Purpose of review: This review provides an overview of the historical significance of assisted reproduction for gay men and women, discusses current reproductive options for same-sex couples, addresses psychosocial considerations unique to these couples, and reviews the current literature addressing medical and psychosocial aspects of same-sex reproduction.
Recent findings: Growing numbers of men and women openly self-identify as gay and lesbian. Accompanying this openness is an increased public acceptance of same-sex relationships and same-sex marriage. The combination of gay/lesbian self-determination and mounting public acceptance of same-sex unions has led these individuals and couples to increasingly seek parenthood through assisted reproduction. Recent studies describe relationship satisfaction in gay couples after assisted reproduction and more positive functioning and less stress associated with parenthood when compared with heterosexual parents.
Summary: Motivations for parenthood are the same for same-sex couples and heterosexual couples alike. However, achieving the goal of parenthood can be a much greater endeavor medically and psychologically for same-sex couples. Fertility treatment centers increasingly recognize issues unique to gay men and women and are increasingly welcoming.