For LGBTQ+ families, the path to financial health may be complex. In 2020, the Supreme Court issued a landmark decision prohibiting the discrimination of individuals for employment based on gender identity or sexual orientation.1 That move was an important change on the path to equality, though much more work is still needed.
The Cost of Becoming a Parent
For members of the LGBTQ+ community, becoming a parent often requires numerous steps. Barriers exist no matter the path parents hope to take, such as through adoption, in-vitro fertilization (IVF), or surrogacy. The legal fees and the cost of harvesting donor eggs or sperm may slow down the process of securing the dream of parenthood.
The cost of adoption in itself is limiting for many. Open or closed adoption may cost $8,000 to $30,000 or more. International adoptions may cost $70,000. Foster-to-adoption may cost less, around $1,000 to $5,000 in some areas. The cost of surrogacy may range from $60,000 to $150,000.2
Surveys indicate that members of the LGBTQ+ community are more likely to live at or below the poverty line when compared to non-LGBTQ+ peers.3
How May Parenthood Happen? Creating a Path
It may seem incredibly limiting to hear that the cost of parenthood is so high and that the path is not easy. Yet, there may be resources to help support some people.
Some organizations are working to make it possible for more people to have children no matter which method they decide to pursue. For example, the Gay Parenting Assistance Program (GPAP) helps connect individuals in need with available services. It offers connections to discounted services, including IVF, surrogacy, legal services, and egg donation. There are other resources to help with fertility medications as well.3
Another potential option is to contact a local chapter of Planned Parenthood. The organization helps provide education, support, and reproductive health for members of the LGBTQ+ community. That may include support groups along with help getting medical care.4
Yet another resource is HealthUsAdopt.org, which helps provide adoption grants for up to $15,000 to help people looking to adopt. The Baby Quest Foundation provides grants to couples who may not be able to afford sperm or egg donation, surrogacy costs, or in-vitro fertilization.5
It is also important to speak to insurance providers or employers who offer health insurance plans. Find out what the plans offer and the range of resources available through those health insurance plans. Some are more comprehensive than others when assisting with these needs. Also, discuss with employers any potential of paid paternity and maternity leave.
Creating a Financial Plan
Working with a financial professional may also provide some guidance and support for soon-to-be parents. Having a plan heading into the process may offer more insight into estimated costs and budgeting tools.
1 Protections Against Employment Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation or Gender Identity, https://www.eeoc.gov/laws/guidance/protections-against-employment-discrimination-based-sexual-orientation-or-gender
2 LGBTQ+ Financial Guide to Becoming a Parent, MoneyGeek, https://www.moneygeek.com/financial-planning/resources/lgbtq-family-costs/
3The Gay Parenting Assistance Program (GPAP) of Men Having Babies, https://menhavingbabies.org/assistance/
4 LGBT Services, Planned Parenthood, https://www.plannedparenthood.org/get-care/our-services/lgbt-services
5 The Costs of LGBTQ+ Family Planning, Investopedia, https://www.investopedia.com/the-costs-of-lgbtq-family-planning-5180217
The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.
All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however LPL Financial makes no representation as to its completeness or accuracy.
This article was prepared by WriterAccess.
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