A baby for a lesbian family makes three
So you and your partner want to have a baby: what are the options if you want to set up your own lesbian family?
People say it’ll be expensive for lesbians to become biological parents. Where can you get the sperm? Do you have to keep it in a freezer? And is there a way you can get pregnant without involving men?
Fortunately, there are ways to conceive a child together with your lesbian partner without actually having sex.
Dr. Geoffrey Sher from the Sher Institutes for Reproductive Medicine noted a number of options available for lesbian couples who want to become pregnant and have their own biological children.
For those who want to bear their own child, this is how it’s done:
A Lesbian Family: Donor Insemination
There are two options to getting sperm via donor insemination: a known donor or an anonymous one.
With a known donor. Dr. Sher warned that there is a concern that they might later interfere with the lives of the couple or might try to gain some sort of legal recognition of parentage.
“It can turn out well in the end, but very often there’s a problem,” he said.
Dr. Sher also cautioned lesbian couples who want to use fresh sperm that there are recommended guidelines from the American Society of Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
These include quarantining the sperm for six months and having the donor tested for certain viral diseases, including HIV.
A Lesbian Family: In Vitro Fertilization
In vitro fertilization (IVF) is a process wherein a woman is given fertility drugs to propagate the growth of eggs in her ovaries. At the right time, her eggs are harvested and these are processed in a lab.
The ones deemed to be mature are fertilized in a petri dish by adding sperm. The embryo is then injected into the uterus.
A Lesbian Family: Intrauterine Insemination
Intrauterine insemination involves the injection of sperm into the uterus by means of a catheter directed through the cervix.
Dr. Sher pointed out that freezing a sperm won’t harm it if it’s quality sperm. In fact, couples can also have their eggs frozen if they want the option of having children at a later time.
A Lesbian Family: Egg Fertilization
For lesbian couples who want a method that supposedly doesn’t need a man, there’s a way to do this.
Experts in Australia have discovered a technique could allow a lesbian couple to have a baby, with one woman contributing an egg and the second a cell to fertilize it.
Both partners would then end up being the baby’s biological parents, making a complete lesbian family.