Rich Vaughn Blog: Family Equality Councl study shows LGBTQ Millennials Choosing Parenthod

Family Equality Council: Gayby Boom Just Getting Started

Following the historic 2015 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, which legalized same-sex marriage nationwide, activists and social scientists speculated that more LGBT people would opt to become parents as a result. Less than four years later, a landmark study by the Family Equality Council indicates that speculation was correct.

The non-profit organization’s just released Family Building Study, conducted between July 11 and July 18, 2018, shows a generational shift in the propensity of LGBTQ people to become parents. As the survey reports:

Of LGBTQ survey respondents aged 55 years and older, 33% either already have children or are considering having children. This finding is consistent with the 2013 Pew Research Center’s finding that approximately 35% of LGBTQ adults are parents.

However, 77% of LGBTQ “Millennials” (aged 18-35) are either already parents or are considering having children, a 44% increase over their elders (Figure 1).2

The Family Building Study, conducted between July 11 and July 18, 2018, surveyed 500 LGBTQ adults and 1,004 non-LGBTQ adults, using “census” balancing “to provide a nationally representative sample.”

Not only is the proportion of LGBTQ people opting for parenthood increasing, the number of people who self-identify as LGBTQ also appears to be on the rise, as more people come out as LGBTQ at younger and younger ages. While the exact number of LGBTQ people living in the U.S. is not known, the Family Building Study cites a May 2018 Gallup poll finding that 4.5 percent of U.S. adults self-identify as LGBTQ. When narrowed to Millennials only, the number jumps to 8.1 percent who identify as LGBTQ – which comes out to more than 6.1 million LGBTQ-identified 18- to 35-year-olds in the United States, 3.8 million of whom are considering or actively planning to start, or add to, families.

In fact, so many LGBTQ Millennials are in family-building mode that they have almost closed the gap with similarly aged heterosexuals, the study shows:

48% of LGBTQ Millennials are actively planning to grow their families, compared to 55% of non-LGBTQ Millennials, a gap that has narrowed significantly in comparison to older generations.

Pew Research Center reported in 2013 that 35 percent of LGBTQ adults were parents compared to 74 percent of heterosexual adults. Likewise, the 2018 Family Building Survey showed that just 28 percent of LGBTQ people over age 54 are currently parents, compared to 68 percent of heterosexual people in that age group who are parents—a 40 percent gap—compared to a mere 7 percent gap for the younger generation.

As the study acknowledges, cultural attitudes toward LGBT relationships, marriage and parenting in the U.S. have changed dramatically over the past decade, along with laws governing those institutions. “A decade ago, a majority of Americans still opposed same-sex marriage, let alone equality that extended into the realms of parental rights for all members of the LGBTQ community,” according to the report’s executive summary.

The increasingly tolerant environment and institutional and legal support for justice and equality have made it easier for people to come out at younger ages. In a 2010 survey LGBT people in their 60s reported coming out at an average age of 37, while people then in their 30s reported coming out at age 21, and those ages 18 to 24 reported an average coming-out age of just 17. As a result of this societal pattern, most older LGBTQ people became parents the old-fashioned way, in heterosexual relationships or marriage. Younger LGBTQ people, in contrast, have many more options for relationships and family-building than elders did, including foster parenting, adoption or assisted reproduction.

That leads to another big finding of the Family Building Study: of those estimated 3.8 million LGBTQ people with an interest in or intention to expand their families, 68 percent plan to do so using assisted reproductive technology.

Because historically so little data has been collected about LGBTQ people and their families, the Family Equality Council study makes a tremendous contribution toward helping legislators, policy-makers, medical providers and ART attorneys like me understand the scope and trajectory of this steadily building “Gayby Boom.” In a recent article covering the study results, USA Today reports that although technological advances offer today’s LGBTQ intended parents much better options than their elders enjoyed, bias continues to create barriers in some parts of the country.

The good news from this report has personal meaning to me. As I have written before, when my spouse, Tommy Woelfel, and I came out as young gay men, neither of us dreamed we would ever have the opportunity to become fathers. Sooner than either of us could have imagined, the world changed, our lives changed, and sophisticated reproductive technology made the once inconceivable a reality. Ten years ago, we became fathers to two twin boys, born via the miracles of egg donation, IVF and surrogacy. To those of us who advocate for LGBT equality and work to ensure that all families created via ART are equally protected under the law, progress can sometimes seem frustratingly slow. The Family Equality Council report offers the first concrete evidence that, amid growing societal acceptance and the security of being able to legally marry, more and more young LGBTQ people are eager to experience the joys of parenthood.


Richard Vaughn

Attorney Rich Vaughn is founder and principal of International Fertility Law Group, one of the world’s largest and best-known law firms focused exclusively on assisted reproductive technology, or ART, including in vitro fertilization (IVF), surrogacy, sperm donation or egg donation. Rich is co-author of the book “Developing A Successful Assisted Reproduction Technology Law Practice,” American Bar Association Publishing, 2017.

Peiya Wang
Paralegal (律师助理)

Peiya Wang joined IFLG as a paralegal in 2015, where she manages surrogacy, egg donation and parental establishment cases and provides translation services for many of IFLG’s international clients. Peiya moved to the United States in 2012 to attend Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts, receiving a Master of Science degree in Global Studies and International Affairs in 2014. Peiya moved to Los Angeles in 2015, received her paralegal certification from UCLA Extension, and obtained her second Master of Science degree in Legal Studies from Loyola Law School. Peiya relocated back to her hometown, Beijing, China in 2019 and works from IFLG’s Beijing office. When away from the office, Peiya is a dragon boat paddler and a ballroom dancer, where she favors Rumbas and Cha-chas. She is fluent in Mandarin and English.

Luis Sosa

Luis R. Sosa joined IFLG as a paralegal in 2016, where he enjoys pursuing his passion for family and reproductive law. While working toward his bachelor’s degree at Florida International University which he received in 2013, Luis worked as a paralegal and legal assistant for family law litigation firms in Miami and Washington, D.C. As a paralegal and case manager for IFLG, Luis, who is bilingual in English and Spanish, manages surrogacy, egg donation and other reproductive law cases. Luis has worked for IFLG in both Los Angeles as well as San Francisco, and is currently based in Dallas, Texas. In addition to spending time with husband Randy and dog Marty, Luis enjoys being outdoors and appreciating the arts.

Toni Hughes

After receiving her B.S. in Business Management, Toni joined IFLG to pursue her dream of working in the legal field. As a Paralegal with over 10 years of experience in the assisted reproduction technology field, Toni is our Managing Paralegal, responsible for training and managing our paralegal staff. From drafting legal documents to assisting our clients with post-birth matters, Toni embraces the challenge of learning something new in this field each day. Besides spending time with her son, Jordan, Toni enjoys exploring new things, cooking, spending time with family and friends, and serving as a Youth Advisor for “Next Generation.”


Kim has over 30 years of experience in the legal field and has worked exclusively in surrogacy and assisted reproduction law since 1999. Kim is a senior case manager responsible for managing parental establishment cases and interacting with IFLG’s Of Counsel attorneys across the country. With three children of her own, Kim understands the importance of family and finds working in this area of law a rewarding experience.

Rich Vaughn

Attorney Rich Vaughn combined his personal passion as a father of twin boys born via assisted reproductive technology (ART) with more than 20 years of experience in business and technology law to build International Fertility Law Group. Today IFLG is one of the most successful and best-known law firms in the world focused exclusively on fertility law, helping thousands of intended parents through empathetic listening, compassionate guidance, and unmatched legal expertise. As an advocate for reproductive freedom, Rich also contributes his knowledge and time to improving the understanding and practice of ART law, most recently as a founder of and speaker at the first Cambridge University International Surrogacy Symposium held in June 2019, as immediate past chair of the American Bar Association ART Committee, and as a popular presenter to law schools, faculty and advocacy organizations all over the world.

Elizabeth Tamayo

Elizabeth received her Bachelors of Science degree in Criminal Justice from California State University of Los Angeles. Shortly after graduating, she continued her education at the University of California, Los Angeles where she obtained her Paralegal certificate. Elizabeth is fluent in Spanish and has been in the legal field since 2009. She is excited to be a part of the IFLG Team helping families realize their dreams.

Sunny Chien

Sunny joined IFLG as a paralegal in 2017, where she manages surrogacy, egg donation and parental establishment cases for many of IFLG’s international clients. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy from California State University of Los Angeles, where she graduated cum laude. Sunny is bilingual in English and Mandarin and has extensive experience as a legal assistant and paralegal at Los Angeles-area law firms. She is excited to be part of the IFLG team. In her spare time, Sunny enjoys spending time with her family and their dog, going to the beach, cooking, and being outdoors.

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Molly O'Brien

Fertility law attorney Molly O’Brien began working in the field of assisted reproduction technology (ART) in 2005, at an egg donation agency and a surrogacy agency where she became familiar with all aspects of in-vitro fertilization, egg donation and the financial aspects of surrogacy. Since becoming an attorney in 2011, Molly has drafted and negotiated surrogacy, egg donation, sperm donation embryo donation agreements for hundreds of her clients all over the world.

Phoebe Sadler

Fertility law attorney Phoebe Sadler has a background in family law and has been practicing exclusively in the area of assisted reproduction technology (ART) law since 2018.

Rubina Aslanyan

Rubina has an extensive background in the legal field as a paralegal in Family Law and has worked in surrogacy and assisted reproduction law since 2012. Her area of focus is in managing and assisting clients with surrogacy, egg donation, and parental establishment cases for many of IFLG’s domestic and international clients. During her spare time, Rubina enjoys spending time with her family and dog Bella, traveling and cooking.

Alexander Espinoza
Legal Assistant

Alexander joined IFLG as a legal assistant in 2019, where he manages surrogacy, egg donation and parental establishment cases. Alex is bilingual in English and Spanish and has been in the legal field for 23 years. Alex is excited to join the IFLG team and pursuing his will to help others in the reproductive law process. In his spare time he loves spending time with his family and friends, being outdoors, road trips, loves music and dancing.

Cara Stecker
Senior Paralegal

After receiving her paralegal certificate in 2005, Cara began working in assisted reproductive law. During the fifteen years Cara has worked in this field, she has gained a wide range of experience and knowledge that she uses to help better assist clients and those involved in the assisted reproductive journey. Cara’s primary roles involve managing parental establishment matters and coordination with IFLG’s Of Counsel attorney network, drafting contracts and parental establishment court documents and providing support to other team members. Cara finds great joy in being a small part of a team of caring people who help others achieve their dream of having a family. In her spare time, Cara enjoys spending time with her husband and three children, watching her children play the sports they love, and she enjoys, running, cycling and exploring the outdoors in the sun.

Stephanie Kimble

Stephanie received her BS in History and Political Thought from Concordia University Irvine in 2015 and her Paralegal Certificate from University of San Diego later that same year. She has been working as a Paralegal since 2016 in Family and Reproductive Law. She is excited to be part of International Fertility Law Group working on managing Surrogacy, Egg donation and Parental Establishment Cases.

Trish Pittman
Assistant Financial Coordinator

With more than 20 years of experience in the field of accounting, Trish joined the IFLG team in 2019 as Assistant Financial Coordinator. Her client-facing focus at IFLG is to assist with all client trust accounting. Trish is the mother of two daughters and enjoys spending time teaching and learning new things from them. In her free time, she loves long walks in the park and reading suspense and mystery novels.

Katie Deaquino
Senior Paralegal

Katie is a Senior Paralegal with IFLG and has dedicated over sixteen years to the areas of surrogacy and reproductive law. She received her Paralegal Certificate from Coastline Community College and has worked with some of the top law firms in the assisted reproduction community. Katie is also a commissioned Notary Public. With IFLG, Katie manages Surrogacy, Egg Donation, and Parental Establishment cases and provides support to other IFLG team members. Katie truly enjoys helping others build their families through assisted reproduction and is thankful she has had the rewarding experience of assisting IFLG clients. Katie often spends her free time with her Husband, four young children and her bulldog “Bella”.

Elsa Jimenez
Legal Assistant

Elsa joined IFLG as a Legal Assistant in 2019, bringing more than 35 years of experience working in the legal profession (concentrating in tort and litigation matters). At IFLG she assists surrogates with their surrogacy and parental matters. The oldest of five siblings, born and raised in East Los Angeles to Mexican immigrant parents, Elsa loves “seeing the beauty of families forming” through assisted reproductive technology. She and her husband Carlos have four children and one grandson. Elsa enjoys jazz and ’80s music, being outdoors in nature, collecting teacups and tea pots, and spending time with her close-knit family.