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Parenting: Gay & Lesbian

by GLPages.com May 4, 2023

Raising a Family: Gay & Lesbian

Gay and Lesbian parents are dramatically changing what family looks like today. The "Gayby Boom" is adding diversity to playgrounds throughout Los Angeles and  our country. Only 7% of U.S. families could be considered "traditional" families, i.e., consisting of a married heterosexual couple with children.*

  • There are 3 million LGBTQ parents raising 6 million children in the U.S. 1 in 3 lesbian couples and 1 in 5 male couples are raising children.**
  • The vast majority of gay youth aged 15-22 expect to be married and raising children as adults. An estimated 4 million gay people are interested in adopting.**
  • An estimated 4% of all adopted children in the U.S. are living with a lesbian or gay parent.**

Starting a Family:

Fertility, Sperm Banks, Surrogacy & Adoption: Science and society offer various options for Gay & Lesbian parents to start a family.

Fertility & Sperm Banks:

  • Lesbian couples interested in giving birth to children will often turn to a sperm bank to help them have a child. Sperm banks preserve and store sperm donated by male donors who may be anonymous. All donors are carefully screened for diseases and addictions before they are allowed to donate sperm.
  • Many women also struggle about whether or not to use anonymous donors or known donors. By using a known donor, the couple is probably aware of any serious illnesses or genetic defects he may have but there may be other  considerations such as parental rights and testing procedures as well as advantages such as timing and cost.
  • There are multiple options for fertility procedures and many advancements in this medical field.
  • Visit Pacific Reproductive Services at www.pacrepro.com. This organization specializes in lesbian couples & single women.
  • USC Fertility Clinic supports gay & lesbian family building. Visit their site at www.uscfertility.org.


  • There have been an estimated 10,000 births via surrogate mothers in this country since the mid 1970's. Below are several options to consider.****
  • Classic or Traditional Surrogacy (via artificial insemination) - The surrogate is inseminated with the intended father's sperm, usually in a doctor's office. The  surrogate's egg and the sperm unite to create an embryo which she will carry to term. The surrogate is the genetic as well as birth mother of the baby.
  • Gestational (IVF) Surrogacy - (Host Uterus or Gestational Carrier). At an IVF clinic, the intended parents' embryo is transferred to the surrogate. The surrogate  is the birth mother but has no genetic tie.
  • Egg Donation - This is the retrieval of ripe follicles from a donor's ovary. The eggs are fertilized with the intended father's sperm. The resulting embryo is then  transferred to the intended mother or a gestational surrogate, who will carry and deliver the baby.


  • The total number of adoptions in the US in 2013 was 7,092. The total number of adoptions in California in 2013 was 475.***
  • California allows same-sex couples to apply for step-parent adoption as a result of the domestic partner law that was signed in 2001.
  • There are many types of adoptions: domestic (in U.S.); international (from another country); local public agencies, e.g., foster care / child welfare / social  services; licensed private agencies; independent (using attorneys or other intermediaries); facilitated (allowed only in a few states & some foreign countries); or self-facilitated (permitted for some international adoptions), using in-country assistance.
  • For more information:
    • see the ADOPTION section under the letter A.
    • Goodkin (www.wearegoodkin.com). - Parenting and lifestyle website for non-traditional and LGBT families.
    • Family Equality Council (www.familyequality.org)
    • Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Center: Family Service Center (www.laglc.org)


** www.familyequality.org
*** www.adoption.state.gov
**** Organization of Parents Through Surrogacy (www.opts.com)

Before choosing adoption, surrogacy or fertility treatment, discuss the options with your loved ones, obtain competent legal advice, consult with your health care provider, check your insurance coverage and ensure all parties receive psychological counseling and complete medical screening (including full disease-testing) in advance.

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