Planning Your LGBTQ+ Family

Explore All Your Options

By Veronica D. Joseph

You’ve decided to become a parent! While this is a celebratory time, if you are panicking a bit, don’t worry—you are not alone. Figuring out how to become a parent can be daunting for many LGBTQ+ individuals. There are several right paths to parenthood, and Nevada has a number of resources to help you determine the best way to grow your family.

Raising children is a long-term financial commitment. According to the USDA, the cost of raising a child to age 17 is about $233,610.1 This does not include family planning nor the cost of college. Make financial planning your top priority. Free financial assistance is available from organizations such as SaverLife Nevada,, and Gay Parents To Be.

Photo by Kelly Sikkema

Photo by Kelly Sikkema

LGBT Family

Hiring an attorney is another significant expenditure to consider in your family planning. Though Nevada has progressive policies that protect our rights, it’s also true that LGBTQ+-family laws are constantly changing. As a result, whether you decide to adopt or have a biological child, you should retain an attorney who has experience in LGBTQ+ family law in Nevada. An attorney can help you navigate the law and legal jargon in contracts, such as who will be responsible for your child in the event of a separation, death, or divorce, preventing unnecessary stress during what should be a joyous time. Contact the Family Equality Council if you need assistance in finding a lawyer.

Whether you are interested in adopting or having a biological child, you have many options to consider.

Adoption Path
Here are five different types of child adoptions available in the U.S., listed by cost. (2)

  • Public agency: You can become a foster parent if you are single, married, or in a domestic partnership, and you do not need to own a home. Learn more about fostering and fostering-to-adopt by attending one of Clark County’s virtual information sessions. The Nevada State Adoption Assistance Program provides financial assistance to foster parents. $0-$2,500 (3)
  • Facilitated/Unlicensed: A facilitator connects adoptive parents to birth parents for a fee. This is the least regulated type of adoption. $5,000-$40,000
  • Private: Birth parent(s) relinquish their rights to an agency, and the birth parents choose the adoptive parent(s). Or, the adoption occurs directly between the adoptive and birth parents. $5,000-$40,000+
  • International: Adoptive parents must follow the laws of the host country and U.S. laws, including international regulations such as the Hague Convention, and must obtain an immigrant visa for their child via the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). $7,000-$30,000+
  • Independent: Private attorneys (without agencies) match the birth and adoptive parents. $8,000-$40,000+
  • Be sure to check out DCSF’s Guide to Adoption to learn more about each process and the associated fees. (4)

Biological Path
Here are three primary ways LGBTQ+ people can have a biological child, listed by cost.

  • Artificial Insemination: A doctor inserts a donor’s sperm into a cervix (ICI) or uterus (IUI). The former can be performed at home, and the latter in a doctor’s office. The donor can be known, or someone selected from an agency. $300-$1,000/cycle (5)
  • In Vitro Fertilization (IVF): A doctor removes an egg from an ovary, fertilizes it with sperm outside of the body, and freezes it or transfers the embryo to the uterus where the child is carried to term. This step is necessary for surrogacy. $10,000-$15,000/cycle (6)
  • Surrogacy: A surrogate can be someone you know, or someone an agency selects to carry your child. $90,000-$150,000 (7)

If you are unsure if you want to have kids, consider preserving your egg or sperm, especially before having medical or hormone treatments, so you can have the option to choose later. $6,000-$10,000 (8)

Insurance may not cover all fertility expenses, but in Nevada, CoFertility has a list of LGBTQ+ fertility grants and financial aid specifically for IVF.
As the African proverb goes, “It takes a village to raise a child.” As you embark on this life-altering journey, remember, you don’t have to do it alone. Use the resources available in our “village” so you can have the information you need to plan ahead and make your dream of having a family a reality.

  1. USDA, “The Cost of Raising a Child” –
  2. HRC, “How Much Does Adoption Cost?” –
  3. Nevada State Adoption Assistance Program –
  4. Nevada Department of Health & Human Services Division of Child & Family Services, “Guide to Adoption” –
  5. Parents, “Artificial Insemination: Procedures, Costs, and Success Rates
  6. Very Well Family “How Much Does IVG Really Cost?” –
  7. US News & World Report, “The Cost of Using a Surrogate – And How To Pay For It” –
  8. Yale Medicine, “Is Egg Freezing Right For You?” –
Las Vegas PRIDE Magazine - Issue 33

This article was originally published in the Family & Pets Issue of Las Vegas PRIDE Magazine, and can be read in its original format here.