It can be overwhelming starting your fertility journey as a same-sex couple.
My partner and I always knew that we wanted children one day, but we weren’t aware that there were so many options for couples in our situation.
When we decided to start our research to explore how we could make our fatherhood dreams come true, we soon became our own fertility experts, getting used to using terms like ‘Intrauterine Insemination’ (IUI) and ‘IVF’ casually in conversation.
However, after careful consideration and research, we decided to go down the ‘gestational’ surrogacy route.
This involved using frozen donor eggs from one woman, to be carried by a second woman as a surrogate. What appealed the most to us about this option was the ability to choose the eggs we would be using from a wide variety of options, giving us more control over the fertility process and the chance to choose the best fit for our family.
We found London Egg Bank online during our research and were instantly impressed by their online donor catalogue.
Browsing through the various options allowed us to realise the criteria we were looking for in a donor: we wanted someone intelligent, who also shared similar physical characteristics as us.
For those undergoing same-sex fertility treatment, or for people who are looking to be using donor eggs, the donor catalogue can be a great tool given how regularly new donors are added each week. We felt no pressure to choose a donor quickly; we were able to take our time to find our perfect match.
It wasn’t long before we found her; a woman with a bachelor’s degree who had similar physical characteristics to us. It was so exciting to think that she could be ‘the one’, and that this could be the start of our fertility journey.
The following months were eventful – we had to undergo sperm analysis to check that our sperm was viable, choose our surrogate, and get to know herself and her family.
Thankfully, London Women’s Clinic recommends that their patients undergo counselling services, something which we utilised. It was reassuring being able to speak to someone who could understand the journey we were going through and talk through all of our concerns.
When the time came to create our embryos, we were overjoyed to find that three ‘day 5’ embryos were cultured and frozen.
"For those undergoing same-sex fertility treatment, or for people who are looking to be using donor eggs, the donor catalogue can be a great tool given how regularly new donors are added each week."
September 2018 was when London Women’s Clinic was able to carry out the embryo transfer to our surrogate, and nine months later in the following May our wonderful daughter was born.
Meeting her for the first time was the greatest feeling in the world.
When she is older, we will tell our little girl why she has two fathers and how she was born.
We’re prepared to answer any questions our daughter may have about our fertility journey, and also for the possibility that she may want to learn more about her egg donor when she reaches 18.
We still regularly keep in touch with our surrogate, swapping updates with each other. What she did for our family was incredible, and we want our daughter to know that.
What we really appreciated about London Women’s Clinic was the recommendation they gave us for a book, ‘And Tango Makes Three’. It’s about two male penguins who want to become fathers, and how they do this.
Reading this book with our daughter will hopefully help her understand where she came from.
We’re so incredibly grateful for London Women’s Clinic and London Egg Bank. They were extremely supportive throughout the whole journey, particularly the Head Nurse Mimi.
In fact, we’ve actually decided to commence another cycle of treatment using one of the remaining frozen embryos and with the same surrogate.
It’s exciting to think that our daughter may soon have a sibling!