Treatments & Options - LGBT - Resources
Is your journey to parenthood more stressful than you expected? In this section, Resources for LGBT Family Building, we offer tips to help you find peace as you take steps to become a parent. Above all, take care of your emotional and physical health, do your homework, and buckle up for an exciting ride.
Tips for lesbian parents-to-be
- Do not be alarmed if you find this journey difficult. Pregnancy and parenthood is usually stressful for all parents-to-be. Before you begin the sperm donor path, consider meeting with a counselor to discuss possible feelings, fears, and concerns about sperm donation and the emotional issues it might bring with it.
- If you are considering using a sperm donor that you know, ask yourself some soul-searching questions: What would you do if your donor wanted to have an important spiritual role in your child's life? This could happen at some point. On the other hand, if you go with an anonymous donor from a sperm bank, do you want your child to be able to contact the donor when he or she turns 18? The movie The Kids Are All Right offers a very realistic portrayal of two children that do just that. Before you make your decision, meet with an attorney or counselor, and choose the donor that feels best to you.
- Discuss role expectations after birth with your partner. The first year can be trying for the mother who did not give birth because the attention is focused on the baby and the birth mother, particularly if she is nursing. With good communication, you can work out a family dynamic that works for you.
Tips for gay male parents-to-be
- Before you begin, have a simple semen analysis test to determine the health of your sperm. If fertility issues are detected, know that a fertility specialist can treat many issues. If you plan to take turns with your partner in providing the sperm, both men should have a semen analysis.
- When choosing surrogacy, work with an agency, or seek professional guidance, to avoid many complications and problems. An agency will hold your hand through the process, relieving much of your stress.
- If you choose surrogacy, you will want to make sure that you are taking care of yourself along the way. Attend counseling with your carrier throughout this emotionally challenging process. Different people with many ideas and opinions are involved, including doctors, legal counsel, the intended parent(s), the carrier, counselors, and more; i.e. you will want to keep your calm through it all.
If you need social support on your parenthood journey, check out online virtual communities. Gay mommy and daddy bloggers abound, offering a variety of suggestions to make your parenthood dreams come true. Whichever path you choose, seek the support of friends and family, and visit a counselor alone or with your partner if you still have challenging emotions through it all.