Friday, January 3, 2020

Becoming parents is part of the life plan for many LGBT people in the U.S.

Family Equality released a research report which reveals that 77 percent of LGBT millennials are either already parents or are considering becoming parents in the coming years, a 44 percent increase over older LGBT generations. 

But a follow-up report shows that many in the community still face significant financial barriers to becoming parents. 29 percent of all LGBT respondents reported an annual household income under $25,000, compared to 22 percent of non-LGBT respondents. That rate is even higher for black, female-identified, and trans or gender nonconforming respondents.

In most cases, becoming a parent is more expensive when you don’t have all the ingredients you need to make a baby within the context of your relationship. For LGBT people, even if you are able to find a known donor and get pregnant at home without medical intervention, our community still faces legal fees of up to a few thousand dollars to ensure that parental rights are established (and in some cases relinquished) for all parties involved. 

Fostering and adopting through the child welfare system present more affordable options, but finding an organization to work with you if you live in one of the 10 states that allows for open discrimination against prospective LGBT parents is challenging. It will become even more challenging nationwide if the Department of Health and Human Services in Trump's Administration finalizes their proposed license to discriminate rule.

However, the research also reveals that the desire to have children exists regardless of financial security. There are millions of LGBT people struggling to find a path to parenthood in the face of financial insecurity, legal complexity, and continued discrimination.It also means that, too often, even those who are able to bear the costs of becoming a parent are doing so by going further into debt, or by sacrificing their own long-term financial planning and stability.

And this is why Family Equality, which for 40 years has been the national organization for LGBT families. This is why they recently launched an Open Door training platform to ensure that providers are ready to care for LGBT patients on their path to parenthood with competence, grace, and empathy. And that is why they fight hard every day against discrimination in the adoption and foster care system that limits the availability of safe, stable, qualified foster and adoptive homes to the over 400,000 youth in the foster care system nationwide.

Thanks for all you do!!!

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