10 Tips for LGBTQ+ Families Wanting to Have a Child
Becoming a parent is a wonderful experience, but it can also be a complex and emotional journey, particularly for LGBTQ+ families. With many options available, from adoption to surrogacy, egg donation to foster parenting, it’s important to take the time to research and plan before making a decision.
Here are ten tips to help LGBTQ+ families navigate the path to parenthood in the UK:
1. Identify your support network
Planning for a family is a big change that can bring a range of emotions. Take the time to think about your feelings and identify your support network. Connect with LGBTQ+ parents for guidance and support, and seek help from organisations such as Stonewall or Families Together London.
2. Research all paths to parenthood
Explore all the options available to you, including adoption, egg donation, donor sperm, surrogacy, and foster parenting. Weigh up the financial and legal considerations of each possible path to help you make the right decision.
3. Understand UK LGBTQ+ parenthood laws
4. Consider second-parent adoption
Second-parent adoption is the most common means by which partnered LGBTQ+ parents establish a legal relationship with their children. This process allows the non-biological parent to gain equal parental rights given to the biological parent or first to adopt. If you’re planning to adopt or have biological children, consider going through second-parent adoption, as it will help protect your family in case of a legal challenge.
5. Forecast the financial costs of parenthood
Starting or growing a family can be expensive. Consider the costs associated with fertility or adoptive services, as well as medical coverage for prenatal care, labor, and delivery. Look into your health insurance to find out what is covered and by how much, and create a budget that encompasses any preconception and birth expenses, as well as your child’s first year with you.
6. Choose a parenting style
Imagine your ideal life as a parent in five to ten years. Think about the kind of parent you want to be, and look into parenting philosophies to see if there are any you want to implement. Talk to your parent role models to get insights about their parenting styles.
7. Find resources for LGBTQ+ families
Look for resources that support children with LGBTQ+ parents. There are several organisations, such as Mermaids, LGBT Foundation, and Family Equality, that offer support and resources for LGBTQ+ families.
8. Consider co-parenting agreements
If second-parent adoption is not legal where you live, consider a co-parenting agreement to protect your family. This agreement outlines the responsibilities and rights of both parents and can help protect your family in case of a legal challenge.
9. Educate your family and friends
It’s important to educate your family and friends about your journey to parenthood. Some may be unfamiliar with LGBTQ+ parenthood and may have questions or concerns. Be open and honest about your experiences and share resources to help them understand.
10. Enjoy the journey
In summary, becoming a parent as an LGBTQ+ family is a unique journey that requires planning, research, and support. By following these tips and seeking advice from LGBTQ+ organisations, you can navigate the path to parenthood with confidence and joy.