There are many ways to get pregnant – IVF, intrauterine insemination, home insemination, even old fashioned hetero sex. Sperm can be inseminated at home (with a known donor) or you can use a fertility clinic to assist in the pregnancy. Whichever way you choose, make sure you do your research about the best and safest way for you.
Fertility Clinics – If you have decided to get pregnant or you are providing sperm, there are several fertility clinics in Qld that can assist you.
**Please note that Rainbow Families Qld has not contacted these clinics and cannot guarantee that they will provide a rainbow family friendly service.
**This is not an exhaustive list but some of the fertility clinics in Qld include:
- Qld Fertility Group (Brisbane, Cairns, Mackay, Toowoomba, Townsville, Gold Coast)
- City Fertility Clinic –Brisbane based
- Life Fertility Clinic – Brisbane based
- Assisted Conception Australia (located at Greenslopes Private Hospital)
- Gold Coast Fertility Specialists
- Coastal IVF clinic – Sunshine Coast
- Cairns Fertility
The first step in accessing a fertility clinic is to get a referral from a GP. Ask around to find out the name of a LGBTIQ friendly fertility specialist. Use our forum to ask other parents/ parents-to-be about the specialists that they used.
The next step is to have your first appointment with the fertility specialist.
The process from here depends on your family situation (for example, whether you are using a known sperm donor, your age, whether you are a trans-family, etc). The fertility specialist will direct you on how to proceed after your first appointment.
Sperm – Whether you are providing it or using it, sperm will definitely be a topic of conversation in the process of getting pregnant. If you are a woman, you may need to consider whether you want to use sperm from a known donor or someone who is unknown to you.
Using sperm from a known donor – The section on parenting arrangements includes some issues for consideration when using a known donor. Also consider the donor’s health and family medical/psychiatric history, and the involvement that the donor and their family will want to have in raising the child. Depending on the fertility clinic/specialist that you go to, the donor may be required to undergo various physical examinations as well as some degree of probing into their personal life. Ensure that the donor knows the requirements of being a donor before they agree to provide sperm.
Using an unknown donor – Sperm can be procured from some fertility clinics for varying costs. The legislation regarding the provision of sperm differs across countries. In Australia, sperm donors are not provided with monetary compensation for their donation unlike in the United States. For this reason, much of the sperm provided by unknown donors comes from the United States. There are also differences in the way that sperm is treated after donation (eg. sperm may be washed or unwashed) depending on its country of origin.
The cost of sperm also differs depending on its origin with sperm from Australia being much cheaper than sperm from overseas. The difference in cost can be large however sperm from an Australian donor can be difficult to obtain. Sperm can be a hot commodity and might sell out fast, so as soon as you identify a donor contact your fertility clinic to purchase.
If you plan to use sperm from an unknown donor, you will be required to attend a counselling session with a psychologist. This is the law in Queensland. The psychologist might ask you questions such as how will you explain your family situation to your child, will you tell your child about the donor, will you refer to the donor as dad, etc.
Unknown donors have no legal rights to the child nor can the users of their sperm seek financial assistance from the donor. Once the child turns 18, they can seek information about the donor including their whereabouts. Donors are informed of this prior to donating sperm.
Providing sperm – Please see the section on becoming a donor in relation to providing sperm. Various medical checks are in place when providing sperm via a fertility clinic. As such, it can take 6 months or more for your health checks to clear and to be approved as a donor.
Getting Pregnant – There are several ways to get pregnant. Consider which feels right to you and do your research. While insemination at home can feel more natural it can be tricky to organise and may be more risky depending on what methods that you employ. Home insemination can only be done using the sperm of a known donor in Australia.
Getting pregnant in a clinic can feel very clinical and unfriendly but is also usually very safe.
If you are accessing a fertility clinic your fertility specialist will talk to you about options for getting pregnant. You might try intrauterine insemination for several months or you might use IVF from the beginning. There is a lot of information available on the websites of the fertility clinics listed above about ways to get pregnant.