World's Only Fully Integrated Gay Surrogacy Program
Our gay surrogacy center is one of the largest providers of parenthood options to the worldwide gay community. We are well aware of the "run-around" aspects of many providers of similar services. Our center incorporates all aspects of the gay parenthood process into one centralized location: Dedicated Expert Sub-Specialist Physicians, Surrogates, Egg Donors, Surrogacy and Egg Donor Contract Attorneys, Fertility Laboratories
This tight integration of services allows those considering this parenthood option the ability to have all of their questions, needs and desires addressed by a highly skilled and knowledgeable staff dedicated to assuring that the complex route to gay parenthood is an anxiety free, joyful experience. Thanks to the experts at The Fertility Institutes, gay parenthood has become an achievable and affordable option for men interested in beginning or expanding a family.
Introduction to Our Gay Surrogacy Program
How Does it Work?
To facilitate your understanding of the complex arrangements that must take place in order to assure a successful egg donor-surrogacy cycle, we divide the process into tier levels. While each level is as important as the next, such a division helps clarify the process and make it easy to understand how we proceed efficiently through the arrangements that will make your dream of parenthood a reality:
Click here for a printable Guide to Gay Male Parenthood (PDF)
TIER 1: Selection of a Fertility Center
While various arrangements are made by those seeking egg donors and surrogates at various centers, at The Fertility Institutes, with nearly three decades of experience with arrangements for gay parents, we have found the most efficient and least stress inducing arrangements are those in which we, at the Center assist you with ALL of the necessary details in arranging your treatment cycle. While nearly all competing centers utilize outside egg donor and surrogacy agencies, as well as outside psychologists and attorneys, at The Fertility Institutes, we prefer to keep the majority of the process internal. While we certainly can work with those that have located their egg donor and or surrogate independently, we have found that by allowing our physicians to become involved in the screening process of egg donors and surrogates, you are assured a more thorough evaluation and screening than that routinely provided by outside sources. We are very selective in our choice of outside agencies, preferring to work with those that allow the screening process details to be ordered and specified by us. We also serve as patient advocates, your advocates as we are often able to reign in the runaway fees demanded by some agencies and their donors or surrogates.
The early selection of a Center to assist with your plans is crucial to allowing the process that will lead you to parenthood to proceed. As soon as you indicate to us your desire to proceed, we will request that one or two semen specimens be provided. These specimens will undergo a complete evaluation and, if suitable, will be frozen and placed into an elective 60 day quarantine. It is in part due to the 2 month quarantine time lag that we encourage men to be decisive in deciding to proceed. The sperm quarantine is required by us in accordance with the suggestions of various infectious disease and tissue transplantation consultants and references to decrease substantially the possibility of the transmission of infectious agents to recipients (surrogates) or the pregnancy. Knowing that the sperm has been held for a short safety-incubation makes it far easier for us to secure a wide selection of high quality surrogates. Because all subsequent treatment arrangements will need to await completion of the quarantine, this is a vital first step in the process. At the time the specimens are obtained, you (the sperm donor) will be asked to undertake infectious disease blood testing that will include HIV (AIDS) testing, Hepatitis B and C, Syphilis, and HIV I and II testing. You, in most instances will also be required to be tested for the cystic fibrosis carrier state, chlamydia, mycoplasma, CMV and perhaps other genetic screening tests depending upon your own personal history. If interested in proceeding as soon as possible, the arrangements to meet and secure a potential surrpogate mother can begin at the same time the short sperm quarantine begins. It will typically take from six to twelve weeks to complete all of the legal arrangements for successful surrogacy. If arrangements are begun immediately, by the time the contracts are signed and finalized, the sperm will be ready for use. All of this is done to assure the best and safest chances for a healthy pregnancy outcome.
TIER 2: Selection of an Egg Donor
At the time of you first visit with us, you will be given an opportunity to review the selection of egg donors available at that time. This is done so that you may get a feel for the high quality of the young women available. At this point, the actual selection of a donor may be carried out with the understanding that the donor will need to agree to a hold for your exclusive utilization while the surrogate arrangements are completed. As the quarantine and paperwork are completed, the donor will complete her final screening on your behalf and will be medically prepared for the egg donation process.
TIER 3: Selection of a Surrogate
We will begin the surrogate match process by providing you details of the surrogates that we have available as soon as you formallh enroll in the program and request that the surrogate match process begin. Approximately 40 to 50 percent of surrogates we interview are willing to carry a pregnancy for gay males. You will not have to worry about this, as any and all surrogates that we present to you will have indicated their willingness to carry for gay or single males. Once you express interest in a particular surrogate from the verbal description and details of her history that we present you, we can arrange for you to meet her and perhaps a second alternate surrogate at your convenience.
Our surrogate "match" rate with gay and single males is approximately 97%. This means that 97% of the time, once each meets the other, both the surrogate and the father(s) to be agree to work together. If the surrogate you choose has been recruited directly by our program (about 30% of all surrogates), we will put you in contact with the surrogacy attorneys that will begin drafting the contract that will guide us through the conduct of your surrogacy cycle. If the surrogate is from one of our affiliated agencies, we will put you in contact with the agency facilitator who will provide you the details of interfacing with the agency and the surrogate.
TIER 4: Legal Work and the Attorneys
Once the above processes are complete, we will then turn the case over to the surrogate attorneys who will begin processing the surrogacy contract on your behalf. Your interface with the attorney(s) may involve a combination of telephone consultations and personal visits. The attorneys will serve as your legal consultants and will advise you concerning the wide range of issues that are involved in the drafting of a surrogacy agreement that will protect the interests of all involved. Your attorney will negotiate with the surrogate concerning those issues that need to be detailed in the agreement. Issues such as the number of embryos to be transferred, multiple birth, the choice of Obstetricians, insurance availability and coverage and birth certificate details will be gone over in detail with you. Providing the attorney with your thoughts, wishes and desires concerning these and many other questions will facilitate the drafting of your contract. Your attorney will consult with your proposed surrogate as well, assuring that her expectations are addressed and dealt with in the wording of your agreement. Once you are satisfied with the contract, it will be presented to your surrogate who will be asked to review the proposal with her own, independent legal counsel. Once all parties are in agreement and the contract is consummated, we can proceed quickly with the arrangements to begin the treatment cycle. Contracts may take from six to twelve weeks to draft, depending upon a multitude of factors that may include the State or country of residence of the potential parents, individual preferences concerning details of how the embryos will be handled, insurance and employment issues and more.
Once we know that a surrogate has been chosen, we can present to you the egg donors that are available for selection. We maintain an extensive listing of donors. Most of our donors are recruited though our own in-house program, allowing us to carry out a quite detailed screening process on them. We can also facilitate your selection of a donor from an outside agency. We insist that donors from outside agencies also go through our screening protocol for your safety.
Well aware of the fact that many of our patients travel to us from distant locations, we try everything in our power to facilitate productivity in trips made to our office. As the sperm quarantine nears an end, we like to get you back, and in one trip: meet the surrogate candidate(s), provide you a selection of egg donors, and allow you to meet with the surrogacy attorney.
Once all of this has been accomplished, we await the completion of the surrogacy agreement by your attorney. A final check is carried out to assure that all FDA required infectious disease screening is complete, all paperwork is in order and all participants have been provided all of the information regarding the services about to be carried out. Informed consent is obtained form all parties, and the treatment course begins.
What Makes Us Different
Choosing the Fertility Institutes provides you the services and expertise of a Center staffed by some of the world's most experienced and accomplished experts in surrogacy and egg donation. The Fertility Institutes have been providing advanced reproductive services to both heterosexual and homosexual couples for nearly three decades. Our Center was the third program in the United States to achieve successful pregnancy with in vitro fertilization, and one of the first programs worldwide to achieve successful pregnancy with a gay couple, an egg donor and a gestational surrogate. Our affiliated attorneys were responsible for arguing the first, precedent setting California Supreme Court case that established gestational surrogacy arrangements as a court recognized entity that would be enforced and protected by legal recourse.
In short, we feel that you cannot make a wiser choice than to allow The Fertility Institutes to direct the care of your egg donor, your surrogate and yourself or you and your partner. While pregnancy rates achieved will vary slightly based on various parameters, our success rates have consistently remained n the top 5% of surrogacy programs worldwide for nearly two decades. In general, well over half and nearly two thirds of our treatment cycles with egg donors and surrogates result in successful pregnancies on the first or second attempt. By the completion of two treatment cycles, in excess of 75% of gay couples have achieved a pregnancy.
At the Fertility Institutes, we have been providing fertility services to singles and couples of all sexual orientations for decades. We pride ourselves on our nondiscriminatory approach to the goal of pregnancy. Our words are backed by our actions and our track record of success with many, many gay couples and single men..
All necessary services to achieve a successful pregnancy with the use of an egg donor and/or surrogate are provided in-house by a full staff of skilled professionals. From a discussion of your chances for success to sperm collection and quarantine to the provision of donors and surrogates to the vital, required legal arrangements and contracts, you may look to our Center to coordinate all of the details for you.
*A Special Note Concerning Sperm Quarantine Requirements
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