8 Steps to Family Building for Gay Male Couples

Dr. Beth Taylor

November 03, 2022

So, you are a gay male couple (cis-gendered) and would like to have biological children?  The process can seem daunting but let’s divide the process up into manageable steps.


Step 1

Talk to a fertility clinic. Reach out to us (donorandsurrogacy@olivefertility.com or call us at 604-559-9950).  You’ll be put in touch with our team who will have you do Health Canada required pre-treatment infectious disease blood work and a semen analysis (if you wish to use your sperm).  This testing is covered by the provincial health plan, if you are Canadian.


Step 2

Have a consult with a fertility doctor to set a plan for acquiring eggs and a surrogate.  Eggs can be obtained from someone you know or from a bank.  Surrogates can be someone you know or you can connect with one through an agency.


Your fertility doctor will also ask you some general health questions and review your family history.  They will also walk you through the process and review the laws and regulations we follow to help you have a child.  Your doctor will also guide you through the process of obtaining eggs, fertilizing them through the IVF process and making embryos that are frozen until the surrogate is ready.


Some people consult a lawyer at this stage to start the legal contact which will be needed for surrogacy and if you use a known egg donor.


Step 3

Make some decisions:

  • Whose sperm will you use? If both partner’s sperm, what happens if there is an odd number of eggs from the donor?
  • Will you want to have the embryos you make chromasomally tested (PGT-A)?
  • Would you want to put two embryos into a surrogate (if they will accept two) to potentially have twins?
  • How will you pay for the process? It can cost close to $120,000 from start to finish.


Step 4

Find the right egg donor and surrogate for you!  Most people start with eggs as they are usually faster to obtain than finding a surrogate.


Step 5

Undergo screening as a “Directed Sperm Donor.” This screening is guided by Health Canada and is similar to FDA required screening in the USA. You are called a donor even though it is your child - the language is to specify a third person/party (surrogate) is helping create the child.  The directed sperm donor screening involves a physical examination, completing a questionnaire, having blood drawn and providing the sperm sample (usually it is frozen until the eggs are ready).


Step 6

Do IVF: eggs are fertilized and embryos are made and frozen. The embryos can be frozen as they are or biopsied for chromosome testing before freezing. Testing is called PGT-A.


Step 7

Match with a surrogate and have us screen her.  Once she passes medical and psychological screening, then a legal contract is drawn up by your lawyer. The contract is reviewed by a lawyer representing a surrogate and then we can ready to put an embryo into your surrogate.


Step 8

Embryo transfer into the surrogate.  And…. Pregnancy!


Feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions on concerns about the process.  


Inclusion of all gender and sexually diverse people is an important value of Olive Fertility Centre. We are continuously striving to create an environment of compassionate belonging where all of the 2SLGBTQIA+ community are supported, valued and respected.

Olive Fertility Centre resides on the traditional, ancestral, and unceded territory of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and Tsleil-waututh Nations (Vancouver and Surrey clinics), of the Lekwungen people (Victoria clinic), of the syilx/Okanagan people (Kelowna clinic) and of the Lheidli T’enneh First Nation (Blossom Fertility clinic in Prince George).

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