Not long ago, gay people and the LGBT community as a whole were relegated to the dark recesses of society. With laws on the books in many countries outlawing homosexuality either implicitly or outright, equal rights must have seemed like a faraway dream for anyone with a sexual orientation other than heterosexual or felt their soul was the wrong match for the body they were born with.
Although discrimination still exists today, it is beating a hasty retreat. More and more of society either has a favorable opinion on gay rights, or is indifferent. Pockets of hate and ignorance can be found in any country, but these groups are increasingly finding themselves isolated. There has never been a better time in human history to be gay. People don’t feel the need to be open about what they do in the bedroom (sex toys for couples for example), but for some reason everyone has something to say about who you are in the bedroom with.
The same is true for same-sex surrogacy. In fact, same-sex surrogacy agencies in California enjoy no legal difference between LGBT or any other form of surrogacy. In this state, and many others, a surrogacy agency can actually be sued in court for discriminating against someone based on sexual orientation or gender preference. Areas of equality can be found around the world, where increasingly LGBT surrogacy is treated no differently than heterosexual – although in many cases this means both are either legal or banned. But regardless, they are on equal footing.
Same-sex surrogacy is Gaining Popularity
As anti-gay laws are evaporating and the LGBT community is coming out of hiding to enjoy the same basic human rights afforded to the rest of society, so with it comes the right to have a family. People feel the desire to raise children regardless of sexual orientation. It has truly become a myth that somehow gay parents are incapable of raising a child to be a successful adult, or that they will be predisposed to being homosexual themselves (and so what if it was).
The bright reality of being gay in today’s world means, generally speaking, you are entitled to the same parenting and surrogacy rights as anyone else.
What is the Difference Between Same-Sex Surrogacy and Heterosexual Surrogacy?
There is almost no difference. Heterosexual people use surrogacy when either one or both partners have fertility issues, or the woman is unable to carry a child during pregnancy. The same is true for same-sex couples in that they necessarily need either an egg or sperm donor, and sometimes a surrogate mother as well. The actual mechanics of the surrogacy process are really no different.
How Does Surrogacy Work?
There are two kinds of surrogacy: traditional and gestational. Traditional surrogacy has been around for thousands of years, it involves no science or medicine – the mechanics of sperm ‘donation’ and egg fertilization happen naturally, or perhaps with something similar to a turkey baster. The surrogate mother is necessarily also the biological mother of the child, which presents a complicated legal situation, and a bond that makes it difficult for the mother to hand the child to the intended parents.
Gestational surrogacy is more common. This is when an egg and sperm are fertilized independently of the surrogate mother. In other words, the surrogate mother is not related to the child – she is merely carrying someone else’s embryo during pregnancy. The most common form of surrogacy for two gay men is to select an egg donor, select a surrogate mother, then decide which of the men will donate sperm and become the biological father. It is a little different for lesbian women in that a surrogate mother is not necessarily required – sometimes they only need a sperm donor.
Is Surrogacy the Right Choice for Your Same-Sex Relationship?
Nobody can answer this but you. Gay or straight, raising a child requires an extraordinary amount of time and effort and will disrupt the lives of everyone involved. But it can also be the most rewarding experiences in a person’s life. The first thing to do is to educate yourself. Speak to friends and family about their experiences with children. Speak to a financial planner about the reality of affording a child. Decide if daycare will be required and how it will work. If you are ready to move forward from there, speak to a surrogacy agency. A good surrogacy agency will have friendly, experienced staff ready to assist you. They are likely to have seen many people in your situation and can tell you what to expect. Let them guide you down the path to having the family you have always dreamed of.
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