Gay male couples may choose to build their families using surrogacy. There are two types of surrogacy:
Gestational surrogacy is used much more often today, however, a gay male couple may have a friend or relative who offers to be a surrogate for them by using her own eggs.
Traditional surrogacy is the type of surrogacy occuring when a woman carries a child conceived from her own egg. With traditional surrogacy the woman is the egg donor, as well as the surrogate. The traditional surrogate mother is genetically related to the child. Similar to the adoption process, after the birth of the child, the traditional surrogate mother relinquish her parental rights over to the intended parent, or parents. Legal contracts and agreements addressing issues that could arise between the surrogate and the intended parents are drafted before beginning the traditional surrogacy process.
When a traditional surrogate is used, artificial insemination or Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) may be used to achieve a pregnancy, a process that is fairly inexpensive, painless and quick. With IUI, just before ovulation takes place, the sperm is collected and processed (washed). The procedure is timed with ovulation, and the prepared sperm is deposited into the uterus by using a small catheter. High amounts of concentrated, motile sperm are placed directly into the uterus of the surrogate. IUIis planned around the time of natural ovulation; however, in many cases fertility medications stimulating egg follicle production are prescribed.
IUI is performed in a clinical setting, however, some surrogates and intended parents may choose to do the procedure at home. This is not recommended and is actually prohibited in some states.
The intended parents and traditional surrogate may also choose In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) to conceive. With IVF, embryos are created in the lab from the egg and sperm of the intended parent (or by the donor egg and donor sperm selected by the intended parents). The embryo - or embryos - are transferred into the uterus of the surrogate.
The intended parents are responsible for meeting all of the financial obligations of a traditional surrogacy. Traditional surrogacy is less expensive than gestational surrogacy, mostly because IVF is not required to conceive. Compensation of the surrogate varies as each surrogate arrangement is different.