Posted on 27 February 2014.
Dino Thompson-Sarmiento and Christopher Daniel
With the legalization of same-sex marriage in 17 states the definition of family in America is evolving. For LGBT couples in particular, many are seeking to expand their homes with children. When it comes to planning parenthood and structuring families, no organization has been more instrumental in seeing the bigger picture quite like Georgia Reproductive Specialists (GRS).
GRS, a progressive medical practice with over forty employees and three offices located throughout Metro Atlanta, is one of the LGBT community’s greatest miracle workers and silent heroes. Since GRS’s inception 14 years ago, the organization continues to work passionately to accommodate couples looking to conceive with personable care, technology and cost-effective services.
GRS’s website IVF.com is full of helpful video demonstrations, newsletters, fact sheets, patient testimonials and statistical charts highlighting their success and cutting edge patient care. Sometimes even straight couples can’t conceive and it’s estimated that six-plus million people suffer from infertility. GRS’s staff works to ensure family building is a top priority. Their diverse team of doctors and nurses use their exceptional expertise and extensive research backgrounds to build awareness and educate their clientele on various health-related issues and reproductive disorders hindering them from adding on to their families.
The medical specialists will successfully determine the cause of infertility in each patient. The doctors research both the males’ and females’ medical histories. They perform fertility evaluations before determining proper treatment plans. Then the medical specialists counsel their patients on issues such as poly-cystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), miscarriages and poor sperm quality. Each procedure selected honors the particular needs and concerns of the patient or couple. In turn, the objective is to always honor the desired outcome each patient anticipates.
Any guests that enter GRS for assistance can expect a top quality, supportive environment. The lab specialists offer state-of-the-art diagnostic testing and technologies used in vitro fertilization as well as hormone and sperm analyses. Each doctor and nurse works in the best interest of one’s body type, religious and spiritual affiliation, cultural ethics, values and socioeconomic status. The doctors and nurses devise plans of action in response to the patient’s medical situation. More importantly, each patient is regarded as a partner or major collaborator throughout the entire process.
As part of GRS’ community outreach a specialist hosts a seminar on fertility options every second Wednesday of each month. The seminars are free sessions held after business hours from 7:00-8:30 p.m. Those who attend may get a tour of the facility, experience a formal presentation and participate in a Q&A session. Even patients who have no medical benefits are encouraged to meet with one of the physicians for consultation.
Gay male couples and single men will always have the need for donor eggs, known or unknown, and a gestational carrier or traditional surrogate. A gestational carrier has no genetic tie with the child she is carrying; donor eggs were used and IVF was performed. While rare, a traditional surrogate contributes her own eggs to be fertilized with the sperm and will share a genetic link to the child.
For women who have poor egg quality, non-functioning ovaries or are affected by genetics, GRS will help in matching a donor through their egg donation program. The egg donation process involves a donor selected by the recipient or recipient couple, either known or anonymous, who will go through ovulation induction to produce multiple eggs. The eggs are retrieved from the donor, fertilized with the sperm and the embryos are then transferred to the recipient. Each donor is screened and matched based on the recipient’s qualifications.
Despite Georgia’s ongoing battle with intolerance of the LGBT community, GRS has proven to be an ally and safe space. LGBT couples and prospective parents can go there with no judgment and they can be assured that they will be treated with respect. GRS has also been a longtime supporter of Atlanta Pride and the LGBT community. They take great pride in nurturing ongoing relationships with all of their clients and patients. The staff personally and collectively stays in contact with the families they assist.
For those individuals looking to be part of a family-oriented practice while taking a step in the right direction to create solid families, look no further—GRS lays a strong foundation to ensure this success. Even though marriage equality is still illegal in Georgia, GRS works tirelessly to honor and recognize family beyond conventional husband-and-wife unions.