Gay and lesbian couples as well as people in relationships with bisexual, trans and gender non-conforming folk may face obstacles when forming families. Adoption in Illinois is especially challenging, with many states offering little to no legal protection for LGBTQ couples.
Conception from intercourse isn’t a common LGBTQ family-building method anymore
In years previous, LGBTQ people typically came out later in life. On average, many LGBTQ baby boomers and Generation Xers came out in their mid-to-late 30s, meaning they entered adulthood presenting or identifying as heterosexual. These people were substantially more likely to enter heterosexual marriages and conceive children via intercourse, only later bringing along children to LGBTQ relationships.
The Family Building Survey recently indicated that 73% of LGBTQ respondents who already have children used intercourse for family building, whereas just 37% of non-parenting LGBTQ people who wanted to start families identified intercourse as a viable family-building method.
Sperm donor tips for couples considering assisted reproductive technology
ART includes at-home insemination, IVF, reciprocal IVF and surrogacy. In other words, LGBTQ couples choosing ART need to find sperm donors.
Using known sperm donors leaves LGBTQ couples open to nasty legal battles. If the donor cultivates an interest in post-donation parenting or the adoptive couple divorces, custody challenges may arise. Signing a known donor agreement, which prevents donors from pursuing legal options to get involved in parenting, is recommended to avoid legal problems with these donors.
Anonymous sperm donors are an even better option in terms of legal barriers. These donors relinquish their parental rights at the time of donation, leaving adoptive couples free of the same legal issues that affect LGBTQ couples who use known sperm donors.
Although LGBTQ advocacy has accomplished much over the past few decades, barriers to pursuing basic life goals such as forming a family still exist across much of the country. Taking proactive steps to prevent potential family-forming issues before they start is essential to achieving an optimal LGBTQ family formation experience.