Third Party Reproduction

Third Party Reproduction Services

The journey to parenthood is different for everyone; sometimes, parents-to-be need a helping hand to start their family. Scientific advancements in fertility — like third-party reproduction — may be needed to make your parenthood dreams a reality.

So, what does third-party reproduction mean? The most common methods include egg donation, sperm donation, and/or gestational surrogacy. At Ontario Fertility Network, we help you understand your options and navigate your fertility journey alongside our third-party reproduction partners.

Fertility Paths to Grow Your Family

Choosing Egg Donation

There are many reasons why intended parents might choose to use a donor egg to start their family. An egg donor may be suitable for the following:

  • Male same-sex couples
  • Single males
  • Females who cannot use their own eggs

If egg donation is the right fertility path for you, we can help. Your OFN nurse will answer your questions and arrange a meeting between you and our third-party coordinator. The third-party coordinator will review your options, help you find your ideal egg donor, coordinate all logistics, and guide you throughout the journey. Book an appointment today to learn more.

Choosing Sperm Donation

There are a variety of reasons why couples and individuals choose to use sperm donors when starting a family. A sperm donor may be suitable for the following:

  • Single women
  • Same-sex female couples
  • Men who have a low sperm count or issues with sperm health, production, or ejaculation
  • Men with a history of genetic disease

Third-party reproduction utilizing a sperm donor allows for a selection of a donor who meets the desired criteria. Our third-party coordinator will review your options and help you determine a fertility plan that suits your needs.

Choosing Gestational Surrogacy

Having a surrogate carry your baby to term may be an option to help you grow your family. A gestational surrogate may be suitable for the following:

  • Same-sex couples
  • Single men
  • Women who are physically unable to carry to term due to uterine anomalies, a hysterectomy, radiation treatment for cancer near the pelvis or uterus, etc.

If you think that surrogacy may be the right option for your family, our third-party reproduction coordinator can help you facilitate the process. Contact us today for more information.

Egg Donor FAQs

Does an egg donor have legal rights to the baby?

Other than DNA, the egg donor does not have any legal rights to the baby. Egg donation is usually done anonymously unless an intended parent wants to work with a donor they know. In all cases, legal contracts are developed and signed in advance to ensure the arrangement is suitable for all parties involved.

How are egg donors screened?

Egg donors must pass a thorough medical and psychological screening process before they are approved to be a donor. Each donor’s medical history is also examined to determine if there are potential genetic health issues that could be passed onto the baby. Those with health issues or a history of genetic diseases will not be chosen for egg donation. After a donor passes the screening process, the intended parent(s) and the donor(s) will then meet with independent reproduction lawyers to review their legal rights.

What does the process of donating eggs entail?

The egg donor will go through the IVF egg retrieval process similar to that of an intended mother who is having her eggs retrieved for fertilization or freezing. Birth control may be administered two weeks prior, followed by ovarian stimulation medication to grow eggs for retrieval. When the eggs are mature , an outpatient procedure with conscious sedation is conducted to retrieve the eggs. Once harvested, the eggs are fertilized by the sperm to create embryos. An embryo is transferred to the mother or surrogate and remaining embryos are stored.

Sperm Donor FAQs

How is the donor sperm utilized?

Sperm from the donor is used to fertilize the egg through the following methods:

  • IVF treatment: where the sperm and egg are fertilized to create an embryo, which is then transferred into the uterus
  • IUI treatment: where the sperm is inserted directly into the uterus to fertilize the egg

Your OFN medical team will review the process in detail and answer any questions you may have.

Does the sperm donor have legal rights to the baby?

Typically, sperm donation is anonymous and the donor has no legal rights to the child. In some rare situations, people may choose to use sperm from someone they know. In all cases, legal measures are determined in advance for all parties involved.

Are there any health risks involved?

There are minimal to no health risks involved in using donor sperm. To ensure that sperm is healthy and free of infectious diseases, it is quarantined for at least 6 months after donation to allow for extensive testing and screening.

Gestational Surrogacy FAQs

How does gestational surrogacy work?

Typically, an egg from the intended mother (or egg donor) is fertilized by the sperm of the intended father (or sperm donor) to create an embryo. The embryo develops to a stage that is optimal for implantation (typically 3-5 days), then the embryo is transferred to the surrogate’s uterus to carry the baby to term.

Does the DNA of the surrogate transfer to the baby?

The DNA results from the egg and sperm used to create the embryo. If the surrogate was not the donor of the egg then there is no DNA transferred to the baby from the surrogate.

Do the surrogate and baby become attached?

Expectations are clearly outlined and agreed upon before the process begins, and ongoing emotional/mental health support is provided for both the surrogate and intended parents throughout the pregnancy. This helps to ensure a comfortable and positive experience for all parties.

Does the surrogate have legal rights to the baby?

No, surrogates do not have legal parenting rights unless it is agreed upon by the intended parents prior to beginning the surrogacy journey. The parents are the sole custodians of the baby.

Growing Your Family with OFN

At Ontario Fertility Network, we are here to help you achieve your dreams of becoming a parent (either the first time or again). Contact us today to get started.


“When my wife and I decided that we wanted to expand our family, finding a fertility clinic was not something that we took lightly. It meant hours of research and phone calls. When we finally found Lakeridge Fertility we knew that this was the place we wanted to start our fertility journey. The referral process was quick, the environment was welcoming and their bedside manner is exceptional.

Being a same sex couple, we were looking for a clinic that would feel inclusive and Lakeridge Fertility not only did that, they made us feel like family. The relationships my wife and I have created since becoming patient’s there are some that we won’t soon forget. We are now 28 weeks pregnant and we can’t thank everyone enough. You have made our dreams come true.”

Amber and Tracey Thompson