That’s when you realize; Having a true “home” feels so much better than roaming alone. When you’ve built a place for you & the one you love, that’s a feeling that can only be topped by the feeling of completing your home with a little ray of sunshine.
Family building in an LGBTQ relationship can be a very exciting & intimate experience. Depending upon what you’re comfortable with & what your budget is, there are many different ways to go about having a child.
The Old Fashioned Way
If you and your partner are comfortable with bringing another person into your family building experience you can opt to have your baby the old fashioned way. This way is very cheap, easy & a lot more effective than the other ways that will be explained BUT there are a lot more complications to be had. First, you must find someone willing to help you & agree with whatever stipulations you put on this arrangement. This includes signing over parental rights if you choose to do so. Second, you have to be comfortable with having sex or letting your partner have sex with someone that is not YOU! If you can overcome that, the old fashioned way can be a breeze.
The beauty of artificial insemination is you don’t have to physically involve another person which can eliminate any awkward moments with someone you really don’t want to have sex with. If you decide to artificially inseminate you have choices as to how you want to go about getting sperm. If you choose to use a donor you know, you still have to deal with the legal aspects of parental rights. But if you choose to use an anonymous donor those worries are no longer your own! Artificial Insemination can cost anywhere from $200 to $20,000 depending on the procedure you choose, the cost of sperm, your insurance & your health needs. After deciding who’s sperm you will use you can now decide if you would like to do an intrauterine insemination (IUI), intracervical insemination (ICI) or in vitro fertilization (IVF). An IUI is a procedure where the sperm is placed directly into the uterus; it is more expensive & effective than an ICI but less expensive than IVF. The sperm is more expensive because it must be specially prepared or “washed” by lab technicians. This is done so that the sperm is safe & sterile enough to enter the uterus because once sperm is past the cervix it cannot be naturally washed by the enzymes and bacteria in the vagina. An ICI is a procedure where the sperm is placed in the cervix, it costs less that an IUI & IVF and the sperm is less expensive because it can be bought unwashed. IVF is a procedure where an egg is removed, fertilized and placed back in the uterus to finish its development, this procedure is expensive and evasive.
This option can be used by those who either aren’t able to or choose not to have children themselves. Although this procedure is easy, there are tons of decisions to be made & can involve another person in your family building experience. You have to decide if you’re going to use an agency or personally pick your surrogate. Then you have to figure out who’s sperm you will use & who’s egg you will use if you cannot use one of your own. You must still pay for all of the doctor & hospital expenses and other expenses may be tacked on as well. You also will have to pay the agency if you use one. Surrogacy can cost anywhere from $45,000 to $80,000.
You and your partner may decide to take an entirely different route & just adopt a child in need of a home. This cuts out some of the complications because the child is already available for you to love. Though adoption can be costly, scary & difficult for LGBT couples, the rewards of adopting a child who needs a home are endless. Adoption can cost anywhere from $0 to more than $40,000 depending on how you go about it. There are so many different ways you can adopt a child but that’s an article in itself!
No matter which option you choose, having a child can be a big responsibility and can be scary and intimidating. Some people are afraid of what others will think while others may feel like they don’t really know if they’re ready. While discussing this topic with my mother, I expressed to her my fears of being a lesbian parent and not being sure if I would ever be ready. She told me, “If you wait until you are completely ready to have a baby, you’ll never have one.” Go forth and be fruitful families and if you’re reading this and you’re currently building your lgbt family, I commend you! Don’t let anyone steal away your little ray of sunshine.