lgbt familyBringing a child into the world as a lesbian parent is very exciting, but it can also involve physical and emotional challenges to overcome.

From the early planning stages right through to conception, specialised fertility counselling can give you the support you need.

Dr Jodie Housman, Clinical Psychologist from rainbow Fertility, said a mandatory part of all donor and surrogacy treatment includes counselling. Counselling provides the opportunity to discuss things on a more personal level and for key issues to be addressed to maximise the opportunities for recipients of donations and their potential children.

“Fertility treatment can have an impact on work, family, relationships, social life and self-esteem. Lesbians also have to consider the choice of a sperm donor and the roles and responsibilities each partner will have,” Dr Housman said.

Counselling provides the opportunity to take into account the emotional responsibilities of all parties involved.  It also enables patients to raise issues that are more private, such as individual concerns, relationship difficulties, or current life situations that may affect their experience of treatment. If you already have children, they may also be invited to attend.

Dr Housman said every fertility journey is different.

“How you cope with your experience very much depends on your situation and personality, and counselling prior to and during your pregnancy can help.”

Dr Housman said even when everything goes smoothly, it’s helpful to have a support network around you as you try to conceive. While friends and family can be invaluable, having your own specialist fertility counsellor will make it easier to discuss your experiences in more detail.

Here are the top topics discussed at an initial counselling session before starting fertility treatment.

  • Roles and responsibilities
  • Personal considerations including religious, ethical, moral and relationship matters
  • Choice of sperm donor and implications
  • Legislation relating to same-sex parenting
  • The emotional and physical impact of fertility treatment
  • Addressing societal stereotypes
  • Understanding the process and managing expectations
  • Potential child or children’s rights and welfare.

Rainbow Fertility considers its patients’ emotional well-being to be just as important as their physical well-being and will be there for ongoing support throughout the fertility journey. The welfare of the potential children is also paramount at every step of the assisted reproductive technology process, hence the important focus on this during the counselling phase.

Counselling is a mandatory requirement based on the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Ethical Guidelines.


For more information about the steps to becoming a parent go to or call Rainbow Fertility’s advice centre for a confidential chat on 1300 222 623.


Rainbow Fertility has a responsibility to provide Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) based on relevant state or federal laws and guidelines.  All individuals/couples are encouraged to obtain their own legal advice regarding the relevant legislation applying to their circumstances.