Alternative families

We believe that any individual willing to make a lifelong commitment to providing a loving, nurturing, caring and supportive environment for a child deserves the chance to become a parent. So, we at the Herts & Essex Fertility Centre are proud to help single parents and same-sex couples to start their family.

There are a number of different fertility treatment options for single women and same-sex couples.

Donor sperm

We can provide donor sperm from our own Sperm Bank or help you locate suitable sperm from other reputable sperm banks in the UK and even from abroad. We know this is an extremely important and difficult decision to make, so we will guide you carefully through the process of choosing a sperm donor. You can then choose between having treatment via Donor Insemination (DI) or by IVF.

Lesbian couples: Egg Sharing

Many lesbian couples choose to take part in our Egg Sharing scheme. A patient receiving treatment with us will anonymously donate half of her collected eggs to another woman, in return, she is compensated with funded IVF treatment. Besides the financial benefits from the scheme, many couples being similarly affected in that they too require assistance in conceiving through IVF, are just glad to help another couple in a similar situation at the same time. Under the Human Fertilisation & Embryology Authority HFEA Code of Practice, all egg donors should be between the ages of 18 to 35 inclusive.

Partner Donation

One of the most popular ways in which we help lesbian women become parents is through Partner Donation: where one partner donates her eggs so that the other partner can carry the embryo. Under these circumstances, both women partners will be directly involved in the creation of their child. Partner Donation can be either self-funded or as part of our Egg Share programme. You can choose a sperm donor either from our in-house Sperm Bank or we can import sperm from other banks.

Gay men

There are a number of ways that gay men can become fathers, usually by one partner donating his sperm to create their baby. Surrogacy treatment has become increasingly popular for gay fathers. This can involve using the surrogate’s own eggs or with donated eggs.

Please be aware that as a regulated fertility clinic we cannot help you find a surrogate, but we can support you every step of the treatment journey. There are many legal issues to consider, and you can read more on our Surrogacy page.

For more information on any of our fertility treatments for same-sex couples, please feel free to contact Caroline Cayley or Sarah Robinson 01992 78 50 67 or email