The legal rights for transgender persons and parents are quite unclear, according to the Human Rights Campaign. Transgender individuals can often become legally married in a same-sex relationship or heterosexual pairing, which depends on whether their state recognizes transitioning. However, the lack of established legal guidelines for transgender parents and individuals leave these people at risk in several states.
Transgender persons often are denied parental rights, contrary to professional advice and scientific research that shows transgender people are as good at parenting than their non-transgender peers. There is no evidence that the parent’s gender identity affects the gender identity of the child, according to the International Journal of Transgenderism. In addition, the American Psychological Association has declared that gender identity is not a determinant of parenting skills.
Is adoption an option?
There is no state law currently that bars transgender people from adopting. However, transgender applicants have to deal with prejudice and ignorance, so adoption is often difficult. The American Fertility Association recommends that you reach out to several agencies, choosing ones known to help gay and lesbian parents. Additionally, you should try to meet with a doctor or therapist well versed in transgender issues, as this person can speak to the agency on your behalf.
If I am transitioning, what are my options to have a genetic child in the future?
According to experts, you should have a conversation with your primary care physician for referral to a fertility center. The specialists at fertility clinics can talk to you about freezing sperm or eggs before you undergo the transitioning procedures. Surgery or hormone therapy could render you incapable of producing eggs or sperm in future years. Options for having a biological child include intrauterine insemination using donor sperm or eggs and use of a gestational carrier.
If I’ve had my testicles or ovaries removed, can I still have biological children?
Once the ovaries are removed, a woman can no longer produce eggs. Once a man has his testicles removed, he can no longer produce sperm. You should preserve fertility by freezing eggs or sperm to have a biological child in the future. However, if you have already had testicle or ovarian surgery, you can use sperm and egg donors as an option.
If I have a child under the age of 18 who wishes to transition, how can I help preserve his/her fertility?
Children are transitioning at younger ages now. A child who has had puberty can preserve sperm or eggs. It is a huge challenge for preservation of fertility if they do not undergo puberty.
How can I find a fertility doctor who is transgender-friendly?
Not every fertility practice is trained to accept gay, lesbian, and transgender clients. It is best to ask around in the GLBT community for such a business. A fertility center that is transgender-friendly will be more culturally sensitive and accepting of your situation.
What is involved with surrogacy?
With traditional surrogacy, a woman agrees to carry the baby for the transgender parents who cannot do so themselves. A couple who has only male reproductive capabilities must use a surrogate, and a male partner can provide the sperm. The surrogate is undergoes artificial insemination, where sperm is inserted by way of intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) or intrauterine insemination (IUI).