Surrogacy is the journey of a lifetime. But if you’re considering this family-building path as a gay male couple, there’s a big decision you’ll have to make.
Which one of you should be your child’s genetic father?
This question may be a lot harder to answer than you might think. For many LGBTQ couples, deciding who should be the genetic parent is the first obstacle as you start the surrogacy process.
But it doesn’t have to be as tough as it seems. To help make the decision a little bit easier, we’ve gathered some tips to set you off on the right path.
Start with an Honest Discussion
The most important conversations can be some of the toughest to have. But in any committed, loving relationship, you should be able to have open-minded, respectful discussions while recognizing both parties’ feelings. However, deciding who will be the genetic father could lead to a challenging and awkward conversation.
Because this decision will have a huge impact on your future, it’s only natural to be concerned. Family ties can also invoke strong emotions, so don’t be surprised if this conversation becomes stressful. Preparation and honesty will go a long way. Make sure to be up-front and honest about your expectations for this process.
Ultimately, choosing the genetic father is a decision you should make together. It goes without saying, but don’t save this conversation until the last minute. Leave enough time so the two of you can say what you need without feeling rushed. More likely than not, this will need to be a conversation that you revisit more than once.
Don’t forget to put your own convictions aside for a moment to give your partner’s feelings your full attention. Even if you are set on one choice beforehand, this conversation might just change your feelings. Try to be flexible and understanding throughout these discussions.
As long as you’re open and honest, you should be able to eventually come a decision that works for both of you.
Before you can make a decision this big, there are some key things you’ll need to do as an LGBTQ couple:
- Talk to your fertility doctor: While it’s important to talk amongst yourselves, we recommend a third opinion, too. A fertility doctor can take a better look at your genetics and sperm quality. From there, they might explain which one of your sperm samples will give you the best chance of success.
- Take a look at your family history: Before you make your decision, you may want to look at your family history, too. If there are genetic conditions or predispositions on either side of your family that you don’t want to pass on, take that into account.
- Think about what you do want to pass on: Do you or your partner have a favorite trait that you’d like to pass on, such as your height or your hair color? It might sound like a small piece of the puzzle, but this might make a big difference in your decision.
Think Outside of the Box
When it comes to biological connection, there are a number of options for LGBTQ couples like you.
If you are planning to have multiple children through surrogacy, think about your future. For example, one of you could be the genetic father for your first child, and your partner could be the genetic father of the second (and so on). That way, each father could have a biological connection to each child.
Another option is to let your doctor choose the embryo without telling you who the genetic father is. This way, you’ll take the decision off your shoulders and leave it up to a professional. You can later identify the genetic father with a paternity test, or you might decide knowing is not as important as you thought.
Finally, you could ask a female relative (like a sister or cousin) of the non-biological father to be the egg donor for your gestational surrogacy. That way, the non-biological father still has some genetic connection to his child, even if it’s not direct.
However you decide to do it, choose a path that will make both of you happy.
It may not be easy to decide who will pass on genetic traits to your child. No matter what you decide, make sure that you’re able to come to an agreement together. If you’re having trouble doing so, the two of you might speak with an infertility counselor or a professional who specializes in gamete donation for more advice.
If you have any other questions about the surrogacy process with our agency, please don’t hesitate to reach out to one of our surrogacy specialists.