Steps to Becoming a Parent for Gay Men
Gay male couples can follow these steps to have genetically related children using donor eggs, the intended father(s) sperm, and a gestational surrogate.
Step 1: Speak with the Third Party Reproduction Team Coordinator, 781-674-1200.
To initiate the process, you should first speak with an IVF New England Third Party Reproduction Team Coordinator over the phone. She will review the donor egg/gestational surrogate cycle timeline and the overall process. A physician consultation with Dr. Samuel Pang is not required to start this process, but is often desired and is available upon request.
Step 2: Complete Questionnaires and Collect Medical Records
Questionnaires regarding health histories and an Intended Parents Profile must be completed by both intended parents. IVF New England also needs a copy of a recent physical exam of the person(s) who will provide sperm for the IVF procedure. Also, if you have had a semen analysis in the past, you should send a copy of those records to IVF New England as well. If both partners intend to provide sperm for the IVF procedure, then medical records are needed for both men.
Step 3: Arrange for Egg Donor and Gestational Surrogate
An egg donor and gestational surrogate must be chosen; a relative, friend, women selected through an agency, or frozen donor eggs through MyEggBank at IVF New England (MEB). The agency will facilitate legal contracts and a pre-birth order. If you choose a relative or friend to be your egg donor or gestational surrogate, you need to seek legal counsel regarding the legal implications of using a relative or friend.
Step 4: Payment of Administration Fees
Non-refundable administration fees cover the following: 1. cost of the egg donor and gestational surrogate's mandatory FDA testing; 2. catastrophic coverage insurance policy that covers the egg donor and the gestational surrogate while undergoing hormone stimulation and medical procedures; 3. psycho-social counseling for the egg donor, surrogate, and the couple; 4. consultation and other services provided by the Third Party Reproduction Team.
Step 5: Egg Donor and Gestational Surrogate Medical Records and Questionnaires
The intended parents' agency will collect and forward all of the egg donor and gestational surrogate's medical records and questionnaires to IVF New England. If you are not using an egg donor or gestational surrogate through an agency, this is the responsibility of the egg donor or gestational surrogate.
Step 6: Review of Medical Records and Questionnaires (2 to 3 weeks)
When IVF New England has received payment for administration fees, in addition to medical records and questionnaires on the egg donor and gestational surrogate, their charts will be reviewed by the IVF New England Third Party Reproduction Team Nurse Please be aware that occasionally the egg donor or gestational surrogate charts are not reviewed at the same time. Allow a separate 2 to 3 week period if this occurs.
Step 7: Egg Donor and Gestational Surrogate Appointments (1 to 1.5 months)
When the egg donor and gestational surrogate charts have been reviewed and cleared by the Team Nurse, they will be contacted by the Third Party Reproduction Team Coordinator to schedule their consultations with the Third Party Reproduction Team.
Step 8: Schedule appointments with Third Party Reproduction Team
(2 to 4 weeks after the egg donor and gestational surrogate appointments) When the egg donor and gestational surrogate have scheduled their appointments for consultations, you will be contacted by the Third Party Reproduction Team Coordinator to schedule your appointments. The first appointment is for a 3.5 hour consult with the Third Party Reproduction Team. If you had previously chosen to have an initial consultation at the beginning of this process, you would still need to attend this consultation to review the actual cycle details and to sign consent forms. You will also be scheduled for a separate 1.5 hour group counseling appointment with your surrogate and her husband or partner, if any. If the egg donor is a relative or friend, you will also be scheduled for a separate 1.5 hour group counseling session with your egg donor.
Step 9: Retainer Fee Payment
As the intended parents, you will receive a Retainer Letter after the completion of above appointments. Payment is due in full prior to the start of the cycle. Payment may be made by check, credit card, or a medical loan company.
Step 10: Start Treatment Cycle (6 to 9 weeks)
After the retainer fee has been paid, both the egg donor and the gestational surrogate will be instructed to call the IVF New England Third Party Reproduction Team Nurse on the first day of their menstrual periods to begin the IVF process. Both parties will be instructed to take oral contraceptive pills to synchronize their menstrual cycles, followed by hormonal medications for the IVF treatment process. The egg retrieval and embryo transfer will occur approximately 6 to 9 weeks later.
Step 11: Blood Pregnancy Test (15 days later)
Fifteen days after egg retrieval from the egg donor, the gestational surrogate will have a blood test to check for pregnancy.
Step 12: Pregnancy Ultrasound (about 3 weeks after first positive blood pregnancy test)
Depending on the results of the blood pregnancy test, the gestational surrogate will return to IVF New England for an ultrasound to confirm a viable pregnancy. At this point the gestational surrogate will sign a medical record release form so that we can forward a copy of her records to her OB/GYN.
Step 13: Start Pre-natal Care (remainder of pregnancy)
After the ultrasound, the gestational surrogate will be referred to her OB/GYN for her pre-natal care.
Step 14: Birth of Your Baby
Please remember to send us a birth announcement so we know the outcome of your treatment at IVF New England!