For heterosexual couples who have made the decision to use frozen donor egg to grow their families, we often talk about the fact that only one parent (the father) will be sharing their DNA with their donor-conceived child. Yet, what many may overlook, is the same is true for gay male couples using frozen donor egg — only one of the dads will have the opportunity to share his DNA with their donor-conceived baby.
So, as we spend this month celebrating Pride, we’d like to recognize all the gay dads considering frozen donor egg and offer a little guidance as they decide exactly whose sperm will be provided when the time comes.
Understanding Your Options
Let’s start with the obvious. As a couple making “the DNA decision,” things are going to go more smoothly with a little research, an open mind, and a lot of communication. We think understanding your options is a great place to start.
Making It an Equal Opportunity
Many gay dads who are using Donor Egg Bank USA™ find the Double Egg Lot Plan to be an ideal choice. This plan offers two separate egg lots (which provide a total of about 10 to 16 mature eggs). Having more than one egg lot makes it easier to give each dad’s sperm “an equal opportunity”: as long as both dads’ doctors say their sperm is acceptable, one dad’s sperm can be used to fertilize one egg lot, and the other dad’s sperm can be used to fertilize the second egg lot.Then, once the eggs are fertilized, the embryos that seem most likely to result in a successful pregnancy (regardless of by whom the egg was fertilized) can be considered when choosing the embryo for the initial transfer and implantation. Any other viable embryos can be cryopreserved for any subsequent cycles — if needed — or for later, should you choose to have more children.
Choosing the One
Of course, you can also simply decide which of you will be the sole sperm provider. Maybe you’ve matched your traits to the egg donor’s and want to give your partner a chance to pass along some of his great looks, personality, and healthy genes as well. That, of course, is ultimately up to the two of you.
Letting Science Decide
There are those times when the circumstances of the two potential sperm providers make the decision for you. After some exploration, it might become apparent that one partner is just better suited to provide the sperm. For example, one partner may have poor sperm quality due to age, medication, a medical condition, environmental factors, or for other reasons.
Additionally, there’s a chance that your ideal egg donor may be a carrier for a certain genetic condition. The truth is many of us are carriers for at least one recessive genetic condition. However, there is only a risk of having a child affected with the genetic condition when the egg and sperm source are both carriers for the same condition. So, in situations like this, carrier screening for both partners should be considered, and carrier status for the condition the egg donor carries may factor into the decision. Donor Egg Bank USA is available to answer questions about family medical history and genetic screening regarding our egg donors.*
Getting Some Extra Help
Finally, there are those couples for whom neither dad is able to contribute healthy, viable sperm to the process. Fortunately, in that case, you could use donor sperm to fertilize your frozen donor eggs. California Cryobank® is a proud partner of the LGBTQ+ community and has more than 45 years of experience as a global leader in sperm donation. They, like Donor Egg Bank USA, make it easy to choose from a diverse catalog of fully screened and qualified sperm donors.
Beyond the DNA
We understand that this decision can be an emotional one. But in the end, it mostly comes down to logistics. And the sperm provider is really just that – a person who is best suited to offer what is needed to help create your baby. Once your child is born, both you and your partner will become something even greater than a sperm provider, and that is your child’s parents. Both of you will be there to protect, to nurture, and to love your child for a lifetime — regardless of whose DNA may have been used in the beginning.
* While egg donors provide their extensive family medical histories and are thoroughly screened, it is not possible to test for every genetic condition.
Ready to learn more about using frozen donor egg 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.