open menu
Review Us

The Emotional & Financial Challenges of IVF for Same-Sex Couples and Single People in Canada

IVF for same sex couples

For many people in Canada, same-sex couples and single individuals, the reality of fertility treatments have become a very real part of their lives. It can be incredibly daunting to explore options for fertility when faced with either no partner or a gender that is considered non-traditional for reproduction.

For those embarking on this journey, navigating the emotional and financial components of IVF (in vitro fertilization) can be an overwhelming experience, especially if you go it alone without support from family or friends. Here, we will discuss some of the resources that are available to help those facing these complex issues regarding infertility.

The Legal and Social Landscape

The legalities of IVF for single people and IVF for same-sex couples in Toronto are governed by the Assisted Human Reproduction Act (AHR Act) of Canada. This act protects the rights of anyone using assisted reproductive treatments and therapies by defending the right to not be discriminated against, protecting the right of the child born, requiring donor consent, and preventing commercial abuse of reproductive capabilities.

The province of Ontario also protects the rights of all families, regardless of family dynamics, with the All Families Are Equal Act. This legislation was introduced in 2017 to promote inclusion and equality of parent-child relationships of all parents, including those of the 2SLGBTQIA+ community.

It should be noted that within the All Families Are Equal Act, there is a section regulating the legalities and responsibilities of a same-sex couple when using such technology. To facilitate a clear understanding of the labelling of parents, the Act dropped references to “mothers, fathers, natural parents, and blood relations”. This eliminates the need for same-sex couples to apply for legal recognition of being a parent to the child that is only biologically related to their partner.

Finding a Sperm and Egg Donors

Similar to male/female couples searching for a sperm and/or egg donor, the journey can be just as emotional and costly for single people and same-sex couples. Legal aspects under the AHR Act must be adhered to in protecting donors’ rights.

Same-sex biologically male couples and single men must choose a surrogate and an egg donor, whether it be from a donor bank, a close friend, or a family member. Same-sex biologically female couples and single women may only need donor sperm to undergo IVF treatment. However, in many cases an egg donor or surrogate may also be needed if the woman’s eggs are not viable.

Finding the right sperm and/or egg donor can be overwhelming as it is a critical point of the journey for both same-sex couples and single persons. Some of the steps involved in seeking an egg or sperm donor includes a medical screening, timeline for a match, and obtaining legal consent to use egg and/or sperm.

Societal Barriers for Same-Sex Couples and Single Individuals

Over the past 20 years, IVF treatment has become more acceptable with more and more couples and single individuals undergoing the treatment in hopes of having the family they’ve always dreamed of. Unfortunately, the stigma of using IVF remains present for same-sex couples in many parts of Canada.

It is important to remember that IVF treatment can be an emotional rollercoaster for any participant, regardless of their identity. This type of therapy can be long and may not always be successful on the first, second, or third try. The physical components of the treatment can also cause significant emotions over time.

The Cost of IVF in Canada for Same Sex-Couples and Single People

The emotional effects of IVF treatment can be heightened with the costs of the therapy depending on where treatment is sought in Canada. There is no national health or insurance plan to cover the cost of IVF. In fact, there are only four provinces that offer financial assistance for a portion of the treatment.

Under the Ontario fertility funding program for IVF, one full IVF cycle is covered. This includes up to two attempts at cycle monitoring, embryo freezing/thawing/culture, one attempt at surgical sperm retrieval, and a one-at-a-time fresh/frozen embryo transfer. That said, the funding does NOT cover the purchase of donor sperm/eggs, storage/shipment of eggs/sperm/embryos, or services performed on other participants in the patient’s funded IVF cycle.

The funding is only available once during the lifetime of the individual. This means that if a woman is a surrogate or has the treatment for herself, she is no longer able to access the program for a second IVF treatment.

Other funding options may be found through private grants through the Fertile Future or the Generations of Hope Fertility Assistance Fund. Some private insurance plans may offer a partial reimbursement or coverage for IVF treatment or a person may want to set up a crowdfunding online source. IVF expenses can be claimed under the Medical Expense Tax Credit section of one’s income tax.

How to Find a Clinic That Offers IVF for Same-Sex Couples and Single People

To receive a comprehensive IVF treatment, same-sex couples and single individuals may want to seek therapy at a fertility clinic that specializes in treatment for same-sex couples and single individuals. The inclusive clinic should provide customized plans and counselling to address the emotional impacts of IVF.

By researching and finding the right fertility clinic, same-sex couples and single people will have the support and compassion needed to face any potential issues with IVF failure and grief.

ONE Fertility Clinic Provides IVF Services for Same-Sex Couples and Single People

At ONE Fertility Kitchener Waterloo, we are a team of certified and licensed professionals with experience in the intricate planning of IVF treatment for same-sex couples and single people. With specialized fertility care and counselling, we provide compassionate medical care based on scientific research and results.

If you are seeking IVF treatment based on your induvial needs, contact us today for a consultation appointment with one of our fertility specialists.


4271 King St East, Suite 200
Kitchener, ON
N2P 2X7

Working Hours

Monday-Friday: 7am-3pm
Saturday-Sunday: 8am-12pm

Contact Us

Phone: 519.650.0011
Fax: 519.650.0033