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Research

LGBTQ+ Pregnancy

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LGBTQ+ stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or questioning, and other sexual identities.There are increasing numbers of people, including people with disabilities, in the LGBTQ+ community who are choosing or desiring to become parents.1 Often multiple decisions need to be made about the various pathways to parenthood (see Assisted Reproduction). Challenges and decisions include barriers to healthcare,2 transgender hormonal procedures and surgeries that may impact a person’s ability to conceive,3,4 non-biological mothers’ experience of psychological distress and isolation,5 and the potential for discrimination.6

For an LGBTQ+ disabled woman, the experience of pregnancy and parenthood within multiple marginalized communities will likely require support systems, extensive communication processes, and education that is specific to the unique needs of the parent-to-be.

To help with the process of pregnancy and parenthood, it is important to find a provider who is knowledgeable, sensitive, and inclusive toward the health and issues within the LGBTQ+ and disability communities.7,8 For additional resources, see LGBTQ+ Pregnancy and Parenting Resources below.

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Reference List

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  1. Family Equality Council. LGBTQ family fact sheet. Updated August 2017. Accessed August 7, 2020.
  2. Romanelli M, Hudson KD. Individual and systemic barriers to health care:Perspectives of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender adults. Am J Orthopsychiatry. 2017;87(6):714–728. doi:10.1037/ort0000306
  3. De Roo C, Tilleman K, T'Sjoen G, De Sutter P. Fertility options in transgender people. Int Rev Psychiatry. 2016;28(1):112-119. doi:10.3109/09540261.2015.1084275
  4. T’Sjoen G, Van Caenegem E, Wierckx K. Transgenderism and reproduction. Curr Opin Endocrinol Diabetes Obes. 2013;20(6):575-9. doi: 10.1097/01.med.0000436184.42554.b7
  5. Wojnar DM, Katzenmeyer A. Experiences of preconception, pregnancy, and new motherhood for lesbian nonbiological mothers. J Obstet Gynecol Neonatal Nurs. 2014;43(1):50-60. doi: 10.1111/1552-6909.12270
  6. Haines KM, Boyer CR, Giovanazzi C, Galupo MP. “Not a Real Family”: Microaggressions directed toward LGBTQ families. J Homosex. 2018;65(9);1138-1151. doi:10.1080/00918369.2017.1406217
  7. Darwin Z, Greenfield M. Mothers and others: The invisibility of LGBTQ people in reproductive and infant psychology, J Reprod Infant Psychol. 2019;37(4):341-343. doi:10.1080/02646838.2019.1649919
  8. Pharris A, Bucchio J, Dotson C, Davidson W. Supporting lesbian couples during pregnancy. Int J Childbirth Educ. 2016;31(3):23- 24.

Funded by the National Institutes of Health, National Library of Medicine (Grant #G08 LM012702) and Paralyzed Veterans of America Educational Foundation (Grant #848).

Page updated October 2020