Getting Started

Everyone deserves to experience
the joys of parenthood

Whether you’re a single gay man or a gay couple, building a family may seem like a complicated process. But if you’re ready to start the journey, we’re here to help. We’ve tried to make the family-building process as simple as possible. But there are some important steps along the way.
Here’s a quick overview of the process:

1. Planning

There are three things you’ll need to build a family: sperm, an egg and a surrogate to carry the pregnancy. All things being well, you should be good for sperm, but the hardest part will usually be finding a surrogate, who may, or may not, also be your egg donor. While we can’t directly help you find a surrogate, we can share our knowledge on what to look for.
Most gay male parents find an egg donor and surrogate through family, friends, colleagues or support groups.
An egg donor education program (Egg Donors Australia) is available to try to encourage more donors and assist gay men in their attempt to become parents through surrogacy.

2. Medical Consultation

To book an initial consultation with one of our accredited specialists you’ll need to be referred from your GP. You’ll be able to claim some of the consultation cost back through Medicare. To make things easier, you can download a Referral Form here and hand it to your GP to fill in.
During your appointment with a Rainbow Fertility specialist, he or she will explain the medical procedures involving the egg donor and surrogate to you. He or she will also check all your relevant medical details.

3. Surrogacy Committee Review

Every surrogacy case we’re involved in has to be approved by a surrogacy committee, including fertility specialists, fertility coordinators, scientists, national managers and counsellors.
During the initial review, the committee reviews the commissioning parent’s/parents’ medical health history and considers their motivation for surrogacy. In Australia, each state has different legislation in regards to surrogacy, and the committee makes its decision based on the laws in that particular state.
After the review, your specialist will let you know whether you can proceed to the counselling and legal stages of surrogacy. He or she will also meet with your egg donor (if using a known donor) and the proposed surrogate to ensure they’re fully aware of what’s involved in the process and that they are medically suitable for the surrogacy treatment.

4. Counselling

It’s mandatory for people who are considering entering into donor and surrogacy arrangement to attend counselling. Counselling provides the opportunity to discuss treatment on a more personal level, taking into account the emotional responsibilities of all parties involved.  It also enables patients to raise issues that are more private, such as individual concerns, relationship difficulties, or current life situations that may affect their experience of treatment. If you already have children, they may be invited to attend.
The egg donor (and any partner) is required to have two counselling sessions. In the case of known donation, the second session will be a joint one with the egg donor (and any partner) and the commissioning parent(s).
Likewise, the surrogate (and any partner) will be required to attend two separate counselling sessions and one joint counselling session with the commissioning parent(s).

5. Legal Consultation

The commissioning parent(s) and the surrogate (and any partner) will be required to organise separate appointments to obtain independent legal advice.
Each must use a different legal advisor experienced in surrogacy.

6. Final Surrogacy Committee Review

Once all parties have met with the specialist, all screening tests and consent forms are complete, counselling sessions have been attended/reports made available and legal arrangements are in place, the surrogacy committee will do the final review of the case. Sometimes the committee may need to review the case a few times. The final recommendation will be forwarded to your Rainbow Fertility specialist, who will inform you of the outcome and whether you can proceed with the surrogacy.
Please note: in Victoria all surrogacy arrangements must also be approved by the Patient Review Panel health.vic.gov.au.

7. Fertility Coordinator Information Session

After the final surrogacy committee approval, all parties involved in the surrogacy (and any partners) must meet separately with a fertility coordinator to discuss specific details of the treatment cycle, including:
  • Proposed IVF treatment cycle for the egg donor.
  • Semen sample collection on the day of egg collection.
  • The six-month embryo quarantine and subsequent tests.
  • The frozen embryo treatment cycle for the surrogate.
  • Consenting to the procedure (consent forms are provided to fill in and sign).

8. Treatment for Egg Donor

Once treatment is approved, the egg donor is prepared for an In-Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) cycle, after which eggs are retrieved for fertilisation.
The donor eggs are then fertilised with sperm from the intended gay parent to create embryos.

9. Quarantine Period

To ensure maximum safety for all parties, our quarantine policy means all embryos have to be frozen and quarantined for six months. After this period, the egg donor and commissioning parent(s) are invited to return for final screening tests. If all tests are passed and we’re confident that no infections can be passed on to the surrogate, embryos are cleared for use.

10. Treatment for Surrogate

Once the six-month embryo quarantine period is over and the final screening tests are cleared, the surrogate can begin Frozen Embryo Transfer (FET) treatment.
To request an appointment
At Rainbow Fertility, our specialists have extensive experience in helping create LGBTI families. Feel free to contact our friendly team to learn more about the fertility treatment options available to you.
your dream, our passion
Please note:
  • The order and/or number of these steps/requirements may vary depending on your circumstances.
  • People wishing to have assisted reproductive treatment in Victoria must undergo a criminal records check and child protection order check. For further information please visit our page Legislative Requirements – Victoria.
  • All treatment procedures are carried out in our RTAC (Reproductive Technology Accreditation Committee) accredited fertility clinics, where gametes (eggs/sperm) and embryos are also stored.
Current as at 01.02.2016
Rainbow Fertility has a responsibility to provide Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) based on relevant state or federal laws and guidelines. All individuals/couples are encouraged to obtain their own legal advice regarding the relevant legislation applying to their circumstances.