Dr. Shahin Ghadir explains the rise of LGBT fertility treatments
WEST HOLLYWOOD, Calif. -- The perpetually growing trend of offspring between same-gender couples, affectionately dubbed “gaybies,” is actively modifying the face of the American family. Thanks to advances in the scientific and medical community, particularly here in sunny California, in vitro fertilization and egg freezing are becoming more accessible and viable options for LGBT parents.
However, IVF and egg freezing within the LGBT community are topics that remain largely underrepresented in the news.
Dr. Shahin Ghadir of West Hollywood is considered one of the top fertility doctors in California, and has personally seen a large increase in the number of LGBT patients that seek assistance in building families. As a founder and reproductive endocrinologist at Southern California Reproductive Center (SCRC), Ghadir believes this to be due partly “to the loyalty of our current and past LGBT patient population.” Through the clinic, he has gone above and beyond to carefully, thoroughly address the needs of the LGBT patients. Ghadir takes pride in Southern California Reproductive Center becoming “a mainstay and a safe haven” for LGBT clientele.
A few factors contribute to the noted increase in gaybie births. With marriage equality in California granting same-gender couples equal rights, and the growing acceptability of the LGBT community to start families, Ghadir has seen the number of individuals requesting reproductive services continue to increase significantly. Additionally, the availability of egg donors, sperm donors, and surrogates continues to expand, especially with members and allies of the LGBT. Thus finding a donor or surrogate isn’t the needle-in-a-haystack process that it previously way.
At SCRC, the clinic fosters and maintains numerous long-term relationships with surrogacy agencies throughout the country, which allows for common obstacles in finding a surrogate to be solved in “a rather expedited manner.” SCRC screens these candidates ahead of time, and all FDA-required testing has already been done by the agency, the process can take as little as a few months if the patients’ already have an egg donor.
Of course, access to legal counsel is a major factor in making the process more feasible for the general public. The legal community that specializes in the area of fertility has been essential in allowing clinics like SCRC to make substantial advances in the legalities of making families for the LGBT community. And Ghadir’s clinic strives to help clients meet these needs:
Every individual that uses an egg donor, a known sperm donor, or a surrogate is required to have appropriate legal documentation of a specialist in the world of fertility prepared to proceed with treatment. At the Southern California Reproductive Center, our exclusive division that helps our LGBT population along with all other individuals using surrogates, egg donors, and known sperm donors will assist patients in having all of these legal documents prepared.
The use of in vitro fertilization can be a long and somewhat costly process. For a traditional IVF “cycle,” Ghadir says that costs start at $10,000. With the use of an egg donor as the services of the surrogacy agencies and legal counsel, the entire process can reach about $25,000.
As within any family, couples amidst the LGBT community are constantly racing against the proverbial biological clock, leading to more patients proceeding with the production of both egg freezing and sperm freezing for future use. Dr. Ghadir has seen an increase amongst lesbian couples especially who have decided to freeze eggs and embryos during their actual fertility cycle, allowing for the opportunity to give birth in years down the road when egg quality has significantly declined.
Although the technology isn’t brand new, the gayby trend is certainly at the cusp of finding awareness amongst the general public. The processes of egg freezing and IVF are fitting companion pieces, then, to the great advances for fairness made by the LGBT community, especially with respect to marriage equality. With safe, welcoming institutions like SCRC, the American family grow and reflect the beautiful LGBT community here in California.
Shahin Ghadir, M.D., F.A.C.O.G., is founding shareholder of Southern California Reproductive Center. SCRC is world-renowned, with fertility patients traveling from around the globe to be cared for by the highly qualified physicians and obtain the services of the IVF laboratory. Contact SCRC HERE.