LGBTQ+ Family Building

LGBTQ+ Family Building

With years of expertise, treatments at Dr. Ghadir’s fertility center lead to high success rates. 

Dr. Ghadir’s treatment options include sperm donation, insemination (IUI), in-vitro fertilization (IVF), egg donation, and gestational surrogacy to meet the needs of those in the LGBTQ+ community, who are looking to build a family. Dr. Ghadir believes that everyone, who desires to, should get to experience the gift of becoming a parent.

LGBTQ+ Families

Treatment options most often utilized by LGBTQ+ couples and individuals include artificial insemination and in-vitro fertilization (IVF)

Treatment Options for Lesbians

Dr. Ghadir is committed to assisting lesbain couples and individuals who desire a biological child. Every patient will have an initial consultation prior to any treatment. During this consultation, your physician will evaluate your medical history and perform diagnostic testing to determine the probability of conception. Success can depend on many factors.

One option for lesbian couples - “Reciprocal IVF” is when one partner can donate the egg while the other partner carries the pregnancy.

For this option of reciprocal IVF, the first step involves in-vitro fertilization to fertilize the donating partner’s egg with the donor sperm.  The partner who is donating the egg will be given hormones in order to stimulate egg growth and will then have her eggs retrieved, fertilized, and transferred into the other partner’s uterus to carry the pregnancy. However, if one partner is both providing the eggs and carrying the pregnancy, IVF is not always necessary and donor IUI may be adequate. 

In this case, insemination is performed and the sperm utilized can be provided from a friend, relative, or an anonymous donor through a sperm bank.

The Options

Dr. Ghadir offers lesbian couples and individuals two primary fertility/pregnancy treatment options:

Artificial Insemination (IUI) with Donor Sperm (Intrauterine)

Artificial insemination is often used due to its outstanding success rates using frozen sperm. Sperm is injected by using a syringe and a thin catheter, which is inserted into the uterus through the cervix, during ovulation.

In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF)

IVF is the oldest assisted reproductive technology (ART) and is still the most commonly used. IVF involves fertilizing an egg outside of the body and the embryo created is then transferred into a woman’s uterus. Dr. Ghadir suggests IVF when one female partner wishes to provide the egg for the other female partner to carry. In-vitro fertilization can also be used if the probability of pregnancy is low with IUI, whether due to age or low egg count. This way, the partner who is providing the eggs maintains a genetic link to the baby, while the partner carrying the pregnancy maintains a gestational link. Genetic testing of the embryos can be done, prior to transfer, if the family desires family balancing.

Sperm Donor Insemination into One or Both Partners

  • IVF, using the eggs of one partner and fertilized using donor sperm, the embryo is implanted into the other partner. 
  • IVF, using the eggs of one partner and fertilized using donor sperm, the embryo is implanted into a surrogate. 
  • IVF, using donor eggs and donor sperm, the embryo is implanted into one partner. 
  • IVF, using donor eggs and donor sperm, the embryo is implanted into a surrogate.
  • IVF, using eggs from both partners and fertilized using donor sperm, the embryo is implanted into one partner. .IVF, using eggs from both partners and fertilized using donor sperm, the embryos are implanted into one or both partners.

Selecting a Sperm Donor

Lesbian couples and individuals may decide which sperm bank and which donor to use. Some couples may decide to use semen from a known donor. In this case, sperm analysis must be performed, which is relatively inexpensive and non-invasive. Sperm samples may be collected at a laboratory, a physician’s office, or in some cases, in the privacy of their own home. Information about the donor, including physical characteristics, ethnic background, race, educational background, career history, and general health history should be available for review. We honor FDA regulations and ensure that mental health professionals consult this lifelong decision. Additionally, we ensure that legal contracts are in place to protect all parties involved.

The Steps

Generally, the couple will decide on their own which partner will carry the pregnancy. The partner chosen will undergo “day 3 blood work” to determine hormone levels and an HSG to evaluate the health of her uterus and fallopian tubes. If the testing results in a good prognosis, the couple will then select a sperm donor to be utilized for fertilization. 

IVF (in-vitro fertilization) involves both partners being tested and taking medication in order to boost their fertility. The partner who is donating the eggs will also undergo a surgical procedure to retrieve the eggs. The eggs will be fertilized with the donor sperm and once they have matured, the embryos are able to be tested and frozen and then transferred into the uterus of the partner who will carry the pregnancy and give birth. 

Donor Eggs

In some cases, lesbian couples may need to use donor eggs for conception, due to the absence of ovaries or the inability to produce feasible eggs. Donors may include family members, friends, or an anonymous donor.

Treatment Options for Gays

With the help of advanced reproductive technologies, gay couples who wish to become parents have the option to have a biologically related child. 

Men who desire to have children will need an egg donor, as well as a surrogate to carry the pregnancy. A semen analysis will be performed to test motility, volume, concentration, and morphology, for the partner wishing to utilize his sperm. 

The couple or individual will select an egg donor, through one of our credible egg donation agencies. Egg donors can also include family members, if medically appropriate. Once the couple has established a gestational carrier and egg donor, one or both male partners will provide semen samples to be used in the fertilization of the donated eggs. 

Our egg donor program maintains the highest level of professional standards and discretion, which is based on the criteria set by the American Society for Reproductive Medicine.

The Options

Dr. Ghadir offers gay couples two primary options:

Traditional Surrogacy with Artificial Insemination (AI)

With this option, the surrogate is artificially inseminated with the intended partner’s sperm. This is a very rare option for family building for our gay couples.

IVF and Egg Donation with a Gestational Surrogate

In-vitro fertilization is utilized to control the process of growing eggs and next eggs are removed from the donor’s ovaries, and are fertilized by the chosen partner’s sperm in a fluid medium (in vitro) or both of the partner’s sperm. The resulting embryos from one or both male partners are then generally tested and then implanted in the surrogate’s uterus, with the intent of achieving a successful pregnancy. 


  • IVF, using donor eggs and sperm from one or both partners, the resulting embryo is implanted into a surrogate.
  • IVF, using donor eggs and donor sperm, the resulting embryo is implanted into a surrogate. 
  • Traditional Surrogacy- the egg from a surrogate is fertilized by a partner or donor sperm. 


The Steps

Gay couples and individuals will meet with one of our physicians to discuss the details of using an egg donor and gestational carrier (surrogate). The eggs from the donor can be fertilized with the sperm of one or both partners. 

In some cases, physicians are able to use the sperm of each partner and the eggs from the donor can be divided into two groups and each partner’s sperm is used to inseminate the eggs designated to them.  This could result in twins, each having the same biological egg, but different sperm sources from each father. If one child is born, a DNA test will be necessary to determine which sperm [provider is the biological father, unless different embryo genders were transferred and determined prior to the transfer. 

IVF Surrogacy Program

Gestational Surrogate

If you are searching for an IVF surrogacy program, it is important to acknowledge that Dr. Ghadir has extensive knowledge and experience in IVF gestational surrogacy. 

IVF surrogacy involves a third-party “gestational surrogate” to carry the pregnancy when, for various reasons, a woman cannot carry a baby herself or the couple is two male partners. 

The surrogate agrees under contract to be implanted with embryos, developed in vitro from the sperm and eggs of the client couple or their donors, in order to achieve the pregnancy.

IVF Surrogacy: 50% You + 50% Your Partner = 100% Your Child Genetically.

With IVF surrogacy, there are no genetic differences with your child, as if he or she had been conceived and carried naturally. This is why the IVF program with Dr. Ghadir has become a well-known option for couples who may be dealing with female factor infertility.

How Dr. Ghadir’s IVF Surrogacy Program Works

Both partners will visit Dr. Ghadir’s clinic, where a physician will thoroughly evaluate their medical history and perform diagnostic testing. Many times, couples may be unaware of the true cause of their infertility. Our specialists know that an accurate diagnosis is essential to determining an infertility treatment plan. 

The female partner begins an IVF cycle by stimulating ovulation through taking appropriate medications and hormone injections. 

After confirming proper ovarian follicle development, through ultrasound monitoring, the eggs are retrieved and examined in the IVF lab, the ART Reproductive Center. 

The eggs are then carefully fertilized using the male partner’s sperm. In some cases, we may use assisted reproductive technologies, such as ISCI, to ensure fertilization. 

Embryos then grow and develop in vitro. PGD which is pre-implantation genetic diagnosis is an assisted reproductive technology that we often utilize to select only the healthiest embryos and screen for chromosomal abnormalities. 

Embryo or blastocyst transfer is used to transfer and implant the embryos into the surrogate mother’s uterus. 

The surrogate carries your child ideally to term, producing a happy, healthy child who is uniquely and completely yours. 

Dr. Ghadir maintains the highest level of standards in our IVF surrogacy program. The surrogate mothers who participate in our program are from the most credible professional surrogacy agencies.

Egg Donor Program

Our egg donor program gives couples with female factor infertility the opportunity of having a child who has a 50% genetic identity to the couple, which is a child created with the male partner’s sperm and a donor’s eggs.

Should I Use an Egg Donor?

In order to decide whether using an egg donor is the correct route for you, it is critical to have an accurate diagnosis and understand the exact cause of your infertility.

Why Might My Fertility Specialist Suggest Using an Egg Donor?

If after your diagnosis it is determined that your eggs will not be successful in achieving a pregnancy, which can be due to various health conditions or age, your specialist may suggest using an egg donor. 

Egg donation is a viable infertility treatment for women with the following conditions:

  • Diminished ovarian function due to ovarian cysts.
  • Cancer of the ovaries or other ovarian diseases. 
  • Lacking ovaries.
  • Compromised egg or embryo quality.
  • Poor ovarian response to fertility medications.
  • Diagnosis of one or more genetic diseases.
  • Family history of genetic disease

Egg donation has been proven to be a successful treatment for women who have had multiple IVF cycles without achieving a pregnancy. 

Egg Donor Instead of a Surrogate?

Many women desire to carry a child to term, which is why they choose an egg donor instead of using a surrogate.

Dr. Ghadir’s Egg Donor Program

Dr. Ghadir’s egg donor program specializes in matching hopeful parents with the best donor for them. We work closely with all parties involved, throughout the entire process to ensure things go smoothly.

Finding the Right Match

Upon contacting us, one of our specialists will consult with you about the qualities you are looking for in an egg donor. We will then present you with donor profiles that are tailored to your specific needs. 

Egg donor profiles include biographies, health history, family history, educational information, and photos of the donor. We pride ourselves in offering portfolios that provide you with a good understanding of each candidate. 

We understand that selecting an egg donor is a big decision and we encourage you to provide feedback so that we can match you with your ideal candidate.

At this time, we will also discuss any questions or concerns that you may have about the egg donation program, estimated costs, success rates, expected timeline, and next steps.

Breaking Down the Process

After a series of basic fertility tests and a thorough medical history evaluation, your fertility specialist will advise you whether or not egg donation is an appropriate infertility treatment for you. 

Below is a brief description of the significant procedures performed in the egg donation process. Your specialist will explain in greater detail once you’ve decided to continue with the program.

The Evaluation Cycle

Before beginning the egg donation cycle, your specialist may or may not perform a “trial run” also known as a mock cycle to determine the correct amounts of estrogen and progesterone that your body requires for a successful pregnancy. They will give you an orally administered, natural estrogen, called Estrace, in gradually increasing dosages over a 9 to 14 day period. We will then measure your blood estrogen levels. Next, we will perform an ultrasound to monitor the thickening of the uterine lining, which is necessary for a successful implantation. After the evaluation cycle is complete, Dr. Ghadir will have a plan on how to effectively prepare your uterine lining for the fertilization cycle.

The Egg Donation Cycle

You will begin taking estrogen once there are healthy embryos ready for transfer.  Ultrasounds and blood tests will be performed periodically to ensure that your uterus is prepared for the embryo transfer. A semen specimen is provided by your partner as either a frozen sample frozen in advance or on the same day that the eggs are retrieved from the donor. 

Usually five days after the start of progesterone, the developing embryos are implanted into your uterus. The first pregnancy test is usually performed 10 days after the embryo transfer. If that test is positive, you will continue to take estrogen and progesterone until your doctor weans you off.  After that period, the developing baby’s placenta will produce the necessary hormones to carry the pregnancy to full term, allowing discontinuation of the hormone therapy.

Sperm Donor Program, for IUI and IVF IUI

Dr. Ghadir Works with Reputable Sperm Banks

Our sperm donor program is another option chosen by many of our clients. Dr. Ghadir’s sperm donor program only allows the most discreet, highly credible sperm banks. We provide many sources of screened donor sperm that can be discussed with your fertility specialist. You may also choose to use your own sperm donor, such a family member or friend. 

Donor sperm may be utilized with conventional artificial insemination techniques, such as IUI or IVF. Both methods have proven to be a safe and effective infertility treatment, offering an outstanding chance at pregnancy.

Is Surrogacy For You?

All of our clients share one common dream – to become parents, and for a variety of reasons are needing assistance in accomplishing this goal. Many of our clients come to us after years of failed fertility treatments, miscarriages, and other stories of infertility. 

Our client’s challenges vary, whether they are suffering from an autoimmune disease that requires medication that is unsafe for pregnancy, or they are a couple who married or decided that building a family needed to wait until later in life. We see men, both straight and gay, of all ages, who have the desire to be a father.

Are Your Ready To Take The First Step?

Call us or click the book an appointment button to schedule your consultation today!

Contact Dr. Ghadir

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Dr. Ghadir, along with the SCRC, continues to have one of the highest pregnancy rates in the field of infertility. 

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