If you’re a gay man or lesbian and you know you’ll want to be a parent someday, there’s a set of physical, emotional, and personal decisions you are going to have to face before a child becomes part of your family. These decisions sometimes aren’t easy, are often expensive, and most require a well thought-out plan before embarking on the path to gay parenthood. That said, there are thousands of loving, successful families with same-sex parents living across America*, from liberal urban centers, to small southern enclaves. Gay families are everywhere, and our numbers are growing**. With increased visibility, shared resources, and acceptance from much of the medical community, there are many paths available to gays and lesbians interested in parenting today.
We’ve attempted to outline some of the basic questions you need to navigate here, although you may find yourself reminded of one of those SAT logic problems at times. So read on, brave friend, and know that no matter how confusing it may seem, many gay parents have come before you – and it IS possible. You just need a good plan, a decent amount of money, and a lot of love.
*According to the Child Welfare Information Gateway, between 8 and 10 million children are being raised by gay parents
**According to figures from the 2008 Census and UCLA School of Law’s Williams Institute:
- 20% of same-sex couples in the U.S. are raising children under the age of 18.
- As of 2005, an estimated 270,313 of the U.S.’s children are living in households headed by same-sex couples.
- An estimated 65,500 of the U.S.’s adopted children live with a lesbian or gay parent.