People in the LGBTQ community have more options for building a family than ever before. In the past, many LGBTQ-identifying people came out later in life, and as such, their children were conceived through previous heterosexual relationships. These days, however, many same-sex couples are turning to other means of family building, including adoption, surrogacy, and fertility treatments like IVF.
Today we’re going to talk about some of these options, and the pros and cons of each one. Ultimately, however, it is up to you to decide how you would like to bring children into your family life.
Adoption is not the choice to go with if it is important to you and your partner that your child be biologically related to you, but if that isn’t a dealbreaker, LGBTQ adoption is a great option.
The kind of adoption that you choose is up to you, but one of them is private adoption through an agency or independent attorney, typically used by families wishing to adopt a newborn. If you go this route, keep in mind that it can be a long, expensive process, and it might be years before you are able to bring your new child home.
Similarly, international adoption can be a great way to expand an LGBTQ couple’s family, but just as with private domestic adoption, the process can be long and expensive. With international adoption, especially, you have to meet the adoption requirements of both countries, as well as secure citizenship for your child in your home country, which can add to the wait time.
Foster to Adopt
If you’re not particular about wanting a newborn, parenting and eventually adopting a foster child is a wonderful way to expand your family while also helping out a child in need. In the US alone, there are over 400,000 children in the foster care system, waiting for someone to adopt them.
It is an unfortunate truth that older children and teenagers have a much harder time getting adopted because so many of the people who look to adopt want to have a newborn. However, by being open to fostering an older child, you may be able to adopt much faster than you would going through a private agency.
The government also typically provides monetary support to parents who adopt through the foster system, and you will probably have little to no associated fees.
Fertility Treatments and Surrogacy
In LGBTQ relationships where one of the partners has the ability to conceive and carry a child, you might turn to fertility treatments like IVF. This involves taking donated sperm and eggs and implanting them into a person’s uterus in the hopes that pregnancy will occur.
Many people who go this route will use the egg or sperm from one partner and the egg or sperm from a relative of the other partner. That way, both of you will have a biological connection to the child.
In other cases, such as that of a gay marriage, where neither partner is capable of carrying a child, you may opt for surrogacy. This is essentially the same process as the fertility treatments, except that you will have to find a woman who is willing and able to carry the child for you.
A lot of people will turn to close family members or friends to play this role, but there are also resources out there for finding a surrogate mother if none of the people you know are willing to help.
These are some of the main options available to the LGBTQ community when it comes to family building. Do a little research to determine which is the best choice for you.