Blog

Alternative Insemination: We Can Help You Grow Your Family

AIby Regina Barry, Howard Brown Health Center Intern

Raising children is a desire shared by many people, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.  We’ve all heard squawking from homophobic camps about how being queer means being anti-family—I’ll pause the article a moment so you can roll your eyes—but the American Psychological Association concluded a review of research on same-sex parenting by saying:

“there is no evidence to suggest that lesbian women or gay men are unfit to be  parents or that psychosocial development among children of lesbian women or gay men is compromised relative to that among offspring of heterosexual parents.”

One study even shows that families headed by lesbian identified parents show no difference, and in some instances improvements, in terms of children’s developmental outcomes.

Families with children can form in many different ways.  A viable option for folks who want to get pregnant without the method you learned about in high school health class (many lesbian couples being a shining example) is alternative insemination (AI).  (The author and her colleagues prefer this term over the better known “artificial insemination” so we don’t have to spend our energy on feminist rage over the implication that something isn’t real or natural without a penis being present.)

Intrauterine insemination

The goal of AI is to place sperm into someone’s uterus and fertilize an egg.  There are different methods of doing this.  Intrauterine insemination (IUI), where sperm is placed directly into the uterus, requires the help of a medical professional in a clinical setting.  Another form of AI is the vaginal pool method, where sperm is placed into the vaginal canal. This can be done at home alone or with the help of a significant other.

People commonly think of the in-vitro fertilization (IVF) process when considering methods of becoming pregnant. This is where eggs are fertilized in a laboratory setting and implanted in someone’s uterus.  This method, however,  is usually targeted at couples with fertility issues.  IVF can be an invasive and expensive set of procedures  and often requires more medical interventions than is necessary for LGBTQ families to become pregnant.  On top of that, not all fertility clinics that provide this service are tuned into the realities and needs of queer and trans folks.

For this reason, Howard Brown Health Center provides alternative insemination services in a context that is supportive and affirming for queer, trans, and poz parents and parents-to-be.  The program is a great resource for folks who want support from medical professionals or at least information to guide them through the process.  Over the past few years, HBHC has assisted many families in making babies—with one currently on the way!  Although Howard Brown is known for specializing in LGBTQ healthcare, and most of our patients are community members, the AI program is open to everyone who wants to achieve pregnancy and lacks direct access to sperm.

On March 23, join HBHC for a workshop about at-home insemination, focusing on the vaginal pool method. You can find out if this way of growing a family is right for you. Information provided will include step-by-step instructions on how to time inseminations, how to reduce the risk of HIV/STI transmission, how to navigate legal aspects of the AI process and special considerations for trans folk.  To reserve your seat for this workshop or to learn more about getting started with our AI program, contact Allison Burque at allisonb@howardbrown.org or 773-388-8871.  Space is limited, so contact us today!

You May Also Like:



Back to blog

Discussion

One Response to “Alternative Insemination: We Can Help You Grow Your Family”

  1. MY WIFE AND I HAVE BEEN TOGETHER FOR EIGHT YEARS
    WE’VE DONE THE INSEMINATION AT HOME AND HAVE TWO BEAUTIFUL CHILDREN OUR LOVE,MORALS,VALUES HAVE NEVER BEEN STRONGER. I AM PROUD TO SAY THAT INFIDELITY HAS NEVER HIT HOME. ALL THATS MISSING IS A GAY FRIENDLY CHURCH. WE ARE THE LBC TRADITIONAL FAMILY.

    Posted by CAPONE ALLEN | March 29, 2013, 8:32 am

Post a comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.