The generation that followed the baby boom is reaching parenting age. Simultaneously, the sexual revolution is coming full circle. More LGBTQ people within that particular age bracket are being recognized with equal rights under state and local laws.
With the question of the equal right to marry tabled in many states, the question regarding what is, traditionally, the next step in a relationship comes into play — the question of children. Overwhelmingly, the most common question newly married heterosexual couples are asked once their honeymoon period is over tends to be about children, and when they’re going to fit them into their timeline.
In twelve states, it remains illegal for LGBTQ couples to adopt children. Equally frustrating, it remains illegal for the non-biological partner to become a legal parent by way of adoption in those states, as well as several others. While those twelve states strictly ban same-sex adoptions, the remaining states, by and large, have adoption policies for LGBTQ couples that come with caveats for petitions that straight couples do not have to process.
This bureaucratic obstacle course is flat discrimination. Heterosexual and homosexual couples share the same human qualities: love, aspirations, plans for the future, shared finances; that’s all a given in any healthy relationship.
Biologically speaking, the complex issue of children tends to be where the two respective camps split. The paths divide at this point. Heterosexual couples must make an effort, for most of the span of their relationships, to actively avoid pregnancy, while LGBTQ couples must make a concerted effort to pursue having children, by way of either IVF or adoption. IVF therapies for lesbian couples are expensive, time-consuming, and often a strain on the health of the partner who would be carrying the child. Hormone therapy is often a necessary precursor to conception.
And yet, the LGBTQ community is reproducing in greater numbers than ever before. With an atmosphere of greater social acceptance and a wider array of options, an entire generation of LGBTQ parents is on the rise, recognized or not.