LGBTQ+ Paths to Parenthood

Everyone deserves to have the family of their dreams.

With the support of Family Equality, we can make your dreams possible!

As the leading national nonprofit for current and future LGBTQ+ families, we know just how overwhelming the decision to start or expand your family can be. The questions seem endless: What path should we take? What costs should we budget for? What laws should we follow? Where do we even begin

The good news is that just by being here, you’ve already started! Use the tools on this page to feel empowered to take the next step.

You’re not alone.

As of 2019, 63% of LGBTQ+ millennials are considering starting or expanding their family in the years ahead, and up to 3.7 million children under the age of 18 have an LGBTQ+ parent. If you’re looking for other LGBTQ+ folks who are or have been where you are today, explore Family Equality’s numerous support channels.


Paths to parenthood for LGBTQ+ families

There is a myriad of unique ways that LGBTQ+ people become parents, though two of the most common paths are adoption and pregnancy (typically through surrogacy, assisted reproduction, and/or insemination). None is preferable to the other — choice, opportunity, resources, and gut instinct will help you determine your best fit. 

The cost of becoming an LGBTQ+ parent

Becoming a parent is expensive, regardless of who you are, where you live, or how many adults will raise the children. But for LGBTQ+ people, the initial cost of simply becoming a parent can be significant. Depending on any individual LGBTQ+ person’s relationships, anatomy, health, and personal choices, becoming a parent will involve a combination of one or more of the processes listed below:


$0 – $75,000

Depending on the path you take, adoption costs and accompanying legal fees can range from $0 – 75,000.


$25 – $150,000

There are multiple paths to pregnancy for LGBTQ+ people, including intercourse, insemination, assisted reproduction, and surrogacy. Each path comes with specific financial considerations.

Securing legal parentage

$100 – $3,000

After welcoming a child into your home, additional legal considerations exist for securing and establishing legal parentage.

Fertility preservation

$250 – $12,000 (plus annual fees)

Particularly for trans, nonbinary, and gender non-conforming parents who are or have medically transitioned, there are additional costs associated with sperm and egg freezing and storage.

Our research shows that regardless of cost and household income level, LGBTQ+ people are planning and eager to expand their families. Fortunately, there are grant opportunities available to help LGBTQ+ folks offset the costs of assisted reproduction and/or adoption. 

Have questions?

The Family Equality team is here to help you on this path to parenthood by providing expert advice and connecting you to local resources. For updates about educational events and resources related to family-building, sign up for our newsletter today!

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