Fertility Information

LGBT Options

My lesbian partner and I want to have children.  What are our options?

There are a number of different options if you are a lesbian couple wanting to have children. If there are no fertility impairments on the part of the partner who wishes to conceive and carry the child, the use of anonymous or known donor sperm is the option most commonly chosen and may be an option you wish to consider. Although inseminations can be done in the privacy of your own home, it is generally safer and more effective to go through intra-uterine inseminations at a fertility clinic. See our question on donor sperm in our Third Party Reproduction section and on known donors in our Options for Singles section.

If you and your partner both think you’d like to go through a pregnancy, there are many things to consider – in terms of your respective fertility, and other important lifestyle and readiness considerations (e.g. who can best afford to take time away from work for a maternity leave; who has more time from a fertility window perspective; etc.). Your doctor should be able to assess the fertility issue.  See these sections to learn how to address the issues of readiness, timing and decision making.

Some lesbian couples who use donor sperm want to ensure that their children are related to both members of the couple. If this is important to you and your partner, you may want to consider going through IVF and having the embryos produced with your eggs and the donor sperm, transferred to your partner’s uterus. This would make you the genetic mother and your partner the social mother of your child(ren). You may want to check out the question on IVF in our Assisted Reproduction section and on donor sperm in our Third Party Options section.

Find out more about LGBT parenting options at:




We are a gay couple who want to have a child. What are our options?

Gay men who want to have a family have four options– adoption, foster parenting, traditional surrogacy, or a combination of donor egg and gestational surrogacy. In the case of traditional surrogacy, a woman agrees to be inseminated with your sperm or the sperm of your partner, and uses her own eggs to produce a child. She carries the child and when the baby is born, she gives the child to you to raise. In the case of egg donation and gestational surrogacy, eggs are donated by an anonymous donor or someone known to you, fertilized in a laboratory with your sperm or your partner’s sperm, and the resulting embryos are transferred to the uterus of another woman – a gestational surrogate – who carries the pregnancy and, after delivery, relinquishes the child to you. See the sections on egg donation and surrogacy in our Third Party Options section for more information on these options.

In Canada, egg donation and surrogacy are legal but the “purchase” of these products/services is not permitted. However, reimbursement of egg donor and surrogate’s out of pocket expenses related to the donation is permitted. There are also important legal implications of surrogacy. Clinics in Canada generally require a surrogacy agreement created through a lawyer.

You can find out more about the Canadian legal implications of using donor eggs, sperm or surrogacy here.

There are also fertility clinics internationally that offer services to gay males and couples including egg donation and surrogacy. Regulations and standards for clinics across countries differ. If you are going this route, do your research so that you can make an informed choice about the best option for you.

You may also consider adoption or foster parenting to expand your family. Start by contacting your local social services for information on adoption and foster parenting.

Read more about local and international adoption:

For more information about adoption in Canada, check out the Adoptive Parents site. 

For information about international adoption for Canadians, click here. 

For general information about adoption, including a section on international adoption, check out this site.

These sites may be useful in considering your options:



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