LGBTQ+ Family Building

Duke Fertility Center supports everyone who wishes to build a family. We have a comprehensive program with open access to our cutting-edge fertility treatment methods to help lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) individuals and couples in their family-building journeys. 

LGBTQ+ family maternity

Duke Fertility Center recognizes that LGBTQ+ individuals can face unique challenges when pursuing parenthood and that there are multiple ways to grow your family. Here is how Duke Fertility helps to address some of the challenges:

  • We know that the pursuit of parenthood is impacted by the intersectional lived realities of gender and sexuality and, therefore, we offer comprehensive LGBTQ+ assisted reproduction and fertility care.

  • We provide a consultation to discuss LGBTQ+ affirming reproductive resources and education on third-party reproduction.

  • We have a team of psychological providers, led by Julia Woodward, PhD, who work alongside our medical providers to provide detailed information about the nuances of identifying and selecting donors or surrogates, as well as preview the common questions donor-conceived children have.

  • We know that infertility and pregnancy loss may also affect LGBTQ+ individuals, and we offer personalized support resources for interested patients.

  • We also provide resources for working with a reproductive law attorney to help finalize pre-birth orders and secure parental rights.

The path to parenthood varies, but may involve third-party reproductive services such as:

  • Egg donation

  • Sperm donation

  • Embryo donation

  • Gestational carrier, also referred to as a surrogate

  • Reciprocal in vitro fertilization, in which one partner provides the eggs and the other carries the pregnancy

  • Egg or sperm cryopreservation in advance of gender-affirming hormone therapy

To begin the process, you will have a consultation with your fertility specialist to discuss options for your personalized care.  Our team of fertility specialists will help to guide you through the process, answer your questions, and support your goals along the way.

Family-Building Options for Same-Sex Female Couples

Family-building options for same-sex female couples involve the use of donor sperm. Duke Fertility supports the use of directed donor sperm (using sperm from someone you already know) as well as non-identified donor sperm (using sperm from a donor sperm bank). Available treatment options include intrauterine insemination (IUI), in vitro fertilization (IVF), and reciprocal IVF (in which one partner provides the eggs and the other carries the pregnancy).

Family-Building Options for Same-Sex Male Couples

Family-building options for same-sex couples involve the use of donor eggs and a gestational carrier. Sperm may be provided by either partner (or both). The sperm is used to inseminate donor eggs and grow embryos. An embryo can then be transferred into the uterus of a gestational carrier who will carry the pregnancy for you.

Family-Building Options for Transgender Patients

There are a number of family-building options available to transgender patients. Depending upon your situation (whether you have eggs or sperm and whether you have a uterus) and that of your partner (if applicable), your path may involve the use of donor eggs, donor sperm, or a gestational carrier. If you are not ready to start a family now, we can help you freeze eggs or sperm for use in the future. Your fertility specialist can review your goals and provide you with options.

Build the family of your dreams today!
Call 919-572-4673 to make an appointment


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