09 Jun 2021 Good Read: ‘Love Comes First’ Offers Inspiration, Advice for LGBTQ Parents
As we begin LGBTQ Pride Month, I am proud to recommend a great new book, Love Comes First: Creating LGBTQ Families, by Dr. Bradford Kolb, MD, and Melinda Maerker, with photographs by David Miller. I contributed to a chapter in the book on the legal issues involved in assisted reproduction, including establishing legal parentage and negotiating terms of surrogate and donor agreements, specifically for LGBTQ intended parents.
The book covers a lot of ground, with first-person stories and photos of LGBTQ parents who have created families in all sorts of ways,as well as advice from professionals and an update on the latest reproductive technology from an LGBTQ perspective.
In my chapter on Fertility Law, I cover the legal processes involved in creating a family using assisted reproductive technology, everything from when intended parents should consult a lawyer (early) to what steps are needed to protect parental rights.
Certain legal steps are essential for any person who has child via third-party egg or sperm donation or surrogacy, such as properly executed donor or surrogacy agreements and court orders of parenthood. Of course, same-sex couples and LGBTQ intended parents often face an additional level of complications, and laws regarding reproduction and parentage differ from state in the U.S. and from country to country.
Since the U.S. Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage in 2015, state laws are supposed to treat all marriages equally. In reality, however, some jurisdictions or individual judges are resistant, and I share a few war stories of my and my clients’ encounters with prejudice and discrimination.
Despite those holdouts, the landscape for LGBTQ parenting has changed immensely since my husband and I became dads to twin boys via egg donation and surrogacy in 2008, in all ways: The technology is vastly improved, more reliable and safer for all parties; more states are requiring some form of fertility insurance coverage, and employers are beginning to offer it as a perk to attract young talent, potentially making services more accessible and affordable; and societal expectations of how families are created have evolved. Our family today is less likely to turn heads on the street or draw comments from strangers wondering where the moms are—and that’s a good thing for all of us. And there are more resources available—such as this inspiring, informative book—for those who wonder if the dream of parenthood can come true for them.
Happy LGBTQ Pride Month! I hope you enjoy the read! https://lovecomesfirst.com/book/