NORWALK, Conn. (WTNH) — Marriage equality has given more same-sex couples confidence to start a family – making local fertility clinics busier than ever. News 8’s Connecticut Families begins a two part look at what’s being called a Gay Baby Boom.
“Someone’s sexuality doesn’t necessarily come into playing regards to their desire to be a parent,” says Dr. Mark Leondires.
Suddenly, 60% of his clients are prospective parents who are gay, many of them male couples.
“For a long time, being a LBGT, we worried about safety,” he explains. “Now, with almost a stamp of validation from our Supreme Court, there’s a sense of safety and you feel like you’re family is going to be safe, as well.”
But the process is incredibly complicated, involving a plethora of decisions.
“From whose genetics are we going to use, whose eggs,” says Leondires. “You’re talking about men who have no familiarity with fertility and they’re going from 0 to 150 to pursue their pathway to parenthood.”
Leondires works for Reproductive Medicine Associates of Connecticut which has offices in Norwalk, Stamford, Danbury and Trumbull.
“There’s a lot of oversight required to do this well and it requires a team to do it,” says Leondires.
The in-vitro fertilization clinic helps clients connect the dots by providing a nurse, a mental health professional to screen all involved, a financial expert, a patient navigator and access to legal help to protect the surrogate and the dads.
“While I used to have a couple to take care of – now, I have intended fathers, a donor plus her partner, a surrogate and her partner,” says Leondires.
Also, the web site – GayParentsToBe.com – provides a place to begin.
Coming up Wednesday, Leondires and his husband open-up about their personal journey to have children – the extreme cost involved and forming relationships with surrogates.