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Bisexual individuals face unique challenges when building their families

Bisexuality has been defined in different ways by different people. Essentially, it is the ability to move in two directions along the sexual continuum of multiple genders. Bisexual women and men may find themselves attracted to, and involved in, intimate relationships with people of the same or opposite sex – at the same time, or at different times in their lives. Throughout history, there have been many famous people who have been identified as being bisexual (e.g., Virginia Wolf, Georgia O’Keeffe, Simone de Beauvoir, Elton John, Marlon Brando, Joan Baez). There are many myths about bisexual individuals and their “real” sexual orientation. But these beliefs are based on the assumption that all women and men have a true, singular orientation to either the same or opposite gender but not both. This is simply not the case for bisexual people.

At the time when a bisexual person is ready to have children, the options for creating a family are dependent on whether they are partnered with an individual of the same or opposite sex. If they are having children with a partner of the opposite sex, their fertility issues and options are the same as for heterosexual couples. If they are having children with a same sex partner, their fertility issues, challenges and options are the same as those of lesbian or gay couples.

Resources for parenting

Eady, A., Ross, L., Epstein, R., & Anderson, S. (2009). To bi or not to bi: Bisexuality and disclosure in the adoption system. In R. Epstein (Ed.), Who’s your daddy? And other writings on queer parenting. Toronto: Sumach Press.

Ross, L., Siegel, A., Dobinson, C., Epstein, R. & Steele, L. (2012). I don’t want to turn totally invisible: Mental health, stressors and supports among bisexual women during the perinatal period. Journal of GLBT Family Studies, 8(2), 137-154. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/1550428X.2012.660791.

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