Trans People's Experiences with Assisted Reproduction Services: A Qualitative Study

Human Reproduction, Vol. 30(6), Pp. 1-10, April 2015

Posted: 27 Jun 2016

See all articles by Sarah James-Abra

Sarah James-Abra

Lakeridge Health - Oshawa - Child, Youth & Family Program

Lesley Tarasoff

Interdisciplinary Centre for Health & Society, University of Toronto Scarborough; Centre for Addiction and Mental Health

Datejie Cheko Green

Western University

Rachel Epstein

LGBTQ Parenting Network

Scott Anderson

University of Toronto - Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH)

Stu Marvel

Emory University School of Law; University of Leeds - School of Law

Leah Steele

University of Toronto - Saint Michael's Hospital

Lori Ross

University of Toronto - Faculty of Medicine

Date Written: March 23, 2014

Abstract

Study question: What are the experiences of trans persons (i.e. those whose gender identity does not match the gender assigned to them at birth) who sought or accessed assisted reproduction (AR) services in Ontario, Canada, between 2007 and 2010?

Summary answer: The majority of trans persons report negative experiences with AR service providers.

What is known already: Apart from research examining desire to have children among trans people, most of the literature on this topic has debated the ethics of assisting trans persons to become parents. To-date, all of the published research concerning trans persons’ experiences with AR services is solely from the perspective of service providers; no studies have examined the experiences of trans people themselves.

Study design, size, duration: Secondary qualitative research study of data from nine trans-identified people and their partners (total n = 11) collected as part of a community-based study of access to AR services for sexual and gender minority people between 2010 and 2012.

Participants/materials, setting, methods: Trans-identified volunteers (and their partners, when applicable) who had used or attempted to access AR services since 2007 from across Ontario, Canada, participated in a 60–90 minute, semi-structured qualitative interview. Qualitative analysis was performed using a descriptive phenomenological approach. Emerging themes were continually checked against the data as part of an iterative process.

Main results and the role of chance: The data highlight barriers to accessing AR services for trans people. Participant recommendations for improving AR service provision to better meet the needs of this population are presented. These recommendations address the following areas: (i) AR service provider education and training; (ii) service provider and clinic practices and (iii) clinic environment.

Limitations, reasons for caution: The majority of study participants were trans people who identified as men and who resided in major urban areas; those living in smaller communities may have different experiences that were not adequately captured in this analysis.

Wider implications of the findings: While existing literature debates the ethics of assisting trans people to become parents through the use of AR, our study demonstrates that they are already accessing or attempting to access these services. This reality necessitates a shift toward exploring the ways in which AR services can be improved to better meet the needs of this population, from the perspectives of both service users and service providers.

Keywords: Assisted Reproductive Technology, LGBTQ, Assisted Human Reproduction, Transgender, Service Provision

Suggested Citation

James-Abra, Sarah and Tarasoff, Lesley and Green, Datejie Cheko and Epstein, Rachel and Anderson, Scott and Marvel, Stu and Steele, Leah and Ross, Lori, Trans People's Experiences with Assisted Reproduction Services: A Qualitative Study (March 23, 2014). Human Reproduction, Vol. 30(6), Pp. 1-10, April 2015. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2800540

Sarah James-Abra (Contact Author)

Lakeridge Health - Oshawa - Child, Youth & Family Program ( email )

Oshawa, L1G 2B9
Canada

Lesley Tarasoff

Interdisciplinary Centre for Health & Society, University of Toronto Scarborough ( email )

1265 Military Trail
Toronto, Ontario M1C 1A4
Canada

HOME PAGE: http://www.latarasoff.com

Centre for Addiction and Mental Health ( email )

1001 Queen Street West
Toronto, Ontario M6J 1H1
Canada

Datejie Cheko Green

Western University ( email )

1151 Richmond St
London, Ontario N6A 3K7
Canada

Rachel Epstein

LGBTQ Parenting Network ( email )

333 Sherbourne St
Toronto, M5A 2S5
Canada

Scott Anderson

University of Toronto - Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) ( email )

1001 Queen Street West
Toronto, Ontario M6J 1H4
Canada

Stu Marvel

Emory University School of Law ( email )

1301 Clifton Road
Atlanta, GA 30322
United States

University of Leeds - School of Law ( email )

Leeds LS2 9JT
United Kingdom

Leah Steele

University of Toronto - Saint Michael's Hospital ( email )

30 Bond Street
30 Bond Street
Toronto, Ontario M5B 1W8
Canada

Lori Ross

University of Toronto - Faculty of Medicine ( email )

Toronto, Ontario M5S 3G8
Canada

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