LGBTQ+ Families: Preparing for the Costs of Parenthood

Everyone’s parenthood story is different. For many, the first time they make eye contact with their new son or daughter, they experience a protective love that is just about impossible to put into words. And, of course, what follows is a journey with many wonderful memories, as well as the ups and downs that come with raising a child.

If you are a member of the LGBTQ+ community, the path to parenthood may entail many unique challenges - financial and otherwise. Knowing your options, the costs and other considerations can help you navigate these discussions with your partner and assist you in making informed decisions for your family.  

Approximately 29% of LGBTQ+ Americans are raising children and building their families.1 It’s encouraging that there are options available that may lead to different ways to grow a family. The reality, however, is that each of these options has costs that are often not covered by insurance.

Here are five options and the estimated costs of each:

1. Adoption2:

  • Foster care/public adoptions: $0–$5,000
  • Private agency adoption: $30,000–$60,000+
  • Independent adoption: $25,000–$45,000+
  • International adoption: $20,000 –$50,000+

It is wise to check your state laws, as some states do not protect against discrimination in adoption based on sexual orientation or gender identity. This lack of protection could pose challenges to LGBTQ+ people who wish to adopt.

2. Surrogacy:3

  • Gestational surrogacy: $60,000–$150,000
  • Traditional surrogacy: varies greatly based on method of conception used. Since In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) is not typically required, it can be less expensive than gestational surrogacy.

3. Intrauterine Insemination (IUI): $250–$4,0004

4. In Vitro Fertilization (IVF): $13,500–$21,000+5

  • Additional costs may include medications and frozen embryo transfers, which can range from $4,000 to $7,000 or higher.

5. Reciprocal In Vitro Fertilization (R-IVF): $15,000–$23,0006

The sticker shock can be overwhelming, and sometimes the process may require multiple attempts. Getting covered by insurance can be difficult, depending on your health insurance policy. For example, for lesbian couples, proving infertility to obtain coverage for IVF can be challenging.

Here are some suggestions that might help:

  • Understand your options and have open, honest conversations with your partner.
  • Talk to your employer. Find out what is covered and what isn’t. What resources do they offer?
  • Prepare financially. These costs can look like first-year college tuition. Talk to your advisor and find out the steps you should take to prepare for the costs. There are financing options that may be available to you.7
  • Know your state laws and how they may impact you, especially when it comes to adoption, surrogacy and assisted reproductive technology. 

Lastly, once your precious bundle of joy arrives, we believe it’s important to think about steps to protect your family. Being named on the birth certificate sometimes is not enough, and we suggest exploring second-parent adoption for the non-biological parent. In addition, revisiting your insurance and estate plans to include your child is critical to ensure your family and money are protected in the event of incapacitation or death.

When you consult with a financial advisor, make sure it’s someone who understands you, your family and what’s important to you. Your advisor can map out a personalized plan designed to address the financial impact of having and raising a child. Working with someone who is sensitive to the nuances that the LGBTQ+ community faces can support your decision-making and help you make the most of the resources, financial or otherwise, available to you.




Barbara Bilello

Barbara Bilello

Partner, Wealth Advisor

Barbara is a Partner, Wealth Advisor in our Morristown, NJ, office. Since 1996, she has provided tailored services and customized advice that help high net worth clients and their families to build and protect their wealth across generations. Barbara joined legacy firm RegentAtlantic in 2017, was named Co-Chair of the firm’s Wall Street Women Forum in 2021, was named as Partner in 2021 and launched the firm’s LGBTQ+ practice. Her previous experience includes positions with U.S. Trust and Goldman Sachs & Co. Barbara holds a bachelor’s degree from Providence College in Rhode Island. A sought-after speaker on wealth management and an active volunteer, Barbara has helped to provide early learning experiences for young children, raise funds for the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network (PanCAN), mentor women and ensure the LGBTQ+ community gets the representation, advice and strategies it needs to succeed. She and her family split their time between Williamsburg, Brooklyn, and Asbury Park, NJ.

Lisa Neira, CFP

Lisa Neira, CFP

Wealth Advisor

Lisa is a Wealth Advisor in our Morristown, NJ, office. Lisa joined legacy firm RegentAtlantic in 2021, bringing over 15 years of experience in wealth management and providing financial advice to high-net-worth individuals and families. She advises clients on financial planning, tax planning and investment management to help them achieve their financial goals leading up to and through retirement. Lisa specializes in working with LQBTQIA+ clients and their families, and understands the unique financial challenges this community generally faces. She also serves as a LGBTQIA+ planning resource to other advisors across the firm. She is a featured speaker and has been quoted in financial news media, including Asset TV, Barron’s Advisor and InvestmentNews. Lisa holds the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ certification. She graduated from Richard Stockton School of New Jersey, earning a Bachelor of Science in Business Studies with a concentration in finance and economics. Prior to joining RegentAtlantic, Lisa was a VP, Wealth Planner at Fidelity Investments. Lisa resides in Cedar Grove, New Jersey, with her wife, Mindy Neira and their daughter Jackson. She enjoys traveling, cooking for her family, running around with her puppy, Avery, and watching her favorite sports teams. She is an avid fan of the Nets, Jets and Yankees.


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