A new study released this week by the Family Equality Council shows that more LGBTQ families than expected are planning on having children. The study shows that 48 percent of LGBTQ millennials (aged 18-35) are planning on expanding their families by either becoming parents for the first time, or by having more children, and that 63 percent of LGBTQ people planning families hope to use assisted reproductive technology, foster care, or adoption to become parents. This second finding is remarkable because many older LGBTQ families who wished to have children mainly did so through intercourse.
The survey is also unique because it is the first to cover a wide variety of experiences within the LGBTQ community, including people who are transgender, bisexual, or single parents in its results. Looking at the Family Equality Council’s survey alongside a 2018 Gallup Poll that shows that 4.5 percent of American adults identify as LGBTQ while 8.1 percent of millennials, we can see how acceptance of LGBTQ individuals and changes in marriage law have led to an increase in the number of LGBTQ people growing their families.
The results show that we are expected to have “a dramatic growth in the number of LGBTQ-headed families in the coming years,” the Rev. Stan Sloan, Family Equality Council CEO, told USA today. “For too many generations now, the dream of having children and forming a family was one that too many of us have felt we had to trade off in exchange for coming out of the closet. Now we see that for a generation of young LGBTQ people, this trade-off is no longer necessarily in place.”
The study also found that family planning services should increase their LGBTQ awareness and work to provide more LGBTQ-inclusive information, as an increase in LGBTQ families who are planning on having children will require unique services because of the different concerns and needs that LGBTQ families may have during the family planning process. According to the survey, however, we should start to see many more toddlers in queer families running around at brunch in the next few years.