Eligible participants will be males who have past or current experience using third party reproduction via ART in Canada. This means using services such as egg donation, in-vitro fertilization and/or surrogacy. They must have pursued ART as a single man or as an individual in a same-sex partnership. Exclusion criteria include males who have pursued or are pursing ART in a heterosexual relationship.
Increasingly in Canada, same-sex male couples (SSMC) and single men (SM) are using assisted reproductive technologies (ART) such as egg donation, in-vitro fertilization and surrogacy, in order to have children. For men in particular, there are significant considerations involved when undergoing the process of third-party reproduction via ART. For example, intended parent(s) must decide upon who will be the egg donor and surrogate, choose which partner will have a genetic link to the child if in a relationship, choose when and where to receive ART, decide upon a healthcare provider and legal advisers, as well as reconcile how personal lives and social networks might change upon having a child(ren). These considerations are in addition to the substantial amount of time, effort, and financial resources required when using ART. Despite an increase in the use of reproductive care by this specific demographic, the research on men’s experience of accessing ART in Canada is lacking. Reproductive healthcare services have yet to optimize the clinical care model for SSMC and SM wanting to start their families. Therefore, it is paramount that research is done to understand the experience of men accessing reproductive care in a Canadian context. Through this study, I hope to explore the psycho-social aspects related to same-sex male couples and single men who are currently using, or have previously used, ART in Canada to have children. The objectives of the study include: (1) to understand how men perceive the experience of using ART, and determine what proportion of men have a positive experience; (2) to determine what factors influence the overall experience of men using ART; and (3) to understand what influences decisions made throughout the ART process. The research plan for this study is to conduct an anonymous, online survey, in order to assess men’s experiences of using ART in Canada.
How will this research help LGBT people and communities?
Although the use of ART by men is increasing in popularity, there are still many men who are unaware of their options for family building. The findings of this study have the opportunity to educate people and create public knowledge regarding reproductive options available to SSMC and SM who may have dreams of starting a family. Such research would also help to reduce social stigma associated with men raising children, through showing the time and consideration that men put into starting their families. Canada is a country that allows for altruistic gamete donation and surrogacy and provides reproductive care to SSMC and SM without discrimination. However, of the research that does exist on this topic, the majority of it arises from Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States. As Canada is a leader in LGBTQ+ rights, it is very important that research is done specifically on the experience of men using ART in Canada. Through understanding how men experience using ART, future directions of this research may lead to the optimization of the clinical care model for SSMC and SM.
Participants have the opportunity to enter into a draw to win an iPad upon completion of the survey.
What mitigation measures are in place to reduce potential distress caused to participants as a result of being part of the research study?
When do you anticipate that this study's findings will be available?
Name: Shilini Hemalal
Dr. Clifford Librach
CReATe Fertility Centre