Reciprocal in vitro fertilization (IVF) is a reproductive option available for same-sex female couples. While intrauterine insemination (IUI) is a very successful treatment option for female couples, it means one partner has little physical involvement in the process. Reciprocal IVF, however, allows both partners to be physically involved in conception.
With this arrangement, one partner will donate her eggs, thus serving as the egg donor and supplying the genetic makeup of the child. The other partner will be the recipient of the embryo (created once the egg is fertilized with donor sperm) and will carry the pregnancy. This process creates the ultimate two-mother family. The new family will enjoy the legal recognition and social privileges of complete, dual motherhood.
The success of having a child through reciprocal IVF depends on a variety of factors:
- the fertility and health of the egg-donor partner
- the fertility and health of the sperm donor
- the health of the recipient partner
- the expertise and skill of the physicians and embryologists managing the process