Gay intended parents have the option of working with an egg donation agency or using the eggs of a friend or relative of the father who is not donating sperm so that both men have a biological connection to the child.
Regardless of where the donor comes from, we start the process by testing for egg viability and the presence of drugs or infectious diseases. Once cleared, the eggs can be fertilized using the screened sperm of one or both intended fathers. The fertilized eggs are then put into an incubator. On the fifth day, we can assess how many embryos or what are called blastocysts are viable and growing. At that point the embryos also undergo genetic screening to eliminate genetic diseases such as Down Syndrome and single-gene diseases such as cystic fibrosis.
In general, we recommend transferring only one to two embryos to maximize the possibility of a healthy pregnancy.
Why use an agency?
Agencies provide a wide range of donors representing various ethnicities, levels of education and geographic locations. They also facilitate psychological and genetic evaluations and maintain relationships with lawyers and the IVF clinic.
Is it better to use a known or an unknown donor?
Mental health professionals in third-party reproduction now tend to favor known donors in terms of the psychological development of the child. Of course, this is a sensitive matter with many factors to consider from an individual perspective.
What do professionals recommend in terms of choosing a donor?
Wendie Wilson-Miller, author of The Insider’s Guide to Egg Donation, recommends finding a donor that you like; someone who could be a friend as it can make the process more exciting. From there, egg donors are categorized from a variety of perspectives—from eye color to the college they attended or level of athleticism.
How are donors evaluated?
Health history is the first thing agencies consider. From there, availability and responsibility are also important as the donor will have to attend multiple medical appointments. Psychological and genetic evaluations are also performed. For the former, a psychologist will meet with the donor to go over all aspects of the process and how she will feel about them. A licensed geneticist will cover the donor’s family history with her as best as possible.
Why do women become egg donors?
Since the US is one of the only countries that allow donors to be paid, many young women consider egg donation as they would a part-time job. But according to Wendie Wilson-Miller, author of The Insider’s Guide to Egg Donation, a lot of egg donors request to work with gay men out of altruism and a desire to be part of a societal movement towards greater equality.