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2 Minutes Read

Mental Health and LGBTQ Parenthood

LGBTQ+ individuals and couples are building families in beautiful and diverse ways. While parenthood is a rewarding experience for many, LGBTQ+ parents may face unique challenges that can impact their mental health. 

Minority stress

LGBTQ+ parents still experience societal stigma and discrimination, in both overt and subtle forms. Sometimes this can be obvious, for example when a relative does not recognize a LGBTQ+ person’s non-biological child as part of the family. It can also take the form of microaggressions, like when a teacher encourages their students to invite all their “moms and dads'' to Parent-Teacher night. LGBTQ+ parents may experience a sense of isolation, as they often struggle to find relatable role models or resources tailored to their specific experiences and needs. 

Family formation challenges

The path to parenthood for LGBTQ+ individuals can be complex. Depending on specific needs, desires, and abilities, LGBTQ+ parents might grow their families through adoption, fostering, IUI, IVF, or surrogacy. Some procedures may involve the use of eggs and/or sperm from either known or anonymous donors. These processes can be emotionally and financially demanding. Depending on location, LGBTQ+ parents may also face legal hurdles related to adoption rights or second-parent adoption because of their identity.

Building resilience

Despite these challenges, research shows that children with LGBTQ+ parents thrive just as well as children with heterosexual parents. LGBTQ+ families can be incredibly loving and supportive environments for children to grow up in, fostering a sense of self-acceptance and pride in children. 

LGBTQ+ parents can promote their mental well-being through building a strong support network of affirming friends, family, and LGBTQ+ parenting communities. Like any other parents, they benefit from prioritizing joyful and stress management activities, such as exercise, relaxation techniques, or spending time with loved ones. Some LGBTQ+ parents find a sense of empowerment through advocating for change, and contributing to efforts towards greater LGBTQ+ acceptance and inclusive policies for all LGBTQ+ families.

Moving beyond challenges

Many LGBTQ+ parents try to do it all on their own — at Salt River Therapy we are familiar with providing those gentle reminders that seeking support is a sign of strength, not weakness. Committing to your well being ultimately benefits your entire family. 

Therapists specializing in LGBTQ+ issues can provide a safe space to navigate your specific challenges, develop coping mechanisms, and build resilience. Our therapists at Salt River Therapy are qualified to give you the support you need to face the challenges that come with raising kids as LGBTQ+ parents.  Reach out for the support you deserve by clicking the link below and scheduling a free phone consultation. 


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