Top 5 Family-Building Tips for LGBTQ+ Communities
28 JUN 2022
For most LGBTQ+ single people and couples, the experience of raising a family is no different from anyone else. Yet, the journey to planning and building your future family can be. The good news is that LGBTQ+ couples or singles can have children, and are doing so in increasing numbers.
In fact, LGBTQ+ moms and dads are proud parents to many children in the United States.
As leaders in fertility for more than 25 years, we are privileged to have seen the first baby born through in-vitro fertilization (IVF). Since that time, we’ve remained committed to ensuring all people, including LGBTQ+ couples and individuals, have the opportunity to build a family.
For many years, we have partnered with advocacy groups - such as Men Having Babies - to optimize information-sharing. At the same time, we’ve developed helpful resources to help LGBTQ+ couples navigate the process.
This Pride Month, on behalf of our Fertility and HIV/Endocrinology business, I wanted to offer Family-Building Tips for LGBTQ+ couples beginning their journey to parenthood.
1. Educate Yourself: Beginning the path to parenthood can be challenging, as there are many different options and pathways to consider. Educating yourself through research and discussion with other knowledgeable individuals (like a doctor) is a good first step to determine what might be right for you.
- Check out this helpful guide we developed to help educate LGBTQ+ couples on family-building considerations, options and more.
2. Determine Treatment Preferences with Your Partner: After educating yourself, it’s helpful to have an honest conversation with your partner about treatment preferences. Knowing how you’d like to move forward can be worthwhile before stepping into a doctor’s office.
Female Couple Considerations
Will one of you be providing the egg?
Where will you get the sperm?
Who’s going to carry the baby?
Male Couple Considerations
Will one of you contribute the sperm?
Where will you get the egg?
Where will you find a surrogate?
3. Identify and Visit a Doctor: After identifying the right clinic and reproductive endocrinologist (RE), it’s a good idea to organize your thoughts to ensure you get the most out of your first visit. Prepare questions in advance, and remember not to be shy—if you don’t understand your doctor’s answers, don’t hesitate to ask for a better explanation.
- Check out these discussion guides with questions we created for LGBTQ+ families and individuals to consider asking your healthcare provider: https://us.fertility.com/sites/default/files/2021-07/lgbtq-doctor-discussion-guide-v2.pdf
4. Make a Treatment Plan: LGBTQ+ fertility treatment options have expanded in recent years. For some couples, options ultimately depend on age, health, and the desire to carry a child. For others, the path forward will depend on sperm quality, surrogacy options, and finances. Work with your doctor to make a treatment plan that's right for you and your family.
5. Be Patient and Surround Yourself with Support: The IVF process can take people on a long, emotional roller coaster. Be open with your feelings and find support from those close to you. And don’t be afraid to get support from groups, counselors, or organizations like RESOLVE, Baby Quest or other organizations shared above.
Having children is uniquely different for members of the LGBTQ+ community, and there’s no single way to build a family. By partnering, connecting and educating, EMD Serono can continue to deliver on our mission to help create life. Learn more by visiting fertility.com.