Steve Majors, communications director for the same-sex advocacy group Family Equality Council, says many young gay men once believed living openly gay meant not having children. But with the rise of same-sex marriage, gay men have pioneered the use of reproductive technology to have children. Majors says single gay men now email him or show up at parenting seminars, wanting to learn more about starting a family.
State and national legal groups are trying to sway the Florida Supreme Court in a parental-rights case that pits two lesbian partners who used in-vitro fertilization to have a child but later ended their relationship. The Brevard County case is unprecedented in Florida because the fertilized egg of one woman was implanted in her then-partner, who gave birth. The couple began raising the child together, but a legal battle began after a break-up that included the birth mother moving to Australia with the child.
It won't be long before 1-year-old quadruplets Derrick, Brianna, Anthony and Cason begin speaking their first words and calling out for mommy. But it may be quite some time before society and the legal system recognize same-sex couple Laura Cavin and Sheri Green, of Naples, Fla., in the same way. Through the wonders of modern medicine, each woman carried two of the quadruplets, but they must adopt the other two to each have legal custody of all four.
Gay prospective parents face a host of questions — logistical, legal, practical and emotional — when exploring the options of in vitro fertilization (IVF), egg donation, sperm donation and surrogacy. As European interest in American fertility clinic options grows, new and different questions arise.
The Practical Concerns of Americans
In America, gay prospective parents' questions and concerns run to more practical considerations, according to Michael Doyle, M.D., medical director of Connecticut Fertility Associates. Rarely do they have have concerns about international law, going through customs or a baby being taken away at the airport. In addition, many of the emotional considerations have been dealt with.
"The LGBT community that accesses these services are living very out and proudly and are usually in communities that are supportive," Dr. Doyle says. "They've usually processed 'what is it going to be like to be a gay parent,' 'how is my kid going to be accepted'? I think the issues are much different. They're more focused on cost and efficiency and effectiveness. They're not grappling with being a pioneer. They usually have much more practical concerns: 'Can we use a shared cycle?' Their questions tend to be those kind of medical things."
A WOMAN who wants to become a mother says she has been refused fertility treatment on the national health service because she is a lesbian. She was told by the head of the fertility branch at her local hospital in Asturias that he was "under orders" from the regional ministry to refuse to attend to unmarried heterosexual women, or lesbians.
Even once you’ve decided that you want to use someone you know as your sperm donor, you probably still have a lot of questions about how to make sure everything goes smoothly.
You may have a sperm donor in mind already, or you may just be thinking about it now. Either way, when you approach someone about becoming a sperm donor for you, there are important questions that you must ask. The most important thing for you to discuss is what role the donor will play in the child’s life.
If the donor will be involved, then legal and emotional boundaries must be established: