We were very happy with the outcome of working with Fairfax EggBank. After searching a few different egg banks, we settled on Fairfax because they had a wide variety of ethnic donors. We ended up finding an egg donor who was perfect for us. She was an unusual ethnic mix that matched my partner and my preference, had great looks and a strong education, bio, the whole nine. Our surrogate got pregnant with the donor eggs on the first try and we’re expecting a baby in the spring. We just purchased more eggs with hopes to fertilize the eggs using my partner’s sperm this time around. As a gay male couple, our journey to becoming parents has been long. And looking back on our experience, we wanted to share some tips for other gay men using an egg donor to build their family.
I knew I wanted to be a dad for decades, but it took me a while to find the right partner who also wanted a family. Once I did, the next hurdle was to figure out how to go about having a kid. Should we adopt? Find a surrogate and if so, would this surrogate use her own eggs or another egg donor’s? We read up on a ton of online resources, as well as great organizations like Surrogates and Men Having Babies. We decided we wanted our kids to share our genetics, so opted to go the surrogate route – but there’s so much that’s involved with making sure it works out smoothly. Finding a surrogate. Choosing a fertility clinic. Getting a lawyer. Deciding on the egg donor. Figuring out how much time, effort, and MONEY this would all cost.
The upside is that gay male couples have great opportunities now to build a family in America. We have progressive laws that allow for it. Society increasingly is more accepting of kids with same-sex parents. Because of the advancements in assisted reproductive technology we were able to create a viable embryo that could be implanted in a surrogate. The downside is that if you’re going to use a surrogate and egg donor, there are a lot of moving parts and expenses involved. My partner and I had to wait another couple of years before we got our ducks in a row and were financially ready to pursue fertility treatment.
My advice to gay men using an egg donor or any other means to build a family is to
1) Find a partner who’s on the same page as you.
2) Figure out what your path to parenthood is together.
3) Work out exactly what’s needed to become parents from an operational, legal, and financial standpoint.
All of this takes time. Don’t rush any of it.
Our preference was using someone we knew personally to be our surrogate, rather than going through an agency. There were a few reasons for this. We wanted to trust the woman who would be carrying our child. We also wanted to be an active participant in the medical visits. In addition, we wanted the surrogate to be present in our kid’s future and spend time with us as a close relative. Luckily, my partner’s sister came to our rescue by agreeing to carry our kid. Initially, we wondered if she could also be the egg donor. But, she was against this because she felt she’d feel too connected if the kid was biologically hers. So we agreed to find an egg donor through an agency. Looking back, we couldn’t have found a better arrangement.
When we searched Fairfax EggBank for donors, we also learned we had the option of using an Non-ID Option donor or an ID Option donor. With an Non-ID Option donor, we wouldn’t ever know the identity of the donor; that donor would also never know ours. But with an ID Option donor, she would allow our kid to contact her once our kid reaches the age of 18. We were a fan of the ID Option idea; we liked that our kid could get a better idea of where he comes from and to possibly even establish a friendly relationship with our donor in the future.
I realize that as you decide your surrogate and egg donor, you won’t always have the luxury of deciding how personal they are to you. But, before you move forward, think long and hard about how involved (or not) you want them to be in your family’s future.
My partner and I laid out exactly what we wanted before we started our egg donor search. We didn’t figure this ideal profile out overnight. It took a series of conversations and debates, as well as exhaustive searches on the internet to see what kind of donors are available. From there, we identified what kind of ethnic backgrounds of the donor would work for us, the minimum education we’d want her to have, physical attributes that were important to us, and what kind of personality traits we wanted her to embody.
There are a lot of egg donation agencies and donor egg banks out there that showcase hundreds and thousands of donors. So, it’s helpful if you know exactly what you want going into the search. To be honest, the search wasn’t easy for us. We never wanted to settle and waver from the ideal profile. But after a year of searching, we finally found our perfect donor at Fairfax EggBank.
4. Don’t Let Anyone Knock You Down
I did mention before that we are fortunate that society is more accepting of same-sex families today. However, we’re not immune to the occasional unwelcome comment. Some people also openly judge me since I’m a little older.
Here’s my take on this: ignore their comments and stay focused on your goal. Children are a part of life. If you want nothing more than to become a dad, don’t let the negative comments of others bring you down. Love is love is love. And the love you’ll share with your future kids will be infinitely more important than an ignorant opinion someone else has.
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