Fertility in 2017 and redefining the nuclear family

Posted April 7, 2017 12:46 p.m. EDT
Updated May 26, 2017 12:16 p.m. EDT

In 2017, the boundaries and expectations of what was once considered the nuclear "family" no longer exist.

This article was written for our sponsor, Atlantic Reproductive Medicine Specialists.

There’s a running television trope that portrays the "perfect" American family as middle class, with a working father, a stay-at-home mom and two and a half children.

If you close your eyes and think of the sitcoms you grew up watching, that's likely the model you’re seeing in your head.

First of all, what does two and a half kids mean? Is that the Kidz Bop version of "Two and a Half Men?"

Secondly, this isn't an average street in an average 1955. In fact, in 2017, the boundaries and expectations of what was once considered the nuclear "family" no longer exist.

"At Atlantic Reproductive, we have changed with the times and assist all individuals and loving couples who wish to pursue parenthood regardless of gender or gender identity. We have more than 30 years of experience in assisted reproduction, which includes navigating the [Food and Drug Administration] and legal regulations dealing with donor sperm, eggs, embryos and gestational carriers," said Dr. Susannah Copland.

Family Options for LGBT Men (Singles or Couples)

With the assistance of an egg donor and gestational carrier, partnered or single men can have biological children via in vitro fertilization (IVF).

Couples may choose to have one or both partners provide sperm, and egg donors can be known to the patient or anonymous. If the intended parents select to use an anonymous egg donor, they can be supplied with a fresh egg donation or a frozen egg bank depending upon the donor characteristics specified.

Gestational carriers can be women known to the parents or will come to be known during the fertility process.

Embryos can also be frozen to provide options for additional children in the future.

Family Options for LGBT Women (Singles or Couples)

Partnered or single women can have biological children via intrauterine insemination (IUI) or IVF through the assistance of sperm donors.

Sperm donors can be known or anonymous, and if a woman wishes to carry a pregnancy from her own eggs and has open fallopian tubes, pregnancy can be achieved via IUI. Known sperm donors must comply with FDA regulations that involve infectious disease testing and a period of quarantining the specimens before use.

If a woman wants to share a pregnancy by carrying an embryo from her partner's egg, her partner can be her egg donor via IVF.

Family Options for Transgender Persons

Transgender people desiring families through traditional pregnancy have to plan ahead in ways that non-transgender families do not in order to ensure that transitioning from one gender to another does not preclude their reproductive choices.

Our board-certified specialists can help transgender people with the entire process of preparing for a family before and after their transitions.

Reproductive Counseling

Since the very paradigm of family is shifting in American culture, it makes sense that patients might not be entirely sure of what they want, need, or think they can achieve with regard to building a healthy family.

A family law attorney with special knowledge of North Carolina laws can assist the process to make sure that the names of the intended parents end up on the birth certificate and a reproductive psychologist can provide LGBT patients with counseling that fosters a productive and comprehensive experience for all parties.

The process can have a few challenging nuances but with proper guidance the path to parenthood can be streamlined to make the journey more enjoyable and provide a lifetime of happiness.

This article was written for our sponsor, Atlantic Reproductive Medicine Specialists.