Are you an LGBT individual wondering what your gay parenting options are? If so, you’ve come to the right place.
The baby options for gay couples and individuals today are far more available than ever before, thanks to recent rulings that have protected LGBT individuals’ rights to marriage and adoption. You always have the right to choose which family-building process is right for you and, whatever you choose, your professional will be there to help you every step of the way.
But, how do you know which parenting options for gay couples to consider — and which one is perfect for you?
Before making any decision on adoption vs. surrogacy for gay couples, LGBT individuals should talk to the appropriate medical and adoption professionals to determine which options will work best in their situation. In this article, we’ve provided a basic understanding of what the baby options for gay couples are today to help you better decide what may be best for you.
It’s important to note that, as a member of the LGBTQ community, you have many of the same family-building options as any other hopeful parent. You are not defined by your sexual orientation or gender identity, and the processes will be largely the same for you as for any other family.
If our frequent use of terms like “gay parenting” or “gay surrogacy” seems odd or unnecessary, it may be helpful to read this article for more information about these language choices.
If a genetic relationship isn’t as important to you when it comes to your gay parenting options, you might want to consider adoption. There are many wonderful children around the country and the world waiting for a loving, supportive home, and there are plenty of LGBT-friendly agencies who are happy to match you with the perfect child for your family.
There are many different processes through which you can bring an adopted child into your family. If you already have a relationship with a child, you may consider a stepparent, second-parent or relative adoption. If you’re looking to add a child you don’t know to your family, here are a couple adoption paths to consider:
Foster Care Adoption
There are thousands of children who are eligible for adoption through state foster care systems, and foster care adoption gives you the chance to bring them into your family. In many cases, these children are older and may already have experienced trauma in their childhood. There are many multiracial and LGBT children in the foster care system, and you will have the chance to decide what kind of children you’re comfortable adopting to find the perfect adoption situation for your family.
You’ll need to work with your state foster care system or a foster care agency to adopt one of these children. While there is a great deal of training and preparation to go through, the waiting period for this kind of adoption is much shorter than others, and the expenses are often more affordable, as well.
Private Domestic Infant Adoption
If you would like to adopt an infant, you’ll likely need to pursue the private domestic infant adoption process. When women find themselves unexpectedly pregnant, some choose to place their child for adoption, and a great deal of these women are comfortable with — and even specifically search out — an LGBT couple to adopt their baby.
Like with foster care adoption, there are many adoption agencies out there who embrace LGBT individuals looking to adopt. You can contact them to find out more about their individual requirements, costs to adopt and what the process may look like for you.
Are you interested in adopting a child from another country? Because international adoption itself is becoming a stricter process, and some countries may not recognize gay marriage, an international adoption as a gay couple may be more difficult than other paths — but is still an option for you.
It’s important you talk with an international adoption agency to learn more about the potential for a longer wait time, more expensive costs and problematic political situations before committing to this process. Be aware that you will likely have to adopt a child who is older or has special needs if you’re looking into international adoption.
Assisted Reproductive Technology
One of the other popular options for gay couples to have children is through assisted reproductive technology (ART). These processes allow at least one member of an LGBT couple to be directly genetically related to a child, which is the main reason why many LGBT couples choose this route.
The ART methods available to you will depend on several factors, including your own medical history and fertility and the probability of successfully completing certain processes, like:
Egg, Sperm or Embryo Donation and In Vitro Fertilization
In all LGBT assisted reproduction cases, a gamete donation is needed, whether it’s an egg for a single man or male couple, sperm for a lesbian woman or couple, or an embryo for anyone who can’t create a viable embryo on their own. Fortunately, there are many options when it comes to finding sperm, egg or embryo donations in the U.S. today.
Lesbian couples can obtain a sperm or embryo donation, complete the in vitro fertilization or intrauterine insemination process, and then carry their pregnancy to term in their own uterus (if medically able). However, gay male couples cannot complete this process without a surrogate (see below for more information). Therefore, in many cases, the options for gay men to have children are a combination of several ART techniques.
To find a gamete donor for your child, you can contact some of these national sperm and egg banks:
If you’ve already been working with a fertility clinic to learn more about the possible baby options for gay couples, your professional may have recommendations for local gamete banks to use.
For many gay men and for lesbian couples who cannot carry their own child, surrogacy is the only way they can have a genetically related child of their own. Fortunately, the surrogacy options for gay couples are numerous: There are many surrogacy clinics who embrace LGBT individuals and their parenthood dreams and, when you work in the right state, you can protect your parental rights just as well as any intended parents who are both genetically related to a baby born via surrogacy.
For most people, surrogacy goes like this: An embryo is created through IVF using one intended parents’ sperm or egg and a donated gamete. The embryo is then transferred to the uterus of the surrogate where, once it successfully implants, the baby will develop until the surrogate gives birth. With the proper legal steps, you’ll be able to take your baby home after delivery and have the family you’ve always dreamed of.
For specifics on what your surrogacy journey will look like, talk to a surrogacy clinic or agency about your individual situation. They can help you find the surrogacy options that are best for you.
Ultimately, you are the only one who can determine which child options for gay couples are best for your family. Fortunately, there are many to choose from to help make your parenthood dreams come true.
To learn more about these baby options for gay couples today, please contact an appropriate family-building professional.
Are you interested in learning more about surrogacy or starting the process? Complete our form to request free surrogacy information now.