LGBTQ Fertility Support Group
Still trying is an informal support group for lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, and queer, people who are in the process of trying to conceive. We welcome single people, people who are co-parenting, couples, and other family configurations. Participants in this group may or may not fit medical definitions of infertility. We support all LGBTQ people in their fertility journeys, no matter how long, how short or complex.
As of January 2016, this group is not currently meeting.
People come to the group for lots of reasons. You may feel very isolated in your process of trying to get pregnant. You may have information you want to share with other people, or you may want to get information from others. You may just not want to be alone.
LGBTQ people who are being treated in a clinic often feel like they don’t quite fit – we’re not always infertile, but the clinic’s procedures are set up as if we are. There often isn’t a clear line between fertility and infertility. A typical infertility group may not be the right fit for you, but you may still want fertility support.
LGBTQ people may also be infertile – in which case, it can be very difficult to see other LGBTQ people around you getting pregnant easily and quickly. You may also find that your concerns around your fertility or infertility are being dismissed. At the same time, you might not get the support you need from a straight-focused infertility support group.
LGBTQ people may experience fertility challenges in a specific ways, and our support needs may be different. It’s not uncommon for people to want support around fertility when they are only a few months or weeks into the process of conceiving. For some, though the process of conceiving may not take very long, it may be very difficult.
There are other fertility support groups, but they may not meet all the needs of any specific LGBTQ person. Conversations around donors and surrogacy, and the experience of being in a clinic, can be very different in straight infertility groups.
For people who aren’t infertile, an infertility group may not be the right space.
This group is focused on the needs of LGBTQ people – no matter how long you have been trying, what interventions you have or have not tried, or how you are trying.
The people in the group shift over time, and who is there each time varies based on what is going on medically or personally for people, as well as the weather, and whatever else. Generally, we have between 4 and 10 participants at most meetings. We have a range of LGBTQ identities, and the group is open to any LGBTQ identified person and their partners, co-parents, donors, gestational carrier or surrogate.
Some people come alone, some come with partners, co-parents, donors, or gestational carrier or surrogate. Most people are trying to get pregnant, whether themselves, their partner, a co-parent, or through surrogacy, while others may be on a break from trying to conceive.
The group is a confidential space. We understand that not everyone is out about being LGBTQ and we understand that not everyone is out about trying to conceive. We ask all participants to respect the confidentiality and safety of the group.
It has happened that people have run into others they know. Sometimes that’s a good thing – sometimes not – but don’t let that keep you away.
No, it’s not. It’s a peer support group. There is no pressure to participate or share more than you want to share with others.
Yes – we have a list of LGBTQ+ therapists and other mental health professionals in our service provider directory.
You could also come to the group and ask around to find out which therapists others are seeing.
The group was originally started by Annemarie Shrouder as a community initiative. Andy Inkster, our Health Promoter is the staff person at the LGBTQ Parenting Network who is now responsible for the group. Dahlia facilitates the group.
Andy handles most of the promotion, publicity, and communications for the group. Dahlia facilitates the individual meetings.
Hear more about this group
In this 30 minute audio clip, Dahlia sits down with Annemarie Shrouder, who started the group, to chat about what the group is like, some of the issues that come up, and Dahlia’s role as a facilitator.
Facilitator Dahlia Riback came to the group because she felt strongly that LGBTQ people have specific experiences of fertility and infertility. Dahlia’s own fertility journey started in 2005. She worked with 3 fertility clinics in Toronto and went through 10 IUI and 3 IVF cycles using her own eggs and anonymous donor sperm. Her final and successful attempt was in 2010 when she and her partner did an anonymous donor egg and donor sperm IVF cycle which resulted in a pregnancy. Their daughter was born in June 2012. Dahlia has been facilitating the group since the fall of 2012.
Listen to Dahlia’s Story
In this 30 minute audio clip, Dahlia sits down with Annemarie Shrouder talk about her fertility journey that included IVF and ultimately egg and sperm donation.
Sherbourne Health Centre
333 Sherbourne St.
Sherbourne Health Centre is an accessible, scent-free location.
Check for signs or ask at the information desk for the group’s location.
The group typically meets in room 2008.
Sherbourne Health Centre is a scent-free, fully accessible location.
If you need tokens for transportation, please ask the group facilitator.
(416) 324-4100 ext. 5276