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Can Gay Men and Lesbians Be Parents?


neil patrick harris gay dad

Neil Patrick Harris and his partner David Burtka are dads to twins.

Image (c) Frazer Harrison / Getty
Question: Can Gay Men and Lesbians Be Parents?
Despite some challenges, these days, more and more gay men and lesbians are becoming parents.

When Milo told his mom that he was gay, her response was mixed. "She said she loved me and was happy I told her. But then she said she was just sad she wouldn't have grandchildren."

This upset Milo--for a long time he assumed he couldn't be a gay parent.

Jade had a similar experience. As she writes, "I've been out to my mom for a bit, but whenever I bring up the subject of me being gay, she just gets quiet, sighs, and then rants on about how she'll always love me, but really wanted grandchildren from me someday. It gets kinda frustrating after a while, because it's like she lingers on that one issue instead of looking at the positive things."

Despite what these teens are hearing at home, there are plenty of gay and lesbian parents, who come from all walks of life!

There are some pretty famous gay dads, like Neil Patrick Harris, Elton John and Ricky Martin, some pretty famous lesbian moms like, Melissa Ethridge, Cynthia Nixon and Sara Gilbert, bisexual parents like Angelina Jolie, and also transgender parents like the "pregnant man," FtM, Thomas Beatie, who is married, and as of 2010 had given birth to three children.

As gay families of all types are proving, being gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender doesn't mean that one day, you won't be able to have children.

So how can someone who doesn't have an opposite sex partner become a parent? Here are some of the more common ways:

  • Adoption.
  • Being a foster parent.
  • Raising children from a previous opposite sex relationship.
  • Lesbians can use sperm donors.
  • Gay men can use surrogate mothers.

No one is going to say that becoming a gay parent is always easy, but then again, neither is becoming a straight parent! If it's important to you, being a parent shouldn't be something you cross off your list of life goals, just because you are gay

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