Same Sex Parenting: Why Choose RSC?

Why should I consider Reproductive Science Center?

The Bay Area has always been progressive and RSC is a pioneer in the field of fertility. For over 30 years we have been helping the LGBTQ+ community become parents. RSC has always embraced the motto that “We don’t define families, we create them”. This view is reflected in the people we work with both in and out of the office.  RSC’s staff is as diverse as its community. We work only with highly qualified agencies, psychologists and legal experts that focus on fertility. RSC also has one of the largest in–house, multi-ethnic egg donor registries in the Bay Area.

Our San Ramon Center is a new state of the art 16,500 sq ft facility, nestled in the beautiful San Ramon Valley. We offer a free one night stay at one of our concierge hotels (for IVF patients only and coming from outside a 50-mile radius of our San Ramon clinic or for patients from outside the U.S.).

The Tri- Valley offers 5-star restaurants, outdoor activities and beautiful vistas. We are 20 minutes from the Livermore Wine Country and a 30-minute drive to San Francisco.

Mother kissing little baby at home

Breaking Barriers, Building Families

Since 1983, we have pioneered fertility treatment for every kind of family. We want to help you achieve your dream of having a baby.

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More gay men are pursuing treatment at RSC for donor egg and gestational carrier cycles.

What sets RSC apart from other IVF centers in the Bay Area?

  • RSC has always had unparalleled success rates with egg donors and egg donor GC cycles.
  • Based upon our Press Ganey customer satisfaction survey, 98% of patients would refer a family member or friend.
  • There is no better destination to vacation than the San Francisco Bay Area. Enjoy the city or relax in wine country while you prepare to build your family.

LGBTQ+ family building

Our physicians and staff realize that LGBTQ+ couples often endure social challenges. Some same-sex couples wanting their own families often encounter confusion and misunderstanding from others, sometimes even from medical professionals. RSC strives to provide a refuge from judgment and is dedicated to facilitating greater ease and comfort in your family journey.

Our fertility care for same-sex couples includes extensive medical and emotional support. Several options for same-sex couples utilizing a third party to achieve pregnancy include:

Interested in learning more about LGBTQ+ family building? Attend one of our free seminars to learn about all available fertility options and potential legal considerations.
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Sperm donation

For lesbian couples or heterosexual couples with male-factor infertility, a sperm donor can be selected through a sperm bank or known donor. We help select the best sources and can help arrange for shipment and storage until treatment.

Because of the risk of sexually transmitted diseases, especially HIV, the American Fertility Society established a series of guidelines for donor sperm in 1993. Sperm from carefully screened donors has already been quarantined for six months until the donor can undergo repeat testing and is found to be free of a communicable disease.

Donor screening

If you are using a known donor, routine screening includes:

  • Semen analysis
  • Blood analysis for infectious diseases such as HIV
  • Urine analysis for gonorrhea and chlamydia
  • Psychological counseling for a known donor is recommended
  • Psychological counseling for recipient parents is recommended
  • Screening for cytomegalovirus (CMV) for a female surrogate

Gestational surrogacy and egg donation (also known as shared maternity)

Gestational surrogacy and egg donation can also be performed in couples where both partners are female. In this situation, one female partner may wish to use embryos created from her eggs and donor sperm and then have the embryos transferred to her partner to carry the pregnancy to term. IVF must be used in this scenario. The birth mother is not the genetic mother, but both partners have contributed to the ultimate outcome of a healthy baby.

This may be done for several reasons:

  • One partner may have eggs that are “too old” to conceive naturally, but still wishes to carry a pregnancy and experience childbirth.
  • One partner’s uterus may not be healthy enough to carry a pregnancy but the eggs are still quite promising for creation of a child, which her partner could then deliver.
  • It creates a joint venture for the couple in the delivery of a child.

Typically, the birth mother is the legal mother of the child unless legal documents have been obtained either before the delivery or after the delivery through an adoption process.

Additionally, some same sex couples have used IVF to conceive and now have extra embryos in cryostorage. One partner may then wish to use these frozen embryos to deliver a child. In this case, the children born would be exact genetic siblings (even fraternal twins) but carried in pregnancy by different birth mothers. Routine testing of the birth mother as well as an evaluation of the uterus to ensure an optimal implantation site would be undertaken prior to beginning the frozen cycle transfer.

RSC has helped many couples successfully become parents through this unique approach. We would be happy to advise you on how to do this given your individual circumstances, as well as advise which approach may give you the greatest chance for the healthy birth of a baby.

Legal considerations

RSC strongly recommends that you understand and protect your legal rights during the third-party services process and consult with a lawyer who specializes in surrogacy issues. Learn more about legal considerations.

Emotional support & counseling

Part of the broad base of support for our patients involved in third-party fertility treatment includes psychological evaluation. RSC requires that patients, donors—if known, surrogates or gestational carriers all participate in some psychological counseling, in addition to extensive medical screening. Find a counselor who specializes in fertility and LGBTQ+ family building.

Transgender Parents

RSC acknowledges the spectrum of gender identities that exist in the transgender and/or gender non-conforming LGBTQ+ community.  When it comes to family building this means that each individual or couple may have different reproductive needs.  Therefore in an effort to best assist our transgender and gender non-confirming patients, we encourage you to contact us to schedule an individual consultation so we can create a personalized plan directly related to your reproductive needs and to more inclusively help you achieve the family of your dreams.  Please also feel welcome to review our additional LGBTQ+ information pages to learn about the different treatment options available.

Regardless as to whether or not you have taken or are currently taking hormone or sperm blockers, have started any transition process, are have plans in the future for any gender reassignment procedures you are welcome to schedule a consultation to find out your options for conception or fertility preservation.

We put inclusivity first

In addition to offering services specially tailored to LGBTQ+ individuals, our team also actively seeks out ways to continually respond to the needs of our LGBTQ+ patients. As part of these efforts, we ensure our paperwork uses inclusive terminology. We also work with top experts in the field of LGBTQ+ family building and host regular informational seminars for those looking to start a family.

Our staff is certified by the Family Equality Council as part of the Open Door training program in Beyond Inclusion: LGBTQ+ 101 and Trans Fertility considerations. These programs address best practices for serving members of the LGBTQ+ community using family building services. Learn more about the history of the Family Equality Council on their website,