Child Options for Gay Couples: What's Right for You?

What are the baby options for gay couples wanting to add to their family? In many cases, you can use a baby adoption or assisted reproductive technology.

Just because you’re an LGBT individual doesn’t mean that you can’t have children. On the contrary, there are actually several options for gay couples to have children, whether it’s a child that is biologically related to them or not.

Each process requires dedication and commitment, so it’s important you understand the intricacies of each of your baby options for gay couples before you decide which one is right for you. At American Surrogacy, our surrogacy specialists are available to talk to you about each of your gay parenting options and how to get there. We know that each family is unique, and surrogacy doesn’t always work for everyone — so, no matter what you end up choosing, our specialists will support you and provide you resources for the path that you choose.

Generally speaking, there are few ways to add a child to your family as LGBT individuals: through some kind of gay adoption or surrogacy or other assisted reproductive technology method.


If you’re a gay couple, your baby options will include adoption. Through adoption, you will bring a child who is not biologically related to you into your family when their birth or legal parents cannot properly care for them.

There are several ways you can adopt a baby: through a private domestic adoption, a foster care adoption or an international adoption. There are also legal methods to adopt a child that you have a relationship with already (like through a stepparent adoption or relative adoption). Generally, however, the first three are the most common child options for gay couples.

Here’s how each works:

  • Private domestic adoption: When a woman finds out she’s pregnant but knows she cannot parent her baby, she may choose to place them for adoption. You will work with an adoption professional like our sister company American Adoptions to find a prospective birth mother to adopt from and follow all the legal steps necessary to add this child to your family. You will usually maintain a relationship with your child’s birth mother through open adoption.

  • Foster care adoption: Many children who are in the foster care system are legally freed for adoption and waiting for a forever family. This adoption process is generally cheaper and faster than the other two, although you will likely need to adopt an older child if you complete a foster care adoption.

  • International adoption: Your options for adopting a child from another country as an LGBT couple are somewhat limited, but doing so is possible. Usually, a child will be older or have special needs to be available for adoption by a U.S. family.

Assisted Reproductive Technology and Surrogacy

But what if you’re a gay couple that wants to have some biological relation to the child you raise? Thankfully, with advances in assisted reproductive technology, gay men and lesbians who are single or in a relationship can still have a genetic relationship to their child — either through a gamete or embryo donation or through a surrogate pregnancy.

For lesbian couples who want to have a biologically related child, they may be able to conceive using sperm donation, using one partner’s uterus to carry the child. This way, one woman can use her egg in the IVF process and create a genetic relationship. Even for lesbian singles or couples who cannot create an embryo using their own eggs, they can still experience pregnancy of their own by adopting an already-created embryo (typically donated by families who have already completed their IVF process), or they can always complete a surrogate pregnancy if they can’t carry an embryo themselves.

The options for gay men to have children are a bit more limited; because they have no uterus to carry a child, they must complete a surrogacy in order to have a genetically related child. Surrogacy options for gay couples include using a friend or family member to carry their child for them, or finding a screened, approved surrogate. Either way, when LGBT intended parents use a professional like American Surrogacy, their surrogacy process is handled by experts every step of the way.

Our surrogacy specialists can always recommend you to trusted gamete and embryo donation centers, like:

Which is Right for You if You’re Gay: Adoption or Surrogacy?

When you want to become parents as LGBT individuals, you likely have a big decision to make: surrogacy or adoption?

As mentioned before, surrogacy (or another reproductive technology method) can give you a child who is genetically related to at least one partner, while adoption cannot. It’s important to know that both are fairly costly processes, with adoption costing an average of $40,000 and surrogacy commonly costing up to $100,000. Waiting for a match in the surrogacy process is usually shorter than the adoption process, but the surrogacy medical process by itself typically takes a year. Overall, surrogacy often allows for more control and fewer surprises.

If you’re deciding between gay surrogacy vs. adoption, our specialists are happy to provide you the objective information you need to make the choice that’s best for you. We can answer whatever questions you have about all of the baby options for gay couples and how they may fit into your situation. When you’re ready, we can even start your surrogacy process — so please give us a call today at 1-800-875-2229.