27 Sep Starting an LGBT Family
Most people reach a point in life when they wish to have children. For lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) individuals or couples, many options exist for starting a family. Fertility centers and agencies can assist these persons in the pursuit of happiness.
Open adoption is a way to benefit all parties involved. This option gives everyone more information regarding each other, including the birth parents, the adoptive parents, and the child. With open adoption, the adoptive parents and birth parents get to meet each other before the adoption taking place. They share information and can remain in contact over the years.
Open adoption has many benefits. The birth parents have peace of mind knowing that the child will be raised in a stable, safe home, and the adoptive family receives more information about the child’s medical history. In addition, the child will know about his biological background and heritage. There are many challenges too. For instance, there is a possibility that the match will not work out. However, a reputable, qualified adoption agency will help to alleviate some of the stress by providing emotional support and weeding out potential scams.
Foster Care and Adoption
Foster care involves a situation allowing minors to be temporarily placed in safe environments when they are not able to live with their families. Children end up in foster care due to abuse, neglect, death of parents, and divorce, as well as drug issues. Foster care is a temporary solution until the child can be reunited with his/her parents or be placed with adoptive parents when reunification is not possible.
The adoptive parents will need to fully understand the child’s background before deciding to open their home to a new family member. If you choose to become a foster parent, or adopt a foster child, you will play a major role in providing stability to the child’s life by offering a comforting, safe home environment. In addition, the child may have forced to leave their home due to their gender identity or sexual orientation. It is often hard for LGBT children to find permanent homes.
Another option for couples who wish to have children is surrogacy. A surrogate is a woman who carries or gives birth to a child for a couple or another person. The prospective parents can be present for sonograms, attend prenatal visits, and witness the delivery. The cost of hiring a surrogate must be taken into consideration. The cost runs around $100,000, including medical procedures, lawyer fees, and agency fees. On top of this, many insurance companies will not cover the cost of fertilization and delivery. One benefit is that one of the partners can donate sperm for fertilization, being an actual biological parent.
For women who wish to have children together, it is common to choose assisted reproduction. One of the people in the relationship carries the baby, and a sperm donor is used to fertilize her eggs. Assisted reproduction has many benefits. The couple can go through the experience of pregnancy together, and they can participate in Lamaze classes, doctor visits, and the birth. Both women can be involved with the child’s life from the moment of conception.
When the sperm donor is known, the child may also develop a relationship with him as he/she grows up. Use of a known donor allows the child to have a better understanding of his/her heritage and biological makeup. However, there is a chance that the donor may later try to get parental rights to the child. When using a known donor, experts recommend that the couple consult with an attorney who specializes in reproductive law. Use of an unknown donor does not carry this risk, as the man waives all rights to the child when donating the sperm. The sperm bank screens all specimens and tests for sexually transmitted diseases and certain genetic problems.