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Thread: Any suggestions???

  1. #1

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    Default Any suggestions???

    I'm curious to find out how other women are trying to concieve ie: IVF, self insemination with a doner etc. I'm not completely sure of whats legally available to lesbian couples in Victoria; I have a feeling that my partner and I may have to travel to other states to eventually fall pregnant.

    I never dreamt the having a baby would be so difficult; I guess growing up I always thought it was simple . . . find a guy, get married and have a baby. But when I came out and realised that I wasnt going to find a guy, (coz it was really a woman that i was looking for) it became apparant that falling pregnant wasnt going to be that simple. Ive found the perfect girl, the woman I want to spend the rest of my life with; and we both want children, thats for sure....but, how do we go about fulfilling that dream?

    I guess Im a little stuck, and just not sure where to be looking for more information.



    Hoping that someone can help me out with some advice


  2. #2

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    Hi Nurse86 welcome to BB!

    There is a young lady couple on here who are from QLD who are currently expecting thier first. Hopefully she will pop in late and be able to give you some more information.

    From my understanding, I think you do need to travel interstate but I could be wrong.

    Hope your journey TTC is a short one!

  3. #3

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    Thanks for your msg. If you dont mind me asking, are you in a lesbian relationship? or did you concieve naturally? Thankyou for the advice, will look forward to talking to other young lesbian couples. P.S the photo of your baby is GORGEOUS!

  4. #4

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    No to the first question, yes to the second.
    Just thought I'd pop in and let you know that someone should be able to help you with all of your questions soon as there is someone that has been through the process!

    Thanks hun I think he's pretty spunky too!

  5. #5
    Chippy Guest

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    We conceived at home using fresh donor sperm. It took 6 months to get a sticky pregnancy and I am now 12 weeks pregnant.

    If you want to conceive using reproductive technology this year, you will have to go interstate but the laws are going to change soon and you should be able to access IVF etc in Vic by next year.

    Good Luck!

  6. #6

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    Hello

    My partner and I are in Qld, so we aren't completely up to date with the Victorian laws, but we do understand your struggle. We were extremely lucky to find a clinic that had sperm donors available (considering the shortage). We got pregnant on the 4th go, using an unknown Australian donor and fertility treatment (IUI + Clomid).

    At the moment single woman and lesbian couples are having to travel interstate or DIY, but the laws are changing in Victoria, so that you will soon be able to access fertility treatment (at the moment they cannot unless over a certain age or medically diagnosed with fertility issues *I think*). I'm not entirely sure when they come in, but I reckon you'd find a lot of info on google, or contact a clinic, as I'm sure they'd have some answers. But it won't be covered under Medicare unless you have a diagnosed medical reason that you need fertility treatment.

    That's about it. Have you thought about known vs. unknown donors? Thats a huge decision you have to make, best to think about before you approach the clinics so you know what needs to be done (i.e. find a donor, choose a unknown donor, import sperm etc). That'll help when you choose a clinic as well as some clinics don't have an Australian sperm donor service, or have extremely long waiting lists, so you'll need to wait or import (and be prepared for the costs). Some clinics won't allow you to import sperm so you'll have to wait or find another clinic. If you have a known donor its a bit easier, and you can try DIY at home before approaching a clinic but you need to be aware of the legalities of it all, and make sure you three are all on the same wavelength with regards to parenting, access, birth certificate, names, roles in the childs life etc.

    Hope I haven't bombarded you, and that this has helped!

  7. #7

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    Thanx for the reply Leasha, sorry this msg is a bit late. I think I would prefer DIY insemination at home, so I guess we will have to decide on known or anonymous doner. Does anyone know the success rate of DIY insemination?

    Its quite confusing, all the legalities and the do's and dont's of fertility treatment and what same sex couples can access, its kinda doing my head in a bit.

    How have other people concieved (or tried to) out there???

    The other thing that concerns me, is are we too young? Am I just being "clucky" coz of the age Im at? I am 22 and my partner is 23, and we've been together for 3 yrs, but is that too young to be having a child together? I think my partner would ideally like to wait a few yrs, but I don't want to wait...

    So I guess Im just venting a little bit.

    How old are some of the couples out there ttc at the moment?

  8. #8

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    Hey!
    I'm not in Victoria, but just wanted to say that I'm only 20 years old and I'm currently on a waiting list at a clinic for donor sperm, so I don't think you're too young at all! If you are then I definately am! I have been wanting a child since I was 14, so that would have been too young, but I don't think there's anything wrong with us now!! If you have a solid relationship like that then go for it if it's what you both really want I think!
    Jess

  9. #9
    Lea79 Guest

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    Hello nurse86,

    If you are having doubts about whether you are the right age to have a baby maybe it would be a good idea to wait a few months and see if you feel the same then. The truth is there is no right or wrong age to have children, its just the right stage in your life that you need to consider.

    Having a baby creates so many responsibilities and issues as well as positive experiences you will need to deal with. You only need to question yourselves as a couple whether you are ready to take that leap and do it because once you do there is no going back and changing your mind. Would you like to experience other things as a couple before a little one comes along? Just remember that you are still so young and have plenty of time to make this decision.

    I am 29 and my partner is 37 so it has taken us a long while to take this step. I am happy that we experienced those times by ourselves but it would also be nice to do it as a family too it just changes the dynamics of things. We are now planning on ttc starting December with a known donor. You asked earlier if using a clinic or home insemination is more successful. Well fresh is always best but it depends on what you are planning to do. Many women fall pregnant in the first couple of cycles using home insemination but if there are fertility issues a clinic is the way to go. We will try home insemination first up and then if after about 4-5 cycles we are not successful we will seek assistance from a clinic. Everybody is different so it is up to you what you do. I have been reading a book i ordered called 'the ultimate guide to pregnancy for lesbians' by rachel pepper. Leasha put me onto it and its great. Very informative and realistic so I would suggest you take a look at it. I thought I knew a fair bit about the whole process but this just puts a whole new light onto it.

    Well I hope that i've helped out a little and you get to make the right decision for yourselves. Let me know how you go,

    Leanne

  10. #10

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    Hi Nurse86

    My partner and I have just conceived through IVF in Victoria and we are currently 7 weeks pregnant. Sooo excited, we got lucky on our first attempt so now we are just waiting to see if we stick!

    You have a lot of decision making to do, but thankfully in Victoria at the moment, you actually have a lot of options. Hoorah for the new law changes Melbourne IVF, who helped us, have 'relaxed' a lot of rules regarding access for single women and lesbians in anticipation of of the law changes coming through later this year.

    SO, your options are : at home with a known donor
    We have friends who now have a beautiful little girl after meeting her 'father' at a Maybe Baby meeting in Melbourne. I would really recommend going to at least one of their meetings, their website is maybebaby.org.au, it's for prospective gay and lesbian parents and it's a great way to meet other gay people who are all wanting to be, or are already, parents. Their meetings are usually held once a month at a restaurant in melbourne.
    Our friends are now doing amazingly well with their 'father' having once a week visits with their daughter, but it has certainly been a long road to get to this 'happy medium' to create their blended family. But, their little girl knows her father and will have access to him for the rest of her life, so if that's important to your family, then absolutely find out as much as you can about this way of creating your baby. It's been really successful for a lot of people we have talked to.
    We certainly looked at this options, but got totally scared off by the fact that, no matter what sort of legal document you have in place before the birth, including a parenting order drawn up by a lawyer, saying that the 'father' will not have any or minimal access or custody to the child, it can only show intent in a family court and judges will, and have, ruled that the 'father' can have 50% custody and all the rights of parenthood. So if you go into this with everything in place to use a friend or a guy you met over the internet to basically be a sperm donor, he can sue for custody once the baby is born, despite what you have decided beforehand.
    We decided that we didn't want to take that chance, as we weren't looking for a 'father', just a sperm donor, so we approached Melbourne IVF to find out what they could offer us.
    Option 2 : IVF Access
    Thankfully, my partner had polycystic ovarian syndrome, which meant that we got full access to IVF including anonymous donor sperm, with the sperm only becoming available because of the impending law changes. Prior to December of last year, you would have had to provide your own sperm donor to access IVF with the known donor being treated as the father, with all the legal rights. With anonymous sperm, the donor is treated as exactly that, a donor, with no paternal rights, but all their information is on file with the clinic, so when our baby turns 18, they can access all their information and contact their father if they want.
    All you need to go to Melbourne IVF is a referral from your GP, so it is well worth going to see a specialist there, as you may be able to access donor sperm, if not now then in the very near future, with no medical infertility. Medicare covers your costs the same as a heterosexual married couple, which means you do have a substantial out of pocket expense, but you get a lot of that back from Medicare.

    Anyway, we have a lot of information about all of this as we have been trying to do this for 3 years now, so have talked to a lot of people to find a way that works for us.

    Good luck to you, I really recommend getting as much information as you possibly can, as the law changes are really shaking things up and you have a lot more options now than you had even six months ago.

    Sal & Sal


  11. #11

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    Victoria
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    Thankyou for your msg, Sally2, sorry for the late reply.

    I didnt know that same sex couples could access IVF in melbourne, I thought u had to have fertility problems. I also was unaware that medicare offers a rebate. Guess I gotta get up to date with Victorian law.

    Thanks for the information. Did you and ur partner concieve the first time?

    Have you decided on what your baby will call u both (ie mum/mumma etc) and which surname your baby will have?

    Nurse 86

  12. #12

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    Yeah, the new law changes are making a HUGE difference already and they aren't even in yet!!
    I believe the policy's change from clinic to clinic, so my recommendation would definitely be Melbourne IVF as they have been amazing for us You will need to see a specific specialist who is connected to Melbourne IVF. We had no idea who anyone was so rang Royal Womens Hospital who gave us the name of our specialist.

    We were so so so lucky, my partner conceived on our very first round of IVF. We had six eggs harvested, only one fertilised and that's the little sticky baby that she is brewing right now! She will be the 'tummy mummy' for all our kids as I have no interest in being pregnant, just in being a Mum at the end of it all and sharing her pregnancy journey. I figure i'm more useful cooking for her while she does all the hard work
    I think she will be Mum or Mummy and I will be Mama ( we share the same first name, so that limits our choices a bit ) but I think these things evolve on their own, whatever our kids call us will be their own choices. The last name will be a hyphenation of our last names, as you can put whatever last name you like on the birth certificate.

    Sorry, I ramble on a bit, it's just that we are soooo excited and I'm completely addicted to these forums! I love having this gay and lesbian thread, it's really cool to be connected to other families that are going through the same journey that we are! Although if we go shopping in one more baby store with one more sales assistant that says ' And where is the father' I might scream. Though it's something we need to get used to...

  13. #13

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    Hi nurse86 and Sally. My partner and I are also in Vic and had to overcome all the obstacles that brings.

    Nurse86, the law changes still haven't come through yet so you have to be declared clinically infertile before you can access any fertility treatment. There is a home insemination program operating through Melbourne IVF which allows you to bank known donor sperm and take it home to inseminate but you have to factor in a 6 month quarantine period after you have found a donor and deposited his sperm before you can proceed with any cycles.

    Everything (costs, lead up times, legalities) depends on which road you want to follow (as Amazing Race puts it, "each with their own pros and cons!"). We travelled to City Fertility Centre in Brisbane to start our TTC adventure. We did 4 rounds of IUI and after learning that our donor's statistics weren't going to cut it, we went to IVF and got pregnant on the second IVF transfer (a frozen cycle). Between our two IVF cycles though we signed up to start IVF with Melb IVF with a new donor but fortunately we didn't have to proceed with that treatment. Although now, we have to travel up to brisbane again should my partner wish to conceive the second child with the same donor. After all the dramas, we might just be content with the one! If you ever want to do IVF or IUIs at either of those clinics, I'm happy to help you with any q's you have. I really could have used some advise at the time myself!

    Sally, congrats to you and your partner. I was at a prospective lesbian parenting group meeting on saturday (maybe you were there too??) and we talked about setting up a playgroup for new lesbian mums. There are rainbow family playgroups already in existence but they are more geared to older children so we should start one for the newbies like us. I'm due in October but there are a couple of new babies already in existence that should start getting together soon.

    Oh well all the best to you both and I look forward to hearing how things go.

    Kate

  14. #14

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    Hi Kate
    The playgroup idea sounds fantastic, are you guys in Melbourne or Country? We've ( hopefully ) got two other couples that might be conceiving around now as well, so a new babies group sounds like a fantastic idea. I will leave my email on your profile page.

    Nurse 86, we investigated the known donor sperm storage that Melbourne IVF are running, but the only real benefit is that you know the sperm is tested for STI's and HIV and you can access it when you want, instead of waiting for a 'home visit' at his convenience. Unfortunately, the donor could sue for paternity rights if he wanted as he's not classed as an anonymous donor with no legal rights. At a maybebaby meeting we went to, there was a couple who had just had their donor win 50% custody of their son, even though he had gone through the clinic and they thought they were covered legally. Really scary stuff, as they didn't know him well at all and now he is responsible for raising their son and takes him three nights a week.

    If you want to chat more privately, leave a message on our profile page with your email address, as there is more information available with regard to accessing IVF with anonymous sperm as a lesbian without medical infertility. I totally agree with Kate, I wish that there was more advice around when we were trying to find out more info about all of this! We should write an Australian version of The ultimate guide to pregnancy for lesbians

  15. #15

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    That's a really scary story. That documentary on SBS about the known donor was also very frightening. I was keen for a known donor at the start but I'm now quite relieved that my partner insisted on anon. I guess it really depends on who it is though. We just didn't know anyone we were prepared to approach.

  16. #16

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    I like your ticker Kate! Is his name going to be Hugo or is it a cute nickname while he's in the belly?

    Yeah, there are some horror stories out there about sperm donors sueing for custody and judges not recognising that we, as gay women, are perfectly capable of raising our children without a father having to be involved. We couldn't take the risk though, that someone we didn't know very well, or even someone we were good friends with, could come and take our baby out of the house for days at a time. We had reached a stage last November where we decided that if we couldn't get pregnant with anonymous sperm, we wouldn't have children at all.
    I know there are some amazing blended rainbow families who seem to have achieved the perfect mix of two mums and two dads, all raising and loving some very lucky kids. I believe it's possible, but we couldn't take the fear that one day, someone else could come into our lives and take our children. So this way worked for us!

  17. #17
    Lea79 Guest

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    hi guys,

    The known donor issues scare me too. DP and I have thought through this extensively and still think that a known donor would suit us best. Our known donor lives in Sydney and has helped a few other couples conceive their babies. He seems quite genuine and by talking to him you just know that he has done this before. He has never once been pushy. He respects our wishes and does not expect to have part of the childs life unless we want a limited amount. We have come across some really dodgy would be donors so we have been really careful in our choices. What it comes down to is the child. We want them to know who their father is and have the choice to get to know him or not. They have to live with it for the rest of their lives, it only affects us mildly considering. We also think its more personal to conceive our child together in the privacy of our own home. Of course we are presently trying to find a gay friendly lawyer to help us out with the contract etc and thats no easy road living in a town who is quite homophobic but I'm sure if we ask around some of our gay friends we will find somebody suitable.

    We thought about going through a clinic many times. The risks are far less and lots of our gay friends have used them but something just didn't seem right with us. We will try the home insemination method first and see if we are successful from there. Many of you who have used clinics seem very happy with the outcome and we have nothing against them. Its just that we dont think it will suit us. As long as we get the legal stuff sorted correctly I dont think we will have a problem. We have until december to sort this so hopefully all will be good by then and we will know our donor a bit better too!
    Goodluck everyone!

    Leanne n Selena

  18. #18

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    It's all about whatever journey works for you and your family. At the end of the day, it's our choice and it's wonderful that there are choices out there and there are guys who unselfishly want to help families and there are clinics who will work with us.

    We feel so blessed to be having this baby come into our lives and have made the best decision we can about access that we are comfortable with for our donor. At 18, our kids can access all the information they want or need, including meeting our donor and we can actually request an earlier meeting if our kids are adamant earlier about wanting to know. It's been a long process to get to this point and many D & M's about it over sleepless nights.

    Everyone's family is different and these kids are going to be wanted and loved, so what else can someone ask for?

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