By John Drachman
The LGBTQ community is experiencing a baby boom.
Some 80% of LGBTQ people aged 18 to 35 are already parents or are thinking about having children, a 44% increase over older generations, according to a survey from Family Equality, a nonprofit advocacy group for LGBTQ families.
While starting a family can be complicated and expensive for any parent, it’s especially true for LGBTQ+ people. If you think about joining the 125,000 same-sex couples raising 220,000 children in the U.S., here are some tips to keep top of mind. “LGBTQ+ people have children in all kinds of ways,” says attorney Joyce Kauffman, specializing in LGBTQ+ family law. “While adding children to your life can be expensive, a lot of people are getting pretty creative about it.”
While costs can vary widely depending on where you live and what method you choose for building your family, knowing the cost of becoming parents is an essential first step in deciding which route to take. Adoption through foster care opportunities typically ranges between $1,000 and $5,000. It involves adopting children from foster care where parental rights have been terminated or first fostering a child ward of the state. Domestic adoptions, the most popular route, can cost from $8,000 to $50,000 and up. Going the surrogacy route through in vitro fertilization (IVF) can range from $60,000 to $150,000.
Forming your very own LGBTQ+ family, however, doesn’t need to break the bank. Resources are available to facilitate your LGBTQ+ family journey.
- Check the benefits offered by your employer: Many corporations have been offering fertility, adoption, or surrogacy benefits along with financial support and paid employee leave. Active-duty military members or veterans may be entitled to a one-time reimbursement of up to $2,000 for adoption costs and disability benefits as well as free fertility products.
- Access government assistance: While amounts vary, most states offer some financial aid. If you prefer adoption, you may qualify for the $14,080 federal adoption tax credit per child. Additionally, many pharmaceutical companies are offering financial assistance along with their fertility drugs.
- Research other financing choices: Low-interest loans and payment plans are available to make surrogacy costs more affordable. Shopping around may yield other grants and donations from individuals, nonprofits, or drug companies. Circle Surrogacy, for one, offers a program that includes a gestational carrier, egg donation, and insurance.
- Find a financial coach: Increasing numbers of financial advisors are adding the family-building requirements of the LGBTQ+ community to their roster of specialties. They are ready to help you plan, save and manage the formation of your fledgling family’s expenses and financial wellness strategy.
Consider setting up a plan for your family’s financial life before adding a child to your happy household. While raising a child is topping $233,000, implementing a personal finance strategy with a financial advisor can help you, your loved one, and the new arrival – or arrivals – to enjoy a more financially secure future.
John Drachma is a contributing writer to MyPerfectFinancialAdvisor, the premier matchmaker between investors and advisors. John is an IABC award-winning writer who applies his 30 years of financial marketing experience toward advancing the dialog between investors and investment professionals.