Family building can be an emotionally draining, financially burdensome, and overall cumbersome process for individuals, and members of the LGBTQ+ community often face additional challenges when seeking care and exploring options. It is important for everyone to have access to a provider who doesn’t make assumptions but rather asks questions and genuinely understands the unique obstacles they face.
Finding a fertility practice that not only acknowledges and supports your journey towards parenthood but also embraces inclusivity can be quite difficult. Being an inclusive practice entails more than simply having an LGBTQ+ section on their website; it means ensuring that forms, procedures, and staff are up-to-date and inclusive. Here are some tips to help you find an inclusive practice:
- Check if their intake and consent forms are inclusive. Do they provide options for non-binary individuals? Do they inquire about your gender expression and sexual orientation? Do they use inclusive language instead of terms like “father” and “mother”?
- Look into their financial and laboratory forms. Financial estimates should vary depending on whether you’re single, part of a same-sex female couple, a same-sex male couple, or heterosexual. Do their forms accommodate same-sex couples for semen analysis and IUI? Do their financial disclosure forms use gender-neutral language? For same-sex male couples contributing sperm, are there specific details about storage fees, collection fees, and genetic testing fees?
- Examine their Patient Bill of Rights. Make sure it includes inclusive language regarding gender identity, sexual orientation, and gender expression.
- During the May 2024 Donor Egg Meeting, Dr. Mark Leondires encourages patients to observe the waiting room. Do you notice signs of inclusivity such as Pride decorations, LGBTQ+ friendly magazines, or all-gender bathrooms?
As for all clients, we encourage you to find and review your clinics stats using the https://www.sartcorsonline.com/members/Search. This will provide a summary of your clinics overall success with IUI’s, IVF, and donor egg procedures.
If you’re unsure about a clinic’s inclusivity or their ability to support your family-building needs, don’t hesitate to ask the following questions:
- How long has your practice been working with LGBTQ+ patients?
- How many LGBTQ+ patients have you treated?
- Do you have connections with local attorneys specializing in LGBTQ+ family building to provide support and guidance for your family options?
- Are you aware of any local LGBTQ+ support programs or incentives?
Finding a provider or fertility clinic that meets your needs can be incredibly challenging. We encourage you to discuss your concerns with your primary care physician (PCP) as they may be able to recommend an LGBTQ+ friendly fertility partner. We have also received great feedback from clients who used this resource to find inclusive fertility clinics.
Speaking of clinics, we had the privilege with speaking to Dr. Skora on our Podcast this week. With the desire to be a part of a team Dr. Daniel Skora was drawn to specializing in fertility and obstetrics and has gone on to create many happy families! Dr. Skora serves as the medical director for LGBTQ+ services at Fertility Specialists of Texas and is passionate about spreading the word for how other clinics can become more inclusive of the LGBTQ+ community. Listen to Episode 6 of Me, You, & Who?!
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