Resources for the LGBTQ+ Community on Family Building By Brittany Collins on December 03, 2019
Expanding an LGBTQ+ family comes with its own set of unique problems and the issues of infertility can weigh heavily on a couple. It can be difficult to know where to turn for medical and emotional support. Below are resources specifically dedicated to LGBTQ+ couples who want to know more about fertility options or may be in need of mental and emotional support along the way.
Resources for LGBTQ families and soon-to-be families:
The Center is a New York-based resource hub for LGTBQ+ events and training based around family issues. Other LGTBQ+ organizations in the area will often host internships and other types of training through The Center in order to make use of its vast network of professional resources for the family. Among these programs is the LGBT Institute for Family Therapy (LIFT) Certification Program, a 100-hour course that is designed specifically to train Licensed Clinical Social Workers (LCSW) and Licensed Master Social Workers (LMSW) in therapy for families receiving care from the NYC Administration for Children's Services. Many LGBTQ+ couples use LIFT to partner with a social worker with expertise in helping LGBTQ+ families navigate their daily lives when expanding the family.
The Family Equality Council and website provides a safe platform for LGBTQ+ families and would-be families to share their stories with others in the community. The organization was founded during the 1979 National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights under the premise that "caring, loving parents are being denied equal opportunity to form and sustain families because of their sexual orientation and/or gender identity."
The Council is a hub for local LGBTQ+ Family Groups. If there is one in your area, you can join and be welcomed into a ready-made community to help with family growth. The national team also provides support if you want to start a group in an area that does not currently have one. Another important initiative from the Council is the Path2Parenthood live chat program, sponsored by Johnson & Johnson. In the chat, family building specialists are available to answer questions about family growth in real-time. Equally as important is the stand that Family Equality has taken against the recent Health and Human Services (HHS) rule discriminating against LGBTQ+ families within their programs on the basis of a provider's religion.
The National Infertility Association, working under the organizational name RESOLVE, functions under the premise that "no two-family building journeys are alike." The website is a wealth of information about all of the options available to couples who are experiencing problems with fertility.
The self-service tools on the website can save you a lot of time in consultation with your fertility specialist. You will go in knowing the basics and be able to have a much deeper discussion about the details of the methodology you choose to overcome your issues. The RESOLVE site is also full of medically sound advice about how to optimize your chances of fertility as an LGBTQ+ couple before spending money on expensive treatments.
Focused on family building options for same-sex couples, Gay Parents to Be provides an accessible resource for couples in any stage of family expansion. The blog there is highly specific, with titles like "How Much Does Fertility Treatment Cost for Lesbians" and "8 Best LGBTQ Family & Fertility Podcasts You Should Be Listening To" under the Gay Parenting Voices subsection on the homepage.
There are separate sections on the site for moms-to-be and dads-to-be, and the site also serves as a hub for events in the New York area. It is the blog, however, that is the true shining gem on this site. There are few places on the Internet with such down-to-earth yet medically sound information specifically for LGBTQ+ couples.
This is the website for gay men who are looking for surrogacy parenting advice and some good old fashioned emotional support from like-minded people. They help the gay community by organizing and reporting on surrogacy workshops and conferences, hosting an exclusive surrogacy advisor directory, funding a gay parenting assistance program and advocating for surrogacy research.
Men Having Babies is a key voice for the LGBTQ+ community because of its participation in the Advocacy and Research Forum and participation in academic studies that are relevant to the gay community. The online network is also a great place to read real-life stories of successful families headed by gay men and how they overcame the issue of conception.
The LGBTQ+ often suffers from legal hurdles that stop access to infertility solutions. This is a part of what The National LGBT Bar Association set out to fix.
The LGBT Bar works alongside the National Center for Lesbian Rights to support the LGBT Family Law Institute, a central hub of legal advice for would-be LGBTQ+ families. Complete with a member directory map and intuitive tools for connection, it makes overcoming the legal hurdles of LGBTQ+ familyhood that much easier to overcome.
Simply known as the AAAA, the American Academy of Assisted Reproductive Technology Attorneys focuses on guiding LGBTQ+ families and couples through the process of expanding with assisted reproductive technology (ART). The website allows users to easily find attorneys in a local area and hosts a schedule of events around the topic. The organization also sponsors and supports assisted reproduction legislation at the state and federal level to make it easier for LGBTQ+ couples and families to receive the help they need for successful family expansion.
The organizations above are quite expansive, but still, represent only a small fraction of the resources that are available to LGTBQ+ families who are facing issues of fertility. Below are just a few of the one-off resources that you can use today for the benefit of your growing family.
Other Resources (Books, Podcasts, Articles, etc.)
Even if our office is not your primary fertility partner, we want to be a trusted source of information on your fertility journey. Bookmark this page and this blog for consistently updated information about helpful fertility and family expansion resources. After you consider the links above, consider the next step – a dedicated consultation. Knowledge of your options is the only the first piece of the journey. We would love to be the medical partner that helps to expand your family. Click on the button below and start your journey to parenthood.