LGBTQ families are going to become increasingly common. In a major shift from previous generations, LGBTQ Millennials are far keener to become parents or grow their families.
A new study by America’s Family Equality Council has provided insights into how many LGBTQ people are interested in becoming parents, and how they are planning to do so.
Most significantly, the report reveals dramatic differences in expectations around family building between LGBTQ Millennials and older generations of LGBTQ people.
Of LGBTQ participants in the study aged 55 years and older, 33% either already have children or are considering having children. This finding is consistent with 2013 research that found that approximately 35% of LGBTQ adults are parents.
However, the new study found that a whopping 77% of LGBTQ Millennials (those aged 18-35) are either already parents or are considering having children, a 44% increase over their elders. Transgender survey respondents are just as likely to be considering expanding their families as their cisgender peers.
The research concluded that the desire to have children among LGBTQ Millennials is almost the same as among non-LGBTQ Millennials; 55% of non-LGBTQ individuals want kids compared to 48% of LGBTQ individuals, a difference of only 7%.
The report also found that 63% of LGBTQ people planning families expect to use assisted reproductive technology, foster care, or adoption to become parents. This is a significant shift away from older generations of LGBTQ parents for whom the majority of children were conceived through intercourse, often through previous opposite-sex relationships.
“Since marriage equality became the law of the land, we’ve known anecdotally that more and more young LGBTQ people are fully expecting to form families, just like their straight and cisgender peers, but no research has been conducted to test this,” said The Rev. Stan J. Sloan, CEO of Family Equality Council.
“We believe that every LGBTQ person should be able to form a family and know the joys of parenthood, no matter who they are or where they live,” added Sloan. “Family Equality Council exists to make that dream a reality, and the data released today show just how many loving families are waiting to be formed with the right supports.”
Despite same-sex marriage being legal in the US, lawmakers in a number of states continue to push for laws that would allow adoption agencies to reject same-sex parents on the basis of religious beliefs.
Last week, President Trump gave his backing to religious-based adoption agencies who wish to discriminate against same-sex families. “My administration,” he said, “is working to ensure that faith-based adoption agencies are able to help vulnerable children find their forever families while following their deeply held beliefs.”