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Third-Party Reproduction in Indiana
Sometimes, it takes help from a third party for someone to achieve their dreams of having a child. The process of finding the right third party to help you on your path to parenthood is a monumental decision that requires thought, guidance, and compassionate care. At Indiana Fertility Institute, we help to make third-party reproduction easier by facilitating egg, sperm, and embryo donation, as well as gestational surrogacy.
What is Third-Party Reproduction?
Third-party reproduction is a form of assisted reproduction that involves the help of someone outside of your family dynamic to aid in the conception of a child. This is either done through the donation of genetic materials (eggs, sperm, or embryos) or through gestational surrogacy. Third-party reproduction procedures can involve an egg donor, a sperm donor, a gestational carrier, or a combination of all three.
Is Third-Party Reproduction Right For Me?
Third-party reproduction processes such as egg donation, sperm donation, and surrogacy make it possible for many individuals and couples to have a child, including LGBTQ+ families, aspiring single parents, and patients dealing with reproductive health challenges.
The Benefit of Third-Party Reproduction
Third-party reproduction helps to create families in ways that were impossible only a few decades ago. Thanks to these advanced options, there isn’t just one set path toward becoming a parent.
Types of Third-Party Reproduction
The four types of third-party reproduction are egg donation, sperm donation, embryo donation, and surrogacy.
Egg donation is when a woman donates healthy eggs so that others can use them to have a child. This form of third-party reproduction is frequently used by individuals who do not have access to viable eggs of their own, such as women with reproductive issues, same-sex male couples, and single men.
Patients who choose egg donation for their family-building journey have the option of using eggs from a known or anonymous donor. A known egg donor is typically a friend or relative who has agreed to offer their eggs, while an anonymous egg donor is usually found through an egg donor agency. To qualify to become an egg donor, candidates must satisfy a barrage of requirements and screening measures to ensure they are physically, mentally, and emotionally healthy enough to donate their genetic materials.
Whether you work with a known or anonymous egg donor, the process is pretty much the same; eggs are retrieved from the donor and fertilized with your sperm of choice to create an embryo. The embryo is then transferred into the recipient’s uterus, similar to in vitro fertilization (IVF).
In a fresh egg donation cycle, the egg donor and recipient’s cycles must be synchronized so that the embryo can be transferred to the uterus at the optimal time. In a frozen egg donation cycle, the donor’s eggs are cryopreserved via vitrification. There is no need to synchronize the donor’s and recipient’s cycles. Once ready to use, the eggs are thawed and undergo IVF by being fertilized and transferred to the recipient’s womb.
Sperm donation is when a man donates healthy sperm so that others can use it to have a child. This is commonly used by couples facing male factor infertility, same-sex lesbian couples, and single women. Just like with egg donation, sperm donation can be done with a known or anonymous sperm donor.
Anonymous sperm donors are typically found through sperm banks. Just like egg donors, sperm donors must go through extensive screening measures in order to be accepted into a program. If you choose to work with an anonymous sperm donor at our fertility clinic, we can help you find the right donor for your family by connecting you with a sperm bank that has been accredited by the American Association of Tissue Banks (AATB). Sperm banks that are accredited by AATB are required to uphold specific standards and best practices, which ensures that any semen sample you receive will be high quality and free of diseases.
If you would prefer to work with a known sperm donor, please note that your sperm donor will still have to undergo stringent screening measures to ensure they are physically, genetically, and psychologically healthy enough to donate their sperm. These regulations and guidelines are set forth by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology (SART), and the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM).
In some cases, individuals and couples who successfully have a child through IVF are left with remaining embryos that they do not intend to use. Some patients choose to donate these embryos so that others can “adopt” them and have a child. Just like with any form of tissue donation, Indiana Fertility Institute strictly follows the recommendations and regulations set forth by ASRM, SART, and the FDA to ensure that any embryos used for donation pass the appropriate screenings.
Gestational surrogacy is when a woman agrees to carry and deliver a baby for another couple or individual. The embryo is created via IVF using eggs and sperm provided by the intended parents (or donors, as needed). The resulting embryo is then transferred into the uterus of the surrogate. If implantation is successful, the surrogate will carry the baby for nine months and give birth.
Surrogacy is utilized in many different family-building journeys, most frequently by women who are unable to safely carry a pregnancy on their own, same-sex male couples, and single men. If you are considering surrogacy as part of your fertility journey, it’s important to note that surrogacy in Indiana is very complex, as surrogacy contracts are seen as void and unenforceable, meaning they are not legally recognized or binding.
LGBTQ+ Fertility and Third-Party Reproduction
Third-party reproduction often plays a crucial role in LGBTQ+ family-building and fertility care. Many individuals and couples in the LGBTQ+ community require at least some form of assistance when conceiving a child. Options like egg donation, sperm donation, and surrogacy make it possible for LGBTQ+ families to experience the joys of parenthood.
Indiana Fertility Institute prides itself on providing a warm, inclusive environment for the LGBTQ+ community to pursue their path to parenthood. We welcome patients of all gender identities, sexual orientations, and relationship statuses, and can help you achieve your family-building goals through a personalized plan that is as unique as you are. We believe that everyone deserves the chance to experience the joy of parenthood.
Find Out if Third-Party Reproduction is Right for You
When it comes to fertility, no two paths are the same. You deserve a fertility care team that will help design a fertility treatment plan that is as unique as you are. If you’re interested in exploring third-party reproduction options such as egg donation, sperm donation, embryo donation, and surrogacy and seeing if they are right for you, schedule a consultation with one of the fertility specialists at Indiana Fertility Institute.