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Gay Parenting: Numbers reflect need for community support

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shutterstock_41122081 (2)The Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law reviewed findings from four recent large, national, population-based surveys to derive estimates of the size of the LGBT community and same-sex married and unmarried couple families. Findings included that same-sex couples were raising an estimated 200,000 children under the age of 18, of whom 30,000 are being raised by married same-sex parents. LGBT individuals who are not part of a couple are raising between 1.2 and 2 million children.

These numbers reflect the importance of community based organizations which can help to support both the parents and their children. There are growing numbers of LGBT Parents and Children of LGBT Parents groups being organized throughout the country. I have identified such groups via online MeetUps, LGBT community centers, and websites.

These support groups and centers offer information on various options for becoming a parent including adoption, surrogacy, IUI, foster care parenting; information about counselors; experience and camaraderie of other gay parents all of which is invaluable.

There are still LGBT individuals and couples who want to be parents but feel somewhat isolated, particularly those living outside of urban environments. These gay parenting groups create safe and nurturing environments for both parents and children who need the support and advice of others facing the same challenges or those who have already successfully navigated these waters.