Options for LGBTQI couples
If you are in a same sex relationship and want to start a family, Melbourne IVF offers a comprehensive and supportive donor programme to assist you.
Through access to donor sperm an increasing number of lesbian couples are achieving their dream of having a baby. We offer a surrogacy programme providing gay couples the opportunity to become parents. Under current legislation we cannot recruit a surrogate for you, however we can offer advice and guidance on the process.
- Starting your family using donor sperm
For lesbian couples who want a child that is biologically related to one of them, the below fertility treatment options are available.
- Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) involves the direct injection of sperm into the uterus.
- In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) which involves the combination of sperm and eggs in the laboratory (rather than the woman’s Fallopian tube) to form embryos. The highest quality embryos are then transferred to the uterus where they will hopefully implant and develop.
- How can I access donated sperm?
There are a number of options available if you need to access donor sperm. Your fertility specialist and the dedicated donor team at Melbourne IVF will carefully explain your options, which include:
- Using sperm donated by someone you know, or
- Accessing the Melbourne IVF donor programme for clinic-recruited (de-identified) donor sperm
Choosing your sperm donor
If you decide to access sperm through our clinic recruited donor program, you will be given access to the Melbourne IVF website which holds a database of all the donors that are currently available to choose from.
You can view each donor’s profile and a range of other attributes such as their hair colour, nationality, height, and occupation. You can also view questionnaires that have been completed by the donors about themselves and their family, and a message about why they have decided to make this altruistic gift.
Once you have had one child using a de-identified sperm donor, we will endeavour to assist you in having further children with the same donor by retaining sufficient samples to ensure future access.
- What are my options if I am transgender?
If you are transgender and preparing to undergo a gender transition, one of the many important considerations you make prior to undergoing hormonal therapy is if you would like to have a family now or in the future. Choosing to start a family prior to undergoing transition treatments either naturally or via insemination may be an option for some. If you wish to not delay your transition or if this is not an avenue you wish to pursue, you may consider fertility preservation.
If you chose to preserve your fertility and stored your eggs or sperm prior to transitioning you have the option of having these thawed and using a partner’s sperm or egg or those of a donor in an IVF, IUI or ICSI procedure.
Depending on your circumstances a surrogate may be required to carry the pregnancy. Find out about the Melbourne IVF surrogacy process.
- Legal considerations
All donor procedures in Victoria are regulated by the Assisted Reproductive Treatment Act 2008. Donors, recipients and the people born as a result of a donation have legal rights and responsibilities. A person conceived by way of donation has the right to obtain identifying information about their donor once they turn 18 or if their parents apply and the donor consents. Find out more about the Victorian legislation.
- Support for LGBTQI couples
At Melbourne IVF we are dedicated to supporting you to achieve your dream of a family. We provide free of charge access to counselling and support facilities. Our Melbourne IVF donor team is a valuable source of knowledge and support for you, and we also encourage you to connect with other patients through our private Facebook group on our IVF Melbourne Facebook page.The Melbourne IVF fertility forum enables you to connect with other Melbourne IVF patients online and have private discussions about your treatment or share your story with other LGBTQI couples.
- What are the next steps for me?
- Speak with our Community Liaison Administrator to book an appointment with a Melbourne IVF Fertility Specialist by calling 1800 111 483.
- At your first appointment your Fertility Specialist will assess your health and arrange any preliminary testing that is needed to determine your fertility level in order to recommend the best treatment method.
- Upon receiving the results your Fertility Specialist will explain what the test results indicate and recommend the best treatment option.
- Following this you will meet with your Melbourne IVF Patient Liaison Administrator to discuss the management and fees associated with your treatment.
- In Victoria it is a legislative requirement that couples using donor sperm meet with a counsellor at least twice to discuss the social and legal implications around donor-conceived families. All parties – recipients, donors and partners, where applicable – will need to sign detailed consent forms regarding the use of donor sperm before treatment may commence. If the donor is known to the couple, a joint counselling session may be scheduled.
- After counselling consent forms are signed you will meet with a member of the Melbourne IVF donor team to discuss the donor management process. Couples selecting from our clinic recruited donor sperm will discuss selection of a donor during this meeting.
- Once you have met with the donor team one of the Melbourne IVF fertility nurses will discuss the medications involved and treatment cycle timeline before you commence treatment to start your family.
Same sex couple using donor sperm
Watch how the Melbourne IVF donor program helped Kim and Kaylee achieve their dream of starting a family.