There are distinctive aspects to being an LGBT parent. On top of the usual challenges of parenting, LGBT families deal with a system and set of assumptions that are not designed for us. We find, even now, there are few role models. Outside certain areas, LGBT families are still unusual. When we talk about our families, we still have to brace ourselves for confused looks, intrusive questions or even hostility. That’s why, as LGBT parents ourselves, we think that sharing stories, advice and experiences is so important. We believe that we are stronger together.
A new book, Pride and Joy: A guide for lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans parents (published in the U.K.) offers advice you can use while navigating through the process of becoming a parent.
The book recommends that you start with your values. Your values should be your starting point when thinking about how to create your family. No one has exactly the same combination of experiences, beliefs, values and gut feelings as you do, so start by working out what your own attitudes to parenthood are. For example, beliefs about the significance of your child knowing its genetic heritage, or the principle of creating a new life instead of adopting a child in need of a family, will influence the decisions you make. You may have to defend these many times to questioning friends, family members, social workers or medical professionals, so it is a good idea to be clear in your own mind what your values are.