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The State of the LGBTQ Family and Assisted Reproduction
a blog by Traci Medeiros-Bagan, LGBT Coordinator Fertility SOURCE Companies (The Donor SOURCE and The Surrogacy SOURCE), February 6, 2014
As we head into 2014 one thing is clear... we are heading into the future.
This might seem like a redundant statement, reiterating what is inevitable every new January as we close chapters and set resolutions, but as culture and law and technology collide this isn't always the case in practice. I am, however, happy to report that in the world of assisted reproduction and LGBTQ family building , the future looks bright and we are definitely headed in the right, amazing, stuff that dreams are made of, direction!
I was an outsider to the industry of assisted reproduction when I entered it-- I dealt in -- LGBTQ family/civil rights -- From the first moments that I started to explore what my place would be in the field of egg donation and surrogacy I was utterly impressed by the dreamers that work in this field. Doctors, lawyers, clinics, and agencies that refuse to be confined by what they knew, what they expected, and what others told them was possible about how we used to build families. The assisted reproduction industry dealt in faith and manifesting futures that looked brighter, more full, and closer to the dreams of the families they worked with and for. It started to settle in that dreams became reality in 9 month increments... sometimes a little more and sometimes a little less.
Since that historical August morning in 1963 the words "I have a dream" have been iconically and everlastingly linked with the civil rights movement, equality, and the realization of brighter tomorrows. For LGBTQ individuals looking to build families through egg donation and surrogacy it seems that as fast as a dream about family building is uttered it can be moved towards fruition through assisted reproduction technology. Maybe even more exciting, these technological advances are also starting to be reflected and supported by culture and law. Among many other family building and affirming changes, this year made the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional, this past Fall brought the potential for multi parent families to be legally recognized in California, and our year at Fertility SOURCE Companies was busy with conferences, educational events, and community conversations about how we could support the planning, building, and sustaining of LGBTQ families.
As we head out into 2014 there are definitely places that our LGBTQ families could be better supported and protected, and we will continue to work tirelessly to do so. However, as we set our sights towards 2014 I feel proud that the state of the LGBTQ family seems to be doing well with the potential for ever brighter futures in the hands of the dreamers in the assisted reproduction industry facilitating as many pathways to parenthood as there are families looking for them.
Traci Medeiros-Bagan, Fertility SOURCE Companies (The Donor SOURCE and The Surrogacy SOURCE) LGBT Coordinator, has a bachelor of arts degree in critical gender studies with a focus in sexuality and a master's degree in counseling psychology. She currently has ties to the Gay and Lesbian Resources Center of Orange County, as a Marriage and Family Therapy Intern, as well as a provider of educational trainings on affirming care services. She is excited to be part of a company that is working to recognize the needs of LGBT individuals in growing their families. She believes in the strength of families built on choice and is passionate about offering affirming options for surrogacy and egg donation to the LGBT community .