Who should carry the baby – a list of what to consider
If you are in a lesbian relationship and dream of becoming a mother, there are some things to consider before starting the journey towards parenthood. One of the most important things for lesbian couples to decide is who is going to carry the baby. We have asked some of the couples who have become mothers with the help of Cryos how they made the decision. Read about the most common reasons in this blog post.
For many women, being pregnant is a tough journey, but also a journey that forms a special bond between you and your child. Therefore, the decision of who is going to carry the child is an important one and one that is often influenced by many different factors. For some couples, it is easy because they know they are going to have two children, so they get to carry one child each. For others, the decision is influenced by other things like health, will, or fertility.
If you have made the decision of who is going to carry the child, you may want to read about the process and how lesbian couples can fulfill their dream of having a baby.
1. The will to carry the child
In our survey, most women answered that will was the main factor in deciding who was going to carry the child. In some relationships, it feels more natural for one of the women to carry the child, which makes the decision easier to make.
Some women may feel that their pregnancy could be a setback in terms of their careers. Therefore, they do not have the same will as their partner to carry the child, because they want to focus on their career alongside becoming a mother.
2. Age is an important part of the decision
The most important factor in terms of women’s fertility is their age. As women become older, the amount and quality of their eggs decrease. A lower amount or quality of eggs will make it harder to become pregnant. The quality or number of eggs left can also influence the type of fertility treatment needed to become pregnant. It is common for lesbian couples to start with IUI treatment, but if the results are unsuccessful, they need to start with more complex fertility treatment methods, like IVF treatment. Because IVF treatment requires egg retrieval, it is more expensive and uncomfortable than IUI treatment, which is a good reason to consider age before choosing who is going to carry the child.
After the age of 35 women’s fertility starts to decrease drastically, which should be a factor if there is an age difference between you and your partner. If you want to carry a child each, then it would be a good idea that the oldest one of you start.
Of course, age should not be the only factor in deciding who is going to carry the child, but because fertility decreases after the age of 35, we recommend that you think about it when deciding who is carrying the child. If you are above the age of 35 and want to carry a child, we can recommend you read our blog post on how to increase your chances of getting pregnant.
3. Health and fertility
Another factor determining women’s fertility and their chances of becoming pregnant is health. A woman’s fertility is affected by their general health and lifestyle choices like diet and whether you consume alcohol or cigarettes. Studies show that a healthy woman with a BMI below 30 has higher chance of conceiving. A high BMI is also not recommended when entering fertility treatment, since it may influence the treatment negatively.
Some women also suffer from conditions like PCOS, which makes conceiving difficult. Therefore, it is always a good idea for both you and your partner to have your health checked before deciding which one of you is going to carry the child.
4. Double donation
Another option for lesbian couples is to use double donation, also called reciprocal IVF treatment. Double donation means that one of the women has her eggs retrieved and fertilized with the donor sperm and then inseminated into the other woman, who then will carry the child. By using double donation both women can be involved in the pregnancy - one by being the genetic parent and one by carrying the child.
If you think about using double donation, we recommend you research where the procedure is possible. In many countries double donation is not allowed, which means that you may have to travel to another country to receive the treatment. If you have any questions regarding double donation or fertility treatment abroad (also called fertility tourism), please do not hesitate to call our Customer Care Team, as they will be able to answer your questions.
Legal challenges for LGBT+ parents
When you become parents to a donor-conceived child you may face challenges because of your sexuality. Some lesbian couples experience challenges in the form of stereotypes or assumptions from your child’s classmates or teachers.
You will also face legal challenges, because as the partner not carrying the child, in most countries you are not considered the legal parent. If you want to learn more about this, we can recommend you contact our Customer Care Team, which can help you with any questions you might have regarding legal challenges.
If you want to read more on lesbian couple and fertility treatment, we can recommend you read our blog post Common challenges for LGBT+ parents.