As any parent can tell you, there is a high cost to become a parent. This is particularly the case for aspiring LGBTQ parents who often seek the assistance of fertility or adoption services to start their families. Adoptions fees are often more than $30k,  IVF treatment costs more than $1k (and often, numerous treatments are required), and the services of a surrogate often costs over $10k.

To obtain funding families might apply for medical loans at market rates from private lenders, but more frequently costs are absorbed into credit cards, home equity loans, or mortgages.

Some families do qualify for low-or-no-interest grants or loans to fund adoption & fertility services from non-profits.However, eligibility for such programs is at times conditioned on the applicant’s “affirmation of faith” to comply with the non-profit’s religious values; applications may also often request information for both a “Husband” and “Wife” applicant, deterring LGBTQ applicants and suggestive of a requirement unlawful under fair lending laws.24 As a result of such discrimination, LGBTQ families are forced to turn to higher-cost debt products to finance their families.

Debt financing of parenthood induces higher risk for LGBTQ families, increasing their households’ potential for future financial distress and restricting their means to support their families by compounding costly debt service, interest, and fees on top of the existing price of parenthood.