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Same-sex parenting is on the rise

Recent data from Census Canada indicates that the number of same-sex couples has increased by 42.4 percent since 2006. The number of same-sex couples getting married has also tripled between 2006 and 2011. In addition, same-sex parenting is on the rise. According to the American Census Bureau, the percentage of same-sex parents has risen from 8 percent in 2000 to 19 percent in 2010.

While lesbian couples most commonly create their families using a known or anonymous sperm donor, the process of creating their families is more complicated and challenging for gay men. Gay men require the assistance of a traditional surrogate* or an egg donor and a gestational surrogate*.  One gay couple – Sean McGill and Luigi Caiola – created their families with the help of an agency that pairs volunteer surrogate mothers with same-sex couples. Dr. Kim Bergman of “Growing Generations” says that 80% of her clients are gay men, many of whom are in their 20s. She believes that some gay couples are now “assuming that they are going to get married and have babies just like everybody else”.

At one time, McGill and Caiola never even imagined that becoming parents was a possibility for them, but they now have three children – 5-year-old Maria, and 4-year-old twins Adam and William. Caiola noted that “[their] daily routines, our lives, what we do with our kids is exactly what any other family would be like” and that “having [their children] has been the most joyful, fulfilling experience of my life — of our lives”.

* A traditional surrogate uses her own eggs and carries and gives birth to the child.

** A gestational surrogate has embryos transferred to her uterus and carries and births the child.

Read more about this couple’s experience here:

Same-sex couples raising children on the rise [CBS Evening News Online]

Read more about the Canadian Census data here:

Traditional families still the norm but lagging as common-law, same-sex couples increase: Census 2011 [National Post Online ]

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