Shady Grove Fertility offers innovative fertility care for the LGBTQIA+ community in a friendly, compassionate, and inclusive environment. 

We chatted with Dr. Kate Devine to answer all your questions about LBGTQIA+ family-building at SGF.  

What treatment options are available for LGBTQIA+ families at SGF?  

LGBTQIA+ individuals and couples who desire to have biologically related children can do so through personalized fertility treatment plans at SGF. Many of SGF’s treatment options for same-sex and transgender couples enable both partners to participate actively in the family-building process. 

  • Intrauterine insemination (IUI)  
  • In vitro fertilization (IVF)  
  • Reciprocal IVF, also known as co-IVF  
  • Donor egg and donor embryo  
  • Donor egg or embryo with a gestational carrier  
  • Fertility preservation for transgender individuals 
  • Intended father treatment, also known as dual insemination 
Learn more about these options on our LGBTQIA+ family building page.  

What will my treatment plan look like?  

There are many ways to grow a family and the path that LGBTQIA+ couples or individuals choose will depend largely on personal choices and preferences. For your care team to determine which treatment plan works best for you, there are some things you want to start thinking about before your initial consultation. 

Same sex female couples should consider:  

  • Who will carry the baby? 
  • Who will provide the eggs? 
  • Will you be choosing an ‘unknown’ sperm donor or do you have a known donor you would like to use? 
  • Does one or both partners want to be part of the process? 
  • Does either partner have underlying health issues that can affect the process? 
  • What is your desired family size, i.e., how many children?  

Same sex female couples have the opportunity to share in the pregnancy through co-IVF, also known as reciprocal IVF. With co-IVF, one partner provides the egg and the other partner will carry the pregnancy. 

Same-sex male couples planning fertility treatment should consider: 

  • Who will provide the sperm? 
  • Will you be choosing an ‘unknown’ sperm donor or do you have a known donor you would like to use? 
  • Is the gestational carrier someone known, or will it be someone identified through an agency? 
  • What is your desired family size, i.e., how many children? 

Same sex male couples have the opportunity to utilize dual insemination wherein each partner provides sperm that can be used to create an embryo that can then be transferred to a gestational carrier to carry the pregnancy. 

Does insurance typically cover the cost of LGBTQIA+ family-building care?  

Coverage for fertility treatment is highly dependent on the insurance plan. SGF participates with several insurance plans and approximately 70% of our patients have some coverage for infertility treatment and 90% have coverage for their initial consultation.  

Learn more about insurance and benefits at Shady Grove Fertility.

Is the Shared Risk 100% Refund Program available for LGBTQIA+ family-building care? 

“Absolutely! The Shared Risk 100% Refund Program is offered for IVF, donor eggs, frozen embryo transfer, and returning egg freezing patients, which can include many of the treatment options available to LGBTQIA+ families,” shares Dr. Devine. 

Learn more about our refund programs for infertility treatment.  

Does SGF provide recommendations for legal considerations for LGBTQIA+ families?  

During your initial consult with an SGF physician, we can provide recommendations for legal adoption services.  

With reciprocal IVF for same-sex female couples, the birth certificate will have the name of the mother delivering the child, but the second mother may need second-parent adoption. Same-sex male couples are going to need to specify a certain legal contract with their attorney that says that they are the legal parents of that child. With the help of an attorney, the same-sex couple will be legally recognized as parents of the child born from a gestational carrier.

How does your practice approach providing affirmative care for the LGBTQIA+ community? 

“At SGF, we believe everyone should be able to have the family of their dreams,” shares Dr. Devine. “We provide world-class fertility care for our LGBTQIA+ patients in a friendly, compassionate, and inclusive environment. We truly believe in the patient-comes-first approach and are ready to provide a personalized treatment plan that works best for your family-building plans.”  

SGF also offers a free, virtual Queer Family Building Support Group for Washington, D.C., Maryland, and Virginia patients. For more information, see our events page.
Medical contribution by Kate Devine, M.D.

Kate Devine, M.D., FACOG, is board certified in obstetrics and genecology and reproductive endocrinology and infertility. She is active in fertility research, publishing on topics ranging from fibroids to egg freezing for fertility preservation. She continues her research goals and advancing those of Shady Grove Fertility as the director of research for the practice.

Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in June 2019 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness as of May 2023.