The path to parenthood looks different for everyone, and it can be sprinkled with challenges and unexpected events—particularly for LGBTQ+ individuals and couples. Luckily, there are several national organizations—like the Human Rights Campain, GLAAD and GLMA—that work to empower and bring equality to the LGBTQ+ population. But there are also smaller, more local organizations that are making strides to meet the individual needs of LGBTQ+ families within their local communities. By providing resources, like non-discriminatory providers and vetted lawyers, building virtual and in-person support networks and offering inspirational and educational services, these organizations enhance real lives—and help real families—every day.
Rainbow families was created in the 1970s as a place for gay fathers in Washington DC to connect and share resources for schools, pediatricians and providers. It continues to serve as an important network for the city to this day, but has branched out to support, educate and connect members of the LGBTQ+ community and their families, with a mission to make family building equal and accessible for all.
Check out Rainbow Families
Family Equality launched in 1979 as a space for gay fathers who had come out, left their heterosexual marriages and were, consequently, denied access and parenting rights to their children. Today, Family Equality provides a host of resources for families, including community networks, comprehensive lists of LGBTQ+ picture books for kids and assistance for prospective parents looking to expand their families. Plus, the organization offers trainings to help professionals serve as allies to advocate for LGBTQ+ parents, prospective parents and their families.
Check out Family Equality
COLAGE was born from an opportunity to provide support and service to children of LGBTQ+ parents. For the past 30 years, the social justice platform has been working to increase awareness for and empower children from LGBTQ+ families. The organization focuses on the quest for social equality by listening to the voices of children and teenagers within its networks. It also builds community through social networking events and a youth leadership program for kids.
Check out COLAGE
LGBTQ+ individuals and couples can face heartbreaking obstacles on their journey to parenthood, including birth discrimination, financial burdens and health concerns, as well as reproductive, pregnancy and infant loss. RTZ Hope provides a safe space with resources for LGBTQ+ families that have experienced this anguish, while validating the unique challenges they face during family planning. The organization offers support groups, workshops, a network of non-discriminatory providers, and more to help support LGBTQ+ people on the path to parenthood.
Check out Return to Zero Hope
The informational site was founded by Mark Leondires, MD, a reproductive endocrinologist, after experiencing setbacks during his own attempts to expand his family. The resource provides information for moms- and dads-to-be, whether they’re looking to conceive biologically or adopt. It also lists resources to help them plan financially for the journey.
Check out Gay Parents to Be
When welcoming a child, it’s important to update financial plans for the future, and consider things like wills and life insurance. You’ll likely want the expert advice of a lawyer during the process—and that’s where Pride Legal comes in. The organization works to connect LGBTQ+ families with skilled, experienced and inclusive lawyers for any legal counsel they may need. The organization’s website also lists several resources for legal information, including top LGBTQ+ policies and family laws by state.
Check out Pride Legal
SAGE is the country’s largest and oldest organization that works to improve the lives of elderly people within the LGBTQ+ community. According to the organization, LGBTQ+ adults over the age of 50 are more likely to live alone, face poverty and homelessness and have health issues. The group advocates for the rights, equality and voices of these individuals to ensure they live vibrant and full lives. SAGE also helps older LGBTQ+ people with caregiving, health care, housing, legal and financial needs.
Check out SAGE
Our Family Coalition was formed in the early 2000s to create an inclusive and respectful world for LGBTQ+ families and children, where they can have equal visibility and opportunities, and be treated as valued members of their schools, institutions and communities. The organization provides families with support, education and advocacy through workshops, training and support networks. Our Family Coalition also works with schools to provide resources for educators on inclusivity training and lesson plans for teaching LGBTQ+ history.
Check out Our Family Coalition
PFLAG was founded in 1973 by a mom and her gay son—50 years later, it has become the nation’s largest organization committed to advocating for the LGBTQ+ community and their families. Presently, PFLAG has hundreds of chapters and thousands of members fighting to create an inclusive world that celebrates love and empowers LGBTQ+ individuals and their loved ones. It offers resources for those coming out, looking for a supportive community and trying to become better allies at school, work and home.
Check out PFLAG
Please note: The Bump and the materials and information it contains are not intended to, and do not constitute, medical or other health advice or diagnosis and should not be used as such. You should always consult with a qualified physician or health professional about your specific circumstances.
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