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Options To Consider For Same-Sex Couples Looking To Have Children

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Just like any other couple, LGBTQ families should have no problem bringing a child into the picture. Some couples worry about social stigma leading to bullying, or the lack of traditional gender roles affecting children. But research has shown that children of same-sex couples can be happier and healthier than their peers.

The only barrier you’re likely to face is biological. Naturally, conceiving together isn’t an option for same-sex couples. Fortunately, modern medicine and child care services mean there are plenty of other ways for them to add a young one to the family. Here are some of the options to consider.

In-Vitro Fertilization

In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF) involves extracting the egg from a woman’s ovaries and fertilizing it with sperm in a laboratory. The woman then carries the fertilized egg (embryo) and delivers the baby.

Some couples worry about this method being unnatural. However, it’s an entirely safe method for conceiving a child. Just make sure you use a nationally recognized fertility clinic so certified professionals can handle the job.

Lesbian couples will need to use a sperm donor and decide which one of them gets to be the biological mother. In some cases, women decide to take a two-mom approach, where one provides the egg and the other carries the pregnancy.

Gay couples will need to find a surrogate mother to carry the pregnancy. Some turn to people they know, but there are plenty of surrogacy agencies out there. Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) is often used along with IVF for men with infertility issues.

Intrauterine Insemination

Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) is closely related to IVF. The difference is that instead of extracting the egg, the sperm is injected into the woman’s womb at her time of ovulation.

Conception isn’t guaranteed. IUI is often combined with fertility drugs to improve the chances of conceiving. Couples can choose to forgo this for a more natural approach.

Much like with IVF, same-sex couples will require a sperm donor or surrogate mother. Some women experience fertility problems, which is where IVF can be more helpful. Both are safe methods for conception under the care of a professional.

Natural Insemination

Some same-sex couples may choose to make babies the natural way, with the help of a sperm donor or surrogate mother. This may be more natural, and quicker, but it’s rarely the best choice.

Natural insemination is a difficult choice. It can be a legal, ethical, and emotional minefield for everyone involved. It should only be carried out with absolute certainty. In most cases, it’s much better to use alternative options, even if they seem more complicated.

Adoption Or Foster Care

For couples who don’t want to go through the long pregnancy process, there’s another option.

Adoption involves becoming the permanent parents of a child without parents. Fostering involves looking after a child for a more limited amount of time. This involves children who have been taken away from troubled homes, or if their parents are unable to care for them due to illness.

If you choose to adopt or foster a child, you’ll be making a huge difference in the life of someone less fortunate. Despite the lack of a biological link, adoptive and foster parents love and care for their children just as any other family would. The child becomes part of a loving family and gets the care they need.

Photo Credit: By Emily Walker from Wellington, New Zealand (Nuclear Lesbian Family #2) [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

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