We proudly offer a variety of fertility treatments for same-sex couples wishing to become parents. From IVF for same-sex couples to adoption, this page outlines the main pathways and fertility considerations for gay couples. Our fertility options for lesbian couples can be found here.
Surrogacy is the main pathway that couples in a male, same-sex relationship choose to have a baby. In surrogacy, a woman carries and gives birth to a baby for another person or couple. There are two types of surrogacy: gestational surrogacy, and partial surrogacy.
In gestational surrogacy (also known as host surrogacy) for same-sex male couples, the eggs of a donor (or the intended mother, if in a co-parenting agreement with more than two people) are mixed in vitro with the sperm of one of the fathers. There is no genetic link between the baby and the surrogate.
In partial surrogacy (also known as traditional surrogacy), the surrogate’s eggs are fertilised using one of the intended father’s sperm.
In both types of surrogacy, one intended father would provide his sperm to fertilise an egg. It is important that this is done at a fertility clinic to ensure that all parties receive comprehensive screening and preparation for the pregnancy.
There are specialist surrogacy charities, agencies and legal specialists to ensure that you have all the information and support you need before making a decision. While Apricity cannot assist with finding surrogates, we are leaders in IVF for same-sex couples and can help you in your fertility treatment journey, from diagnostics to finding egg donors, completing medical screening to ensure they are fit to donate, and embryology. This is outlined for you below.
It is important to assess a man’s sperm ahead of surrogacy treatment to ensure there are no issues that could make conception more difficult.
If you are considering surrogacy, our diagnostics for men are a great first step. Ensuring that suitable sperm is used in treatment will ensure that the surrogate has the best chance at pregnancy.
If you choose gestational surrogacy, you will need donor eggs for your treatment. You may know someone who wants to donate their eggs (known donation), or you can seek an egg donation agency to find you an anonymous egg donor. If your surrogate is donating her eggs for your treatment (partial/traditional surrogacy), the next section does not apply.
It’s really important (and a legal requirement) that egg donors (known or anonymous) receive implications counselling and understand the fertility treatment they will undergo to donate their eggs. They should also have medical screening to ensure they are healthy and fit to donate, and will not pass on any conditions or infectious diseases.
We can arrange this for you if you are using a known egg donor. Get in touch with us for more information.
Apricity’s egg donation arm, Altrui Egg Donation, has the best success rates in the country (79%) ten years in a row. Altrui leads the way in anonymous, 1:1 egg donation and is ready to find you the perfect anonymous egg donor. Unlike an egg bank, all of an Altrui donor’s eggs go to a recipient or recipient couple, giving an excellent chance at pregnancy and the opportunity for genetically-related siblings. To read how else Altrui’s service differs from an egg bank, please read here.
We have three anonymous egg donation packages available:
To find out more about our packages, please get in touch by using our Contact form or by booking a free callback.
We get a lot of questions around the implications of using a donor. We’ve included our frequently asked questions on egg donors at the bottom of this page.
IVF is one of the final parts of fertility treatment in surrogacy. In gestational or partial surrogacy, the egg donor (anonymous, known or surrogate) will undergo the first part of an IVF cycle, having injections to stimulate egg production and scans to ensure follicles (where eggs grow) are maturing correctly. Around two weeks after the first injection, eggs will be collected and placed in petri dishes with sperm for fertilisation.
After around five days when embryos have formed, a healthy embryo is selected for implantation to the surrogate, and any leftover embryos can be frozen for future use and genetically-related siblings.
In this case, we would also recommend a diagnostics assessment for women ahead of the procedure. IUI has a lower chance of success for couples with fertility issues, whether on the male or the female side.
If you have a diagnostic assessment ahead of treatment, you will know if there are any morphology, motility or concentration issues with the sperm you wish to use. This may be a factor in the decision of which man’s sperm you choose for treatment. There are also other ways to help sperm fertilise eggs, such as ICSI (intracytoplasmic sperm injection).
From a patient perspective, ICSI is just like IVF. However, in the laboratory, there is an extra step in ICSI. Sperm is selected and injected into or close to the egg to facilitate fertilisation that may not happen in vitro.
In co-parenting, 2 or more people team up to parent children together. Co-parents do not have sole custody of the child, so it’s advised to seek legal advice when planning. Co-parenting arrangements can be made between 2 single people, 2 couples, or a single person and a couple.
Single fatherhood is also an option. You would have the same options as a same-sex couple, but you would have sole custody of the child at the end of the surrogacy journey.
Surrogacy is just one path to parenthood, and where fertility treatments like IVF can help LGBT+ couples build families. Many same-sex couples also choose adoption and fostering.
Adoption or fostering can be incredibly rewarding ways to become parents together.
According to UK Charity New Family Social, 1 in 6 adoptions in England in 2020 were to same-sex couples.
Same-sex couples in the UK can apply to adopt through a local authority or an adoption agency. There are specific assessments and training that you will have to undertake, with the help of a social worker.
Adoption and fostering are not services that Apricity offer, however the following resources may be useful if you are considering adoption:
If you choose fertility treatment to become a parent, there are several reasons that make Apricity a fantastic IVF choice for LGBT+ couples:
If you would like to speak to us about one of our egg donation packages, please get in touch by using our Contact form or by booking a free callback.
Does the egg donor have any legal rights or responsibilities for children born from their donation?
No. Egg donors have no legal rights or responsibilities to children born from their donation. They have no say over the child’s upbringing and won’t be required to pay anything towards their care.
However, children born from their donation will be able to know their identity once they turn 18, and choose to try contact their donor through the HFEA. At that point, it’s up to the donor to decide if they wish to be in contact or have a relationship, and have no obligations to.
Can I choose my egg donor? What information can I obtain about the donor?
It largely depends on the route you take. With an egg bank, you might have a list of physical characteristics and heritages to choose from, but it is always non-identifying information, as required by UK law. Altrui goes above and beyond, offering as much information as possible. This includes standard information such as physical appearance, age, heritage and whether they have children, alongside information on their background, motivation for donating and a snapshot of their personality. Often, Altrui are able to include a photo of what the donor looked like as a child.
Can I have more than one baby from the same egg donor?
Once again, this depends on the route you take. If you choose a limited number of eggs from an egg bank, it’s important to understand that not all of them may survive the thaw or turn into embryos.
With Altrui, all of a donor’s eggs are given to a recipient or recipient couple, maximising the chances of having more than one baby from the same donor. Many egg donor recipients have gone on to have genetically-related siblings, although it’s important to remember that there are no guarantees in fertility treatment.
In the past, Altrui egg donors have also done repeat donations so that their recipients could have more children. Of course, this is completely at the discretion of the donor.