If you’re a gay couple and have made the decision to start a family but aren’t sure where to begin, Brisbane fertility speciality Dr Andy Stamatiou has the answers. Dr Stamatiou, from LGBTIQ-friendly fertility practice Genesis Women’s Health, shares the important steps you require to start your family-building journey.
There are three key elements you need to build a family: sperm, an egg and a surrogate to carry the pregnancy. Specialists can’t help you find a surrogate but we can provide advice and information.
Usually potential male parents find an egg donor and surrogate through family, friends, colleagues or support groups.
After getting a referral from your GP, the next step is to make an appointment with Dr Stamatiou to discuss all possibilities and the process necessary to achieve your dream.
During your first appointment, he will gather relevant information about you, your circumstances, and medical history. You will also get an insight into surrogacy requirements and current procedures.
Every surrogacy case that Dr Stamatiou, together with Rainbow Fertility, are involved in undergoes an initial review by an internal surrogacy committee.
All parties must then attend a counselling session. Counselling is important for several reasons including allowing for the open discussion of surrogacy and fertility treatments on a personal level, enabling any issues to be raised, and allowing for the emotional responsibilities of becoming a parent to be discussed.
Once treatment is approved, the egg donor is prepared for an IVF cycle, after which eggs are retrieved for fertilisation. The donor eggs are then fertilised with the sperm stored in the laboratory. A quarantine period for the embryos is observed for six months to ensure maximum safety for all parties.
Final screening tests are next undertaken with the donors and commissioning parents. While this is the normal process, sometimes there will be variations depending on your personal circumstances.
Surrogacy may appear to be a complicated process, and it is, but for a good reason: the protection of all parties involved and a happy outcome for everyone. That’s why the extensive experience and expertise of fertility specialist Dr Andy Stamatiou is essential.
Dr Andy Stamatiou, with Rainbow Fertility, is holding a free information session for prospective parents on June 20 at the Watkins Medical Centre, Level 2, 225 Wickham Tce in Spring Hill. For more information, call (07) 3613 9774.
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