A US-based fertility clinic has launched what it says is the world’s first fertility programme specifically dedicated to gay male couples.

The Fertility Institutes, which has branches in Los Angeles, Las Vegas and Mexico, says that it created the programme to meet growing demand from gay male couples in the United States – and around the world – who would like to raise their own biological children.

The centre says that it offers a complete range of services tailored to suite male couples – at a cost of around R400 000 – including fertility specialists, egg donors to provide donated eggs, surrogates to carry the pregnancy, and attorneys to prepare the necessary and critical paperwork.

On its website, the company writes that, “The technology and methodology for assisting gay males to become biological parents has made great strides in the past decade …gay parenthood has become an achievable and affordable option for most men interested in beginning or expanding a family.”

According to Reuters, the centre has treated around 70 gay male couples from around the world, including some from South Africa. Couples can also choose the gender of their child at The Fertility Institutes at an extra cost.

Approximately 40 to 50 percent of the company’s surrogates are willing to carry a pregnancy for gay males.

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