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On Demand

Navigating the Post-Obergefell Baby Boom: A Map for LGBT Family Building

1h 2m

Created on June 21, 2019



Recent surveys have found that nearly two-thirds of LGBTQ millennials are considering expanding their families to include children. Spurred by marriage equality and greater societal acceptance, a new generation is reinforcing the trend toward parenting by people of all LGBTQ stripes. Advances in reproductive technology have helped bring down the costs associated with biological parenthood for male and female couples. Meanwhile a revolution in practices in the last 15 years have made adoption available to LGBTQ couples and single people.

However, family law in many states struggles to keep up with these advances in family formation. Far too often families that do not consist of two different-sex married parents face additional burdens when building their families and securing the rights of both parents. The practice of surrogacy is banned in three states, and is practiced effectively in a legal vacuum in many others. Less than half the states have statutes addressing sperm donation. Only a handful of jurisdictions have any laws on the books regarding egg or embryo donation. The specter of religious exemption laws or litigating parentage in hostile jurisdictions creates additional hurdles for LGBTQ families.

This course, presented by Brian Esser, a solo practitioner who helps LGBTQ people build families through adoption and assisted reproduction, discusses the most common modes of LGBTQ family building, addresses the inequalities that linger after Obergefell, and offers practical guidance for counseling families as they embark on the path to parenthood.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Identify the primary modes LGBT couples and single people use to build families
  2. Emphasize the importance of establishing legal parentage for both intended parents when couples are pursuing biological parenthood
  3. Survey the legal landscape of adoption and foster care for same-sex couples
  4. Examine the challenges transgender individuals face when building families

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