What is Third Party Parenting?

Love is Love

By now you may have heard the term “third party parenting” on your IVF journey and wondering what it means. When one or both partners face the inability to have a genetically related child there are several “third party” options for building your family.

Third Party Parenting or Third-Party Reproduction refers to the use of eggs, sperm, embryos, or a uterus that are donated from a third person for the use of an individual or couple to become parents. Third party parenting can also include a surrogate or gestational carrier who will carry and deliver the baby for the intended parents.

For same sex couples, those who want to parent without a partner, women and men who are unable to use their own eggs or sperm, and certain genetic conditions may also necessitate using a third-party parenting program.


Egg Donation

Donor eggs are usually needed when woman’s eggs will not fertilize and develop properly due to age, genetic abnormalities, damage from treatments such as cancer therapy, premature menopause or unexplained infertility.

With egg donation, the father contributes genetically, and the recipient mother carries the baby. Donor egg in vitro fertilization (IVF) is often required by women in their mid to late 30s and those in their 40s. Unfortunately, there is a direct correlation between increasing female age and declining fertility. Donor eggs taken from a woman in her 20s are much more likely to result in pregnancy than a cycle without donor eggs in a 42-year-old woman.


Donor Sperm

Sperm donation is often considered when the intended male partner is experiencing male factor medical issues that are impacting his ability to conceive. This would include cases of no sperm, low sperm count, abnormal sperm, or poor motility, oligospermia, azoospermia, and genetic conditions that they may not want passed down to their future children. There are sperm donor matching programs and frozen sperm banks with a diverse selection that you can choose from or you can be matched with a specific sperm donor through a sperm donor agency.



Surrogacy is emerging as a popular option for helping people with fertility issues start or grow their families.

A surrogate is a woman who carries and delivers a baby for an infertile couple, and can be a friend, family member or volunteer. All surrogates undergo extensive physical and psychological screening to insure their suitability.

There are many important decisions to make prior to choosing a surrogate. You need to understand — and be prepared for — the costs involved for the whole process. You and your partner must also decide whether to use your own egg and sperm, or if you need a donor.

Choosing a surrogate can be a difficult decision, so many parents-to-be decide to use an agency to simplify the process. Agencies can connect you with potential surrogates and provide extensive screening on your behalf. You will want to find a recommended agency in your country and work closely with them through the process of expanding your family.


Embryo Donation or Adoption

When a couple or individual undergoes in-vitro fertilization treatment for infertility, they are able to cryopreserve any embryos not transferred during that cycle for use in a subsequent cycle. And while the majority of these frozen embryos are intended for use by the couples who created them in IVF treatment cycles, thousands are potentially available for embryo donation to other infertile patients. Couples struggling to build a family can consider embryo donation as a viable option.

Embryo donation offers hope to couples who have had multiple failed IVF cycles, same sex couples, women of advanced maternal age, medical issues that impact a women’s eggs or the man’s sperm, and couples who may both have genetic conditions that they do not want to pass on to their future child. This option also allows the intended parent(s) to carry their own pregnancy, which is something that may be important to the patient.


LGBTQ Family Building

We understand that single, gay, lesbian, and transgender patients often endure social challenges in association with their pursuit of having a child. While there are many excellent RE’s and IVF clinics to help you on your path to parenthood, you will want to find a clinic where the entire staff is dedicated to helping you achieve your family building goals.


Why Choose EDI for Third Party Parenting Services

Since 1989, Egg Donation, Inc’s Los Angeles agency has been in the forefront of developing and expanding egg donation. We have one of the largest and most successful Third Party Parenting Program’s in the United States.

Over the past several years, EDI’s Third Party Parenting Program has continued to expand at a rapid pace. Our services are currently being used by clients from all across the globe.

EDI is extremely focused on comprehensive services to all our clients participating in our Third Party Program. This includes the screening of all egg donors along with their sexual partners, as well as the genetic parents and/or recipient couples.