Members of the LGBTQ+ population have always been given the runaround when it comes to the creation of their families. Almost one-third of the gay community lives under the poverty line and caring for a child is expensive. But, for the LGBTQ+ population, simply acquiring their own child can be even more expensive, and even more difficult, than it is for a cisgender couple.
Your choice should be based upon your and your partner’s unique reproductive abilities, as well as the amount of money you may need to fulfill your dreams of family. Let’s go over your options:
Anyone can donate their eggs and their sperm for someone else to use or they could store them to be used later, which is great for anyone wanting to start hormonal therapy or invasive surgeries that could, potentially, further remove their ability to physically create a child. If you have the sperm and you don’t have an egg, you can get one through a donation place, and vice versa.
Insemination can be done in a few ways and there are 3 useful practices for LGBTQ+ partners who want to start building their families.
Intrauterine Insemination (IUI)
Intrauterine insemination, or IUI, is a practice where sperm is injected directly into the uterus and the sperm are trusted to find their way to the egg. A common joke surrounding this practice is that the doctors use a turkey baster to inject the semen. In all seriousness, couples where at least one person contains a uterus, for example, a lesbian or a transgender couple, can buy sperm, or take a donation from a friend, and have it injected by a doctor.
This is a great first step when pregnancy through intercourse isn’t an option. Occasionally, an amazing co-parenting opportunity arises when a relationship consisting of two women is given sperm from another couple, perhaps two gay men who are also unable to give birth, and they can all raise the children together.
Depending on how and where you get the sperm, the costs can range anywhere from $250 to $4K and the costs depend on where you get the sperm and how many times you may have to repeat the process. Sometimes the first time doesn’t take but don’t give up on your dreams of a family. You have options.
In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)
During an in vitro fertilization, an egg from someone who was born a woman is injected with the sperm from someone born a man. After a few days, the fertilized egg is ready for implantation. All of this is done outside the body by doctors and then re-implanted back into the same uterus.
Usually, the female’s hormones are stimulated to release more eggs than usual, so the retrieval of the eggs results in plenty to choose from. The eggs will then be fertilized outside the body with sperm donated or obtained by a bank. A few days after the eggs are fertilized, they are either implanted into a uterus or frozen to be used in the future.
IVF can cost anywhere between $13K and $21K. IVF is a great option for many people, specifically allowing transgender individuals to freeze their eggs/sperm before they begin hormone therapy and any invasive surgical alterations that could prevent their ability to have a child naturally.
Reciprocal In Vitro Fertilization
Reciprocal in vitro fertilization is great for lesbian couples who both want to be involved in the creation of their child. Eggs are retrieved from one uterus, fertilized in the same way as in IVF, and then implanted into the other partner’s uterus. Both women get to be involved and the child biologically belongs to both partners. Legally, unfortunately, the partner that did not actually give birth to the child may have to go through an adoption process in a same-sex marriage.
The reciprocal process can cost a couple anywhere from $15K to $23K, but it is incredibly worth it when you want a baby of your own.
Surrogacy is a gift given by a woman to a couple who cannot have children naturally. Finding a surrogate can be difficult and many people begin their search within the family, which could be much more cost-efficient and familiar. But some surrogates choose to give their time, and their figure, to a child that they aren’t going to raise.
Surrogacy is a great option for two men, or two post-op transgender men, who have the calling to be parents. Traditional surrogacy arose for women who cannot have their own children, for one reason or another, and they want to find someone who compassionately volunteers to carry a child to term for the couple.
Traditional surrogacy usually occurs through insemination of the surrogate’s eggs with male sperm from one or both partners. The cost of the entire experience varies greatly because each couple makes a deal with their surrogate on what the couple will pay for. A family attorney of your choosing should be involved and once the surrogate is pregnant, you will need to pay for all of their doctor’s appointments, ultrasounds, maternity clothes, etc.
A successful and legal surrogacy is not ‘buying a child’ but using money to care for the surrogate’s medical needs, reimburse them for the time they spent, and to ensure the child’s health and safety.
Occasionally, a woman finds that, for some reason, she cannot physically carry a child, though she has access to all the ingredients. Gestational surrogacy occurs when one partner gives an egg that is then fertilized before being implanted into the womb of a surrogate. This allows at least one partner to have a biological connection to the child. Of course, this method is best for two female partners or at least when one partner has eggs to give. The semen can be donated or bought from a bank.
This is just like reciprocal IVF but the egg is in a surrogate instead of you or your partner. Gestational surrogacy can cost anywhere from $60K to $150K, depending wholly upon the choices that you make and the viability of the fertilized egg. Occasionally, IVF or IUI may have to be repeated, which can increase the cost, especially with a surrogate.
Adoption is an excellent option for the people in the LGBTQ+ community who desperately want a child. So many children need safe homes and loving parents. But, until fairly recently, anyone whose marriage is not considered ‘traditional’ couldn’t adopt or foster a child. But now there are many excellent ways for nontraditional partners to adopt children and create beautiful families successfully
Many foster children come up for adoption because their families just can’t get their lives to where they need to be, by the time it needs to get done, to get their children back. This is a compassionate and affordable way to have a child, but you cannot be guaranteed a baby and many of these children also have siblings who need care as well.
Adopting a foster child can cost anywhere up to $2600, mainly for court fees, paperwork, and other pre-requisites demanded by the state. These children really need care and you will be getting a child who needs all the love you have to give. When you foster to adopt, you truly make a difference in the life of a child.
Public and private adoption agencies deal with abandoned children and with private citizens who have chosen to place their children up for adoption. Some of these adoption agencies will work with LGBTQ+ couples whiles others will not. The trick is to find an agency that is excited to work with you and one that believes that love makes a family, not the gender construct of the parents.
Usually, the accompaniment of a family attorney is beneficial to such adoptions. The biological parents have a certain amount of time to change their minds, which can be excruciating after falling in love with the baby. The bio parents can also ask for open adoption, where they can remain a presence in their child’s life. Your attorney can help you work out any details.
The process can cost anywhere between $20K and $45K, usually depending on whether the child is a ward of the state or is being put up for adoption by a mother who cannot care for the child in the way they should be cared for.
Currently, Columbia, Brazil, Portugal, and the Philippines are the only countries that need international adoption and will consider granting adoption to non-traditional couples. These laws do change and they can change quickly. The Philippines currently forbids gay couples to adopt because they don’t recognize any marriage outside what the government considers ‘normal’. But, unlike some other countries, they will allow single people to adopt on their own, meaning that one person can adopt from the Philippines, and then the other partner can then adopt the child as a co-parent once they are in the states.
Many international adoptions can cost between $25K and $70K, depending on where you choose to go and whether you adopt as a couple or as a single person. Some countries look into your background and would like you to ensure that you raise the child to understand their cultural heritage.
Binto telehealth can help you find the perfect options for you to create your family. Our licensed healthcare providers can offer you health consultations to help support your journey towards fulfilling your dreams. Contact us to book a consult and we will get started, together.