how to choose the genetic father

Medical advancements make it easier than ever for committed and married couples to have children through gestational surrogacy. Gay couples that want to start a family via surrogacy will need to choose the genetic father. Gay couples interested in surrogacy should talk openly and often about the subject before they decide on an egg donor or surrogate.

Start With Open and Honest Communication

Gay couples may be surprised at how difficult it can be to decide which of their sperm to use for IVF. It’s important to communicate openly, without making assumptions, and fully discuss each other’s desires and expectations.

When discussing lineage or traits, strong emotions can rear up without warning, creating stress during an otherwise life-changing and powerful bonding experience. It’s understandable — this is a critical choice that affects the future. That’s why it’s important to start with honest, open communication throughout the decision process leading up to surrogacy.

Not Recommended: Leaving the Decision to Fate

It may be tempting for you both to donate sperm and let destiny decide who the genetic father will be. But this rarely makes either dad feel completely at ease. The partner who is not the genetic dad may feel slighted or inferior. It is best to work together to agree on a genetic dad for your peace of mind and so your children can be aware of their genetic history.

Tips for Choosing the Genetic Father

Gay couples ready for surrogacy can take a few steps to help come to a decision regarding the genetic father:

  • Talk with a counselor: Speaking with a therapist early in the surrogacy process can help resolve any issues and make sure you are both on the same page.
  • Undergo genetic testing: Genetic tests can help determine if you or your partner has a stronger genetic make-up. For example, if your family has a history of cancer and heart disease, and your partner’s family has no known medical conditions, he may be a better choice.
  • Discuss each partner’s key attributes: Have a conversation about what you and your partner bring to the genetic table, even small traits like hair color or stature. Of course, keep in mind that attributes will not necessarily be passed down. That is part of the beauty of birth!
  • Consider opting for twin surrogacy births: In twin surrogacy, the same donor’s eggs are fertilized first by one dad and then by the other. That way, the egg donor remains the same but two fertilized eggs are created. The eggs can either be implanted via IVF at the same time, or one egg may be frozen to stagger the family.

You’ve found the love of your life. Now you want to start a family. At Western Fertility Institute, we offer an all-embracing program for gay and lesbian couples with many third-party reproduction options. We guide you every step of the way on your journey to conceive a child.

We’d be happy to answer any questions you have and help you determine the best choice for your family. Contact Western Fertility Institute today to get started.

This content was medically reviewed by the Western Fertility Institute medical team on October 7, 2019.