Planning for LGBT Parenthood

For LGBT couples, getting pregnant is just one piece of the planning for parenthood. LGBT couples may face legal and reproductive challenges that require a thoughtful approach and additional resources.

Are you considering taking the plunge into parenthood? Consider these thought starters as you map your journey.

Financial

Because LGBT couples frequently require support from a fertility specialist and others to start their families, and many will need to take additional steps to ensure legal protections for their families, careful financial planning is a key consideration.

You can start by checking out what fertility treatments are covered by your insurance policy. Your summary plan description is a good place to start.

Your employer may also offer additional support and resources for starting your family. Some employers even offer grants or reimbursement for costs related fertility treatment. These benefits might be negotiated through your group insurance plan, or they may be separately administered. Your human resources department would be a good starting place for exploring these options.

Grants for LGBT parents may also be available, too. Check with advocacy groups in your community. They might be able to get you pointed in the right direction.

Legal

While same sex marriage has been legal across the United States since 2015, legal protections for some LGBT parents and their children are still taking time to catch up. Laws and recognition can vary widely from state to state, and it’s important for couples to consult with an attorney who specializes in family law for LGBT families to map a strategy for full legal protections.

Reproductive

Reproductive planning for LGBT families comes down to answering four questions:

  • Where will the sperm come from?
  • Where will the egg come from?
  • How will the egg and sperm come together?
  • Who will carry the baby to term?

Depending on the couple, each question will be answered differently.

For gay couples, one or both partners may consider contributing sperm based on health and/or preference. If health or preference prohibits both from contributing, donor sperm may also be used.

For lesbian couples, a sperm donor will be needed. Donors may be known to the couple or anonymous.

Lesbian couples may choose for one partner to serve as the source for eggs, or may use a donor. Gay couples will need an egg donor, and the donor may be known to the couple or anonymous.

Lesbian couples may be able to opt for intrauterine insemination, or may require in vitro fertilization. One partner may choose to carry the baby, or the couple may choose surrogacy.

For gay couples, a surrogate will be required. Most gay couples will need to rely on IVF, but in some circumstances intrauterine insemination may be an option, too.

For couples where one or both are transgender, planning may be necessary to preserve fertility, too.

Working through these options will take strong, honest, positive communication, emotional support from friends and family, and expert guidance from medical professionals who specialize in fertility treatment options for LGBT couples.

Taking the first step

Overwhelmed by the options? We can help you navigate choices and connect with resources to help you plan and make decisions. Call us to schedule your New Consultation with Dr. Christopher Montville to discuss your options (615) 721-6250

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Jenny Shanks

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