What are an LGBTQ+ Couple’s Options for Having a Baby?

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Modern parenting can be pretty demanding, with the cost of raising a kid skyrocketing exponentially. You must meet various costs for your child, which can be almost impractical to achieve.

For the LGBTQ+ community, the cost of raising one kid is tremendously high as they need to bring a child into the family through assisted reproductive technology, adoption, or foster care. Despite the high costs, an average of 77% of LGBTQ+ families are parents or are in the process of having their children.

Family planning can be a diverse process for this community. Thus it is essential to understand the family planning options available so that you are adequately prepared for your next step.

Top Family Planning Options for the LGBTQ+ Community

Surrogacy

For same-sex couples who love to have their children, surrogacy is one of the best methods to consider. Primarily, there are two main types of surrogacy that you can consider:

  • Gestational surrogate: They carry a pregnancy for you; the egg and the sperm are from an intended donor. The surrogate only acts as a carrier, and pregnancy is achieved through in vitro fertilization (IVF). The cost of hiring a gestational surrogate is $60,000 to an average of $ 150,000. However, the costs can skyrocket if the surrogate gets any complications.
  • Traditional surrogate: The surrogate donates the egg, but the sperm is obtained from the selected father. Pregnancy can be achieved via insemination (IUI). The costs of a traditional surrogate will vary depending on many factors, such as the method of conception and legal fees associated with the process.

Intrauterine Insemination (IUI)

IUI involves placing a sperm straight into the uterus. The process is non-invasive and can be achieved using donor sperm. The sperm is placed using a catheter and can be performed at the hospital or at home. The average cost for IUI is $ 250 to an average of $ 3500. You can choose an anonymous or known sperm donor, depending on your personal preference.

In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)

IVF is an assistive reproductive technology that involves harvesting eggs from the ovaries and fertilizing them with sperm. The embryo is then transferred to the uterus or frozen for storage.

One cycle of the IVF will take an average of three weeks, but the process can take longer. The average cost of IVF is $ 15,000 and can go up to $ 30,000. 

Reciprocal In Vitro Fertilization (R-IVF)

R-IVF is another excellent option that allows an LGBTQ+ couple to participate emotionally and biologically in a pregnancy. In this procedure, the woman’s eggs are stimulated using hormone medication to produce multiple eggs. The eggs are later retrieved and combined with a sperm to form an embryo. After 3-5 days, the embryo is implanted in the other partner’s uterus.

It is paramount to note that in R-IVF, you are both required to use medication so that you are both ready for the procedure. You are also required to get a donor sperm. Ultimately, the overall cost of R-IVF is $ 25,000-$ 30,000.

Foster Care and Adoption

Another popular option for the LGBT community is opting for foster care and adoption. You can seek adoption via the state or a private agency. If you post to adopt via the foster care system, it will cost you less than $ 2,600, but it might take longer. On the other hand, if you adopt a child domestically using an attorney, it will be more costly and can go as high as $ 45,000.

Donor Sperm

Sperm donation is becoming an attractive method for LGBTQ couples who wish to have children. In a 2018 report, an average of 85% of lesbian couples were sperm donor recipients. You can either opt for anonymous or known donor sperms. The anonymous sperm donors are expensive and can spike up to $ 1,500 per vial.

Sperm or Egg Freezing

Sperm freezing is quite effective for transgender couples. You can opt to preserve your fertility and your sperm or eggs before a medical transition. The process involves collecting and freezing sperm or eggs, which can later be used in fertility treatments. It is also known as sperm banking or cryopreservation.

You can use the stored eggs and sperm when you are ready to have a child. This method’s primary aim is to preserve fertility until you are mentally and financially prepared. Although, it is critical to note that the method can fail despite attracting very high costs. To increase the success rates, ensure you use the sperm or eggs after a short period.

The costs of sperm or egg freezing can be very steep as most insurance covers do not insure this method of fertility preservation. The costs can go as high as $ 12,000, depending on the duration of preservation. 

What are the Steps of Acquiring Legal Parentage for the LGBTQ+ Couple?

When you choose the family planning methods listed above, it is also paramount to consider the child’s legal parentage. In this procedure, it is intrinsic to terminate the rights of the donor or surrogate. The legal fees to complete this procedure can vary from $ 20 to an average of $ 3,000.

Moreover, it is essential to secure the legal rights of your child so that you can avoid facing any unforeseen circumstances in the future. Remember that there are no predefined federal laws about surrogacy. Thus, after the surrogacy pregnancy, you may be required to request adoption proceedings to obtain legal custody of your child. However, in some states, a simple declaration of parentage will help you avoid the frustrating and time-consuming adoption procedure.

Why is the Cost of Raising Children in Same-Sex Couples Very Expensive?

There are so many paths that you can consider if you want to grow a family with your partner. Each method attracts a specific cost and legal requirements to obtain the child’s parental rights. Thus it can be detrimental for couples with a low household income or less societal privileges.

Primarily, raising a family as an LGBTQ+ couple will depend on your employment status, insurance coverage, and access to credit. Importantly, all the methods come with a very hefty price tag, and you need to think about your financial aspects carefully.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the cost of raising a child is an average of $ 233,610. Thus it would be best if you were financially ready to have a successful family.

Ideally, some organizations can offer financial assistance for same-sex couples who wish to start a family. These organizations can offer you grants if you wish to adopt a child.

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Consult Binto for Professional Family Planning Advice

Binto is an expert in offering refined, practical, and professional fertility and family planning advice. We aim to support LGBTQ+ couples by providing world-class health consults that will transform you and your partner’s lives.

Let us help you walk the fertility journey with more assurance and confidence. Our consultants offer tailored fertility plans for each couple that will help streamline the process. Also, if you are struggling with fertility, we have potent and approved vitamins that can help boost your fertility levels. Don’t hesitate to consult our experts, and we will have the best assistance.