In this day and age, families are formed in many different ways. Whether you are gay, straight, single, or one half of a couple, you are able to have a child. True, you need both a male and a female, for both sperm and an egg. However, it doesn’t matter if you are in a relationship that doesn’t have both. Luckily, there are quite a few ways a lesbian couple can have a child. The paths from conception to delivery can vary, and so do the costs. From conceiving at home, to conceiving with a doctor, it’s important to see each method and the associated costs to help in your decision as to how you wish to proceed.

The most important decision that needs to be made up front is deciding which partner will be carrying the pregnancy. If there is a known fertility problem with one partner, the costs are likely to go up as specialists will likely have to medically help to obtain a pregnancy using drugs along with medical procedures. Once pregnant, insurance can be the difference between paying hundreds and paying thousands, just for the pregnancy and delivery itself. The average cost for prenatal care and delivery can be around $10,000 without insurance to pay a bulk of it. That is assuming it is an uncomplicated single baby pregnancy.

A few options for conceiving a child include home inseminations, IUIs, or even IVF. When doing home inseminations, many will choose to have vials sent from a sperm bank. You can also choose to use a known donor, a friend, but will need a contract in place if you go this route. You will need a lawyer no matter what since you need a pre-birth order, but will definitely need one to protect you from any possible future custody issues with a known donor. This will cost anywhere from a couple thousand to quite a few thousand so shop around and find someone knowledgeable, not just someone with the lowest price. With a sperm bank, you are able to pick your donor, have the vial shipped to your house, and inseminate at home during ovulation. There is usually a fee for the tank you will need that is around $500-$700 and is refundable. Average cost for using a sperm bank is around $500-$1,000 per cycle, and includes the sperm vials and shipping. In order to time your ovulation for artificial insemination, you will also need ovulation tests to pinpoint the best days. You can get around 100 of these tests on various sites for about $30.

You may want to try intrauterine insemination if you are uncomfortable with the home process or wish to increase the chances of becoming pregnant. The cost is around $500 a cycle, not including the sperm itself, but can go up to $2,000. In this method, the sperm is placed directly into the uterus, thereby increasing the chances of conception. This procedure is much cheaper than IVF. You only want to do IVF if you are going to use one partner’s egg and put it into the carrying partner. You can also choose IVF if there are extensive fertility problems or you are using a donor egg. IVF costs vary greatly, but can generally be around $15,000, and more like $30,000 if using a donor egg.

Having a child may take some research, time, and money. It may not always happen quickly so be patient but diligent. By being informed, I hope you choose the path that suits you best and may you have much success in your journey!