Family planning, in general, is challenging. For members of the LGBTQ community, the decision to start a family and the process involved can be complicated, to say the least.

The LBGTQ movement has been strong and made significant strides in terms of acceptance and equality. That said when approached with the term “family” many people still picture a mom, dad, and children, a traditional family. Alternative or nontraditional families look a bit different.

Understanding that families come in all different shapes, sizes and colors is difficult for some people. But, members of the LGBTQ community make excellent parents and provide their children with loving homes, exceptional care, and consistent support. 

How to Start a Nontraditional Family

Once the decision has been made to start a family, the harder work begins. LGBTQ individuals have a number of options when it comes to having children. Here are three common ways nontraditional families can come to be.


Adopting is an option many in the LBGTQ community take when starting a family, both for single parents and couples.  And, giving a child a loving home is always a good choice. However, the process can be difficult, especially for single people. Sadly, LGBTQ individuals still often face discrimination in the adoption process.

Donor Conception/IVF

Many women want the experience of giving birth. And, because of the miracles of science, this is possible without a male partner.  During the procedure, a woman is inseminated with the sperm of a donor. And, the donor can either be anonymous or someone she knows.

It is important for those who choose to undergo conception/IVF to understand the legalities regarding their choice. The laws differ if the parent is single, married, in a civil partnership, or don’t have a legally formal relationship. Take some time to research parenting laws surrounding donor conception in your state; specific steps may need to be taken to be granted legal parental rights.


Another manner of building a family, surrogacy is when a woman carries a baby for another person or couple.  The individual or couple then assumes parental rights when the baby is born.  Surrogacy, either traditional or gestational, can be costly and also require legal work. Some couples know their surrogates, while others use an agency. In the end, It is important to work with reputable and qualified people. 

Nontraditional Families = Loving Families

Quite obviously, building a family can be a challenge for those in the LGBTQ community. Overcoming obstacles can be frustrating and time-consuming. Individuals going through each of the processes often experience a number of highs and lows. They can also be subject to discrimination. But, as any parent will tell you, the end result is well worth the journey.

At Rainbow Depot, we appreciate nontraditional families and celebrate the love they have for each other. Family is family and love is love. We KNOW that nontraditional families ARE loving families.