Gay Men

Helping gay men start their family

Getting Started

Excited about becoming a parent? Nervous? Don’t know how to start the process? If you are a gay man wanting to have a child, you have come to the right place.

First of all we want to start by congratulating you on your decision. Becoming a parent is one of life’s greatest joys, and we are excited to guide you through the fertility treatment part of your journey.

For gay couples or single men, fatherhood is achieved through IVF (In Vitro Fertilization) using donor eggs (fresh or frozen) along with sperm from either male partner and a gestational carrier

The first step to building your family is just a phone call away at (513) 924-5550. You may also send us your contact information and we will call you. Our experienced staff will happily assist you in scheduling your initial consultation in one of our offices: Cincinnati, Ohio, and Florence, Kentucky.

Ready to give it a go? Click here to Contact Us!

Gestational Carrier / Surrogate

Types of Carriers

One of the first steps for gay men wishing to start their family is to find a woman to carry their baby. There are 2 terms that get used for this that are a bit confusing – surrogate vs. gestational carrier. Here is the difference:

Surrogate: a surrogate is a woman who uses her own egg to become pregnant and carries the baby on behalf of another person or couple. Because the woman uses her own eggs to achieve pregnancy, a surrogate is genetically related to the baby. It is important to note that Ohio laws do not allow for surrogacy.

Gestational Carrier: is a woman who carries a baby on behalf of another person or couple that was created using a different woman’s eggs through IVF. A gestational carrier is not related to the baby that she carries. The Institute for Reproductive Health is proud to offer gestational carrier services to our patients.

Finding a Carrier

There are many options for finding a carrier. Many gay men have found relatives or friends who are willing to be a gestational carrier for their baby. Many others use surrogacy agencies or online websites to connect women who want to be carriers with prospective parents. A gestational carrier must have at least one previous successful pregnancy and delivery and be both physically and mentally healthy. At Institute for Reproductive Health, we are not a gestational carrier agency, but we do have relationships with women who have been successful carriers for other patients and are happy to connect with with resources.

Regardless of how you find a carrier, it is imperative that you seek legal counsel to understand the laws and needed steps/contracts associated with third party reproduction.

Finding An Egg Donor

All gay men wishing to start their family must also find an egg donor. The donor egg program at Institute for Reproductive Health is one of the most successful donor egg programs in the Midwest.

What Is an Egg Donor?

Through egg donation, a fertile woman’s mature eggs (donor eggs) are removed, fertilized with sperm (from the male intended father(s)), and implanted into the gestational carrier. Egg donation has very high success rates with achieving pregnancy.

Finding an Egg Donor

There are 3 choices for finding an Egg Donor.

Unknown Donor: Most women opt to undergo the egg donation process as unknown donors. Their identity remains anonymous throughout the whole donor process. The majority of women who donate their eggs anonymously are “recruited” donors.

IRH Shared Unknown Donor: To help reduce costs for recipients, we are willing on most donors to “Share” the donor with the recipient. The donor would undergo an egg retrieval, and half the eggs would be used to create embryos for you. The other half of the eggs would be frozen for other couples looking to do a frozen donor egg IVF cycle in the future. There are certain criteria that must be met in order for a cycle to be shared and this can be discussed with your physician.

Known Donor: Some couples will elect to use a relative such as a sister, cousin, friend, or others close to a recipient to assist them with this process. In addition: Some recipients who are looking for a specific requirement that is not commonly found will sometimes opt to “self recruit” an egg donor by searching out prospective donors on their own. Regardless of the source, all donors are subject to the rigorous diagnostic testing required of our unknown donors.

Fresh vs Frozen Donor Eggs

In addition to known donors vs anonymous donors, you have the ability to choose between fresh donor IVF Cycles and frozen donor IVF cycles.

Fresh IVF Cycles: At IRH, we have a list of women that have been pre-screened and are ready to donate their eggs to our patients anonymously. In a fresh cycle, the egg donor will go through an IVF process using the sperm from the male intended father(s). The best one or two embryos will be transferred into the gestational carrier for pregnancy, and if there are remaining embryos, they will be frozen for future children. If you are unable to find a donor at IRH, there are many donor agencies available for use. We caution patients that agencies tend to be more expensive.

Frozen IVF Cycles: A second choice for gay men wishing to use IVF to start their family is to use frozen eggs. At IRH, we have a frozen egg bank from donors that are ready to be used at any time. Instead of going through a fresh cycle and waiting for a donor to cycle, a set of frozen eggs can be thawed for use immediately. In this process, the egg is thawed, ICSI (intracytoplasmic sperm injection) is used to create an embryo, and the embryo is then placed into the gestational carrier. This process is a bit more affordable and makes the process faster, but there is a smaller selection of frozen egg donors than fresh.


The Institute for Reproductive Health is contracted with all major insurance companies. We can help you investigate your benefits before you start any treatment.