LGBTQI+ Parents

By Emma Atkinson, Midwife

LGBTQI+ Parents

There is no way to make a definitive guide for any group of parents as each lived experience will be different. Parents who belong to the LGBTQI+ community need the same education as all parents but might find it harder to access it. Some issues that may occur are:

Stigma- both from friends and family, the community at large and healthcare professionals. This may reduce how much you feel able to engage with services and so reduce the education and care that you receive. There are supportive services around so don’t settle for an environment that makes you uncomfortable.

Lack of specific support- all parents to be and new parents need a community to support their journey and transition into new roles. People in the LGBTQI+ community may have less family support and be more isolated. You may also have less people around you who have or are planning to have children and so have less role models and learned experience to call on. You may also need very specific support around how medications and surgery could impact having a baby, services that are not completely binary in their provision, or fertility services that are inclusive. If your experience of being parented has been poor, you may want to find mental health support to allow you to become a confident parent.

Conception issues- many LGBTQI+ parents will need to use ivf, donors, or surrogacy options to have a child. These are expensive and each state or country will have different legal and financial requirements. There are many experts around who can guide you through the processes. Many couples have reported experiencing invasive questioning about the process of conceiving or having a child. There is no universal answer to this but being prepared may allow you to come up with a stock response to shut questioning down. You could try: “Wow, do you ask all prospective parents that question?”

Coparenting- legally and practically this can be complex if people outside of a couple are involved in having a child. Have lots of conversations and be clear on what roles people will have.

Increased anxiety and depression- people from the LGBTQI+ community have higher rates of mental health issues generally due to societal pressures, but they can occur due to discrimination and isolation about conception and parenting or decreased social support due to having more childless friends or decreased family support, or because you have experienced stigma and fear that your child will too. Financial pressures due to assisted conception can also add to anxiety.

During healthcare appointments and at birth, partners have noted that they are often not recognized as such and so they must come out repeatedly. Asking for both parents names and identities to be noted at the front of medical files may reduce this.

Hopefully more practitioners in this field will begin to ask about pronouns, gender and parenting terminology and open conversations about who might breastfeed/express milk or how your baby will be fed. If you feel able to, always open these conversations with your healthcare team so that they become more routine. Try asking for resources on a topic such as inducing lactation or comment if paperwork doesn’t include an appropriate box for you to complete.

Resources and support:

COPE- Lots of resources and they have a same sex parenting group finder. 

Gidget foundation-


QLife- directory government run, resources and helpline 1800184527 available 3pm to midnight daily and they have online chat options.

Rainbow families- peer and social support, 15 digital parenting guides for diverse families including a lactation guide.

Women’s Health and Wellbeing Services-

There are inclusive practitioners at the Gidget Foundation, PANDA and Women’s Health and Wellbeing Services.

Related resources

Sign up for our next perinatal & parenting group or workshop

Western Australian Centre for Perinatal Mental Health & Parenting Support (WACPPS) provides services to help parents navigate the challenging but rewarding journey of parenting.

Did this resource help?

If you found this article helpful, we would appreciate it if you were to share it with your family and friends.


If you have any questions about this article or Western Australian Centre for Perinatal Mental Health & Parenting Support (WACPPS), feel free to contact us.