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Getting To Know More About The Lesbian Family

The rise of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community has resulted in the transformation of family structures. These new family structures include the lesbian family, who want to raise families of their own. This generation has witnessed two fathers or two mothers running the family.

For this article, we will focus on a specific kind of family—the lesbian family.

As the name suggests, the lesbian family involve two female partners starting a family through surrogacy, sperm donation, or adoption. However, constricted by traditional thinking, laws, and norms, the lesbian family experience difficulties in achieving this goal. To understand more about the lesbian family, their reasoning, and experiences of starting a family, read on.

Factors Affecting The Development Of The Lesbian Famiy

Growing Support For Same-Sex Relationships

As part of the outspoken LGBTQ+ community, lesbians have become more socially accepted. Members and supporters wish to educate society that they are capable of raising families and should be allowed to do so.

According to Pew Research, 31% of Americans are in favor of same-sex marriage in 2004. It has grown to 60% this 2019. This statistic is a significant indicator of the majority’s support and acceptance of the LGBT community.

However, there are still barriers which hinder society from accepting lesbians and same-sex relationships completely. Whether using liberal or democratic means, reformists still have difficulty in educating communities due to traditional mindsets.

Same-Sex Marriage Law

Because of the impact of the LGBT on society, several countries have passed laws to cater to their rights and privileges.

A significant factor that empowered lesbians and gays is the legalization of same-sex marriage. With this, they can love and wed freely regardless of their partner’s sex. More importantly, it allows lesbian and gay couples to receive the privileges of a married heterosexual couple. It endows them with the legal rights and responsibilities of married partners.

Moreover, same-sex couples will have the right to adopt a child. Also, they will have equal rights and responsibilities over their children. Lesbian couples will undergo a smoother adoption process once they marry. In the event of a divorce, lesbian parties can seek custody and visitation rights to their children like any married couple. Upon the death of a spouse, the surviving partner becomes the legal guardian of the children.

They also enjoy joint ownership of properties gained during the marriage. Also, they can transfer assets to their partner. They also have the right to immigrate. Moreover, they can access government benefits like social security and healthcare benefits.

Same-sex marriage is fully legal in more than two dozen countries. In some, a few jurisdictions allow it, but others prohibit it. Some countries are wholly apprehensive of this law.

From Lesbian Partners To Parents

When starting a family, any couple may experience legal, financial, and logistical obstacles. Couples also face the problem of infertility and sterility. However, lesbians wanting a child with their partner can expect even graver hurdles. However, determined couples will do whatever it takes to start a family of their own. Thanks to science and technology, they can build families.

Lesbian partners have two options to start a family: pregnancy or adoption. Under pregnancy, couples may opt for insemination, sperm donation, and in vitro fertilization. Let us discuss these family planning techniques one by one.

Insemination With A Sperm Donor

Insemination is a reproductive technique involving injecting sperm from a donor into the uterus of one of the lesbian parties. The sperm donor may be known or anonymous. Depending on the couple’s preference, the couple may undergo the procedure in the clinic or at home.

At-home insemination may be under the supervision of an expert or performed independently by the couple. At-home insemination kits are readily available in drug stores, so the challenge is in procuring the sperm.

This procedure is ideal for fertile lesbians. This option allows women to experience the joys of motherhood through childbirth. This procedure also does not have to involve both parties since only one may carry the baby.

Some partners want to screen donors before choosing the sperm that will pass down traits to their baby. Some couples prefer not to know the donor at all. Several sperm banks have samples women can choose from, adding to the convenience of the process. However, insemination may take repetitive sessions before the sperm fertilizes an egg cell.

Insemination is a reproductive technique involving injecting sperm from a donor into the uterus of one of the lesbian parties. The sperm donor may be known or anonymous. Depending on the couple’s preference, the couple may undergo the procedure in the clinic or at home.

At-home insemination may be under the supervision of an expert or performed independently by the couple. At-home insemination kits are readily available in drug stores, so procuring the sperm is one of the more challenging activities.

This procedure is ideal for fertile lesbians who are fit to carry a child. Although this may require timing, many lesbian families have started with insemination. This option allows women to experience the joys of motherhood through childbirth. This procedure also does not involve both parties in the process since only one may carry the baby.

Some partners want to screen donors before choosing the sperm that will pass down traits to their baby. Some couples prefer not to know the donor at all. Several sperm banks have samples women can choose from, adding to the convenience of the process. However, insemination may take repetitive sessions for the sperm to fertilize an egg cell.

Reciprocal In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)

Compared to insemination, both lesbian parties are involved in this process. Reciprocal IVF requires one of the parties to carry the baby and the other to donate the egg. The egg donor’s specimen undergoes fertilization by a donated sperm and is then injected into the gestational carrier. This process is ideal for couples who both want to be involved in conception.

IVF requires a thorough screening process and health evaluation process. Its success depends on the health of all parties involved: the egg and sperm donors and the carrier. Without healthy and fit donors, the conception will not be as successful. The execution and management of the doctors and embryologists also affect the results of the IVF. The lesbian family can expect this reproductive procedure to cost the same as a typical IVF.

Surrogacy

Surrogacy involves a gestational carrier who will carry the child of another couple. This procedure is popular among gay men. The process of surrogacy for lesbian couples is substantially similar to a traditional surrogacy. It starts when the couple chooses which partner’s specimens to use for IVF. The couple also selects the sperm donor.

There are several reasons for a lesbian couple to resort to surrogacy. Fertility is the most critical factor. Probably, both parties are infertile and need the help of a surrogate to bear a child. Their ages could have gone over the ideal child-bearing age. Some women do not have a uterus due to birth or a hysterectomy and cannot bear children.

Co-parenting

Co-parenting is a planned, platonic parenting relationship style that was popularly used by divorced couples and single parents. In this generation, it also allows lesbians to create their own families. It enables them to raise their biological child without resorting to surrogacy.

This method is ideal for lesbians who have biological children but want to start a family with their partner. Without the financial stress and uncertainty of surrogacy, co-parenting is a more practical choice for the lesbian family.

Co-parenting may present challenges in finding the best person to be in your child’s life. It is a big decision to make; therefore, ascertaining your partner’s parenting style, influence, and support for the child needs substantial consideration.

Adoption And Foster Care

If the lesbian couple chooses not to undergo third-party reproductions, adoption is always an option. This choice also applies to lesbians who do not have biological children of their own.

Lesbian couples may turn to adoption to assume parenting legally. Adoption is a long-term commitment to the child. It involves legal precautions to protect the social welfare of the child and entails a tedious process. Having legal parenthood transfers rights, responsibilities, and filiation from a child’s biological parents to the lesbian family. On the brighter side, this option also helps bring down the rate of orphans and gives children home and care.

Aside from adoption, foster care provides a family life for young people who cannot live with their biological parents. For the meantime, they are placed in foster homes and taken care of by government-screened families. Foster parents, regardless of sexual orientation, may help young people through trying times. Compared to adoption’s long-term setup, it is a short-term living situation because the children might return to their home.

Now that we have learned about the various family planning methods the lesbian family can consider, we can move on to the next section: parenting.

Positive Parenting Habits Of Lesbian Families

The lesbian family face challenges in parenting due to its unconventional structure. Non-traditional and new it may be, the lesbian family may have figured out the secrets to parenting.

According to research, children who grew up in lesbian families are happy and grow up normally. They develop emotional, cognitive, social, and sexual aspects like children with heterosexual parents.

Sometimes, however, external factors like society and other people hinder the progress of the lesbian family raising kids. To approach this problem with a proactive mindset, here are some useful habits for the lesbian family.

Discipline Your Kids Without Hitting Them

Never resort to corporal punishment. Women are innately gentler and less violent than men when it comes to teaching children. Lesbian parents prefer to discipline them with proper communication and other non-violent methods. This strategy is beneficial and healthy for a child’s development.

Tell Your Kids Where They Came From

When adoptive kids are clueless about their biological parents, they tend to exhibit negative traits as they grow older. The best tactic for lesbian couples is to tell their children how they were born. It is more applicable to children born of third-party reproduction like sperm donation.

Children are naturally curious. It is best to be honest with them at the earliest sign of curiosity. Children who are aware of their birth and living situation at an early age can grasp the concept properly. Doing this will help kids accept themselves and prevent identity crises as they grow older.

Reach Out Proactively

At school, most children coming from lesbian families experience some form of bullying not only from their peers but also from their teachers. Lesbian partners should reach out to schools and educators to make the adjustment process easier for their kids.

Couples can also seek the help of other lesbian couples. With the growing community, lesbians can create a society that normalizes their families for their kids. Studies also showed that children who grew with friends who related to their living situation were more confident in expressing and being themselves.

In whatever parenting situation, the most crucial aspect is to show your love and affection for your child. Lesbian families are growing in number. It is important to practice effective two-way communication with children. More importantly, society and lesbian parents need to work hand in hand to support the upbringing of these children.

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