Unfortunately, barring a medical breakthrough (which may actually be closer than we think) two gay men can’t make a baby together. Still, many gay couples ensure both men are biologically related to their child born through surrogacy by asking a close female relative such as a sister to serve as a known egg donor.
Some of the Potential Advantages
There’s plenty about such an arrangement that could prove attractive to gay men considering surrogacy:
Both dads will be biologically related to their child. Though only one dad will be the genetic father when a female relative donates eggs, both will nonetheless be biologically related to any child resulting from a surrogacy journey. This arrangement can ensure that both dads feel as if a part of them is biologically reflected in their child.
A special relationship often forms between child and egg donor. Many gay couples have found the resulting relationship between a child and his or her egg donor to be unique and beneficial to all involved. Though asking a sister or other close female relative to serve as an egg donor will never be without complications, how can it ever be a bad thing to have another loving adult in your child’s life?
Egg donors help lower the price. As anyone who has ever done even a cursory Google search on surrogacy already knows — surrogacy is not cheap; in fact, it can often cost upwards of $100,000. However, relatives who step up to serve as egg donors often do so for free or with minimal compensation, helping put a significant dent into the price tag. This can help couples save as much as $25,000 in some instances.
Some of the Consequences You Should Consider
Despite these benefits, asking a relative to serve as an egg donor has serious consequences that should be thoroughly explored. The following questions may serve as a guideline.
Have you processed how your relationship will change? There’s practically no way for your sister or other close relative to serve as your egg donor without it significantly changing your relationship. Though she may not be a parent to your child, she will always be your child’s genetic mother. Of course, changing your relationship in this way can be great, but everyone must be onboard for the journey to be a success.
Does your relative understand the procedure? Donating eggs is a major medical procedure. Typically, donors are asking to take a series of fertility drugs prior to the egg retrieval. Eggs are then retrieved via a procedure called transvaginal ultrasound aspiration, whereby a thin needle inside an ultrasound probe is inserted into the egg donor’s vagina to identify and retrieve eggs. The procedure is safe and routine, but it’s important for your egg donor to be fully aware of what she’s agreeing to.
What kind of relationship will your egg donor have with your child? It’ll be important to set some parameters on the type of relationship your egg donor will have with your child. Will she act as a special aunt or a mother figure? How much contact will she want to have with your child? How much contact are you comfortable with? Does she have her own family? If so, you will need to ensure that not only she, but her husband or partner is also onboard with, and understands the ramifications of this life-changing decision.
While these discussions might be intimidating, don’t let them deter you. The only way to determine whether a known donor arrangement will work for you and your family is to talk through these difficult questions. And fortunately, there are many gay couples with success stories to share. Read about Paul’s story and Scott’s story for just a couple of positive examples of gay men who asked female relatives to serve as egg donors.
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