carry your baby. Obviously, this is not a decision anyone takes lightly. Fortunately, there are a number of agencies that are available to help you find and select just the right individual to become your gestational carrier. Gay Parents to Be® offers some helpful advice regarding the process.
Why use a donor?
While sometimes the gestational carrier will also provide the egg, often times intended parents will decide to use a donor egg instead. Here are a couple of key reasons why:
Why a frozen egg?
Once you decide to use a donor egg, it’s important to understand the benefits of frozen donor eggs over fresh donor eggs. For those using fresh donor eggs, the egg harvesting and fertilization will take place one right after the other at your fertility clinic. If you were to choose frozen donor eggs, those eggs would be shipped directly to your fertility clinic for use when you are ready.
Here are just a few advantages of using frozen donor eggs from Donor Egg Bank USA versus fresh donor eggs:
The Guy (or Guys) and the Sperm
Once the frozen donor eggs are shipped to your fertility clinic, they will need to be fertilized. If you are a single man, you will most likely use your sperm to fertilize all the eggs. However, if you are a couple, then there are a few options available to you.
You may decide (because of health or other reasons) that just one of you will fertilize all the eggs you receive. Or, if you would both like to be a part of the process, you may split the egg lot, with each partner fertilizing a portion. The Donor Egg Bank USA’s Double Egg Lot Plan (offering 10 to 16 eggs) makes it easier to use two sperm sources, with each partner fertilizing an egg lot.
Additionally, if for whatever reason, neither you nor your partner are able to contribute healthy viable sperm to the process, then you may use frozen donor sperm as well. Reputable sperm banks such as California Cryobank® and NW Cryobank offer you a wide variety of fully screened and qualified sperm donors from which to choose.
Legal Concerns, Insurance, and Logistics
Before you choose your gestational carrier, you will want to consult with an attorney for help drafting a suitable contract. That contract should include basic agreements such as how your carrier will be compensated, any extra expenses, and your expectations from her during the pregnancy. It may also include other items such as who’s allowed to attend prenatal appointments, specifics about the birth, and what both parties are to expect afterward.
Because all our frozen egg donors have already signed agreements with Donor Egg Bank USA, you will not need to worry about creating any additional contracts or legal paperwork.
Currently, few insurance providers are covering the expenses associated with gay men using a gestational carrier to grow their families. However, that landscape is changing, thanks to many Fortune 500 companies choosing to include infertility coverage for their LGBTQ+ employees — with companies like Starbucks leading the way.
Stories With Happy Endings
At Donor Egg Bank USA, we’re proud to have helped thousands of LGBTQ+ individuals and couples to build their families. Take a moment to learn more about these gay dads’ inspiring stories of parenthood that started with frozen donor eggs … and a lot of love.
They are all proof that while the road to parenthood for a gay dad may include a few more twists and turns, with a little planning, and accessing the right resources, you can still get to where you want to go; you can still create the family you’ve always dreamed of.
Ready to learn more about using frozen donor eggs to help grow your family? Just reach out to our qualified team at Donor Egg Bank USA to find out more, including information about our Assured Refund Plan® option. Or, if you’re ready to get matched to your ideal donor, start your search here.