While more companies than ever are demonstrating support for equitable fertility and family building benefits, LGBTQ+ individuals and couples still face restrictive policies and barriers to the services they need to build their families. Conventional fertility benefits often restrict access by requiring pre-certification or a diagnosis of infertility.
At Progyny, we support the many paths to parenthood and believe that everyone should have access to the treatment they need. In honor of Pride month, we teamed up with Nasdaq, Willis Towers Watson, and Gay Parents To Be to discuss ways LGBTQ+ individuals and couples can build their families, equitable fertility and family building trends, and what it means for employers that are behind the curve.
- Bonnie Sechrist, Director of Health Management Consulting at Willis Towers Watson
- Dr. Mark P. Leondires, Founder and Medical Director of Reproductive Medicine Associates of Connecticut (RMA of CT), Founder of Gay Parents To Be (GPTB), and a partner at Gays with Kids (GWK)
- Lisa Greenbaum, Chief Client Officer at Progyny
- Josh Machiz, Head of Client Engagement and Co-Chair of Nasdaq’s THE OPEN
Watch the recording and check out the highlights to learn more.
Approximately 3.8 million LGBTQ millennials (aged 18-35) are considering expanding their families, according to Family Equality Council’s LGBTQ Family Building Survey. More than 60% plan to use assisted reproductive technology or fertility treatments.
The desire for parenthood is independent of sexuality or gender identity and there are many different paths to parenthood. Thanks to assisted reproductive technology, there are many options available for biological family building for LGBTQ+ individuals:
- Cis-gender female(/s): Artificial vaginal insemination, IUI, IVF, reciprocal IVF
- Cis-gender male(/s): Known or anonymous egg donor, gestational surrogacy
- Trans individuals: Tissue cryopreservation, treatments dependent on stage of transition and partner status
- Adoption and foster-to-adopt are also pathways for everyone. They require counseling and support from an experienced mental health professional and a reproductive attorney to secure and protect parental rights
As members of the community consider the ways they can build their families, employers really have to consider how they can support them. Explore these resources to learn more about LGBTQ+ family building.
Challenges with Traditional Employer-Sponsored Fertility Benefits
Typically, opposite sex couples access fertility care by meeting the medical definition of infertility, but then members of the LGBTQ+ community are excluded.
Regardless of sexual orientation, fertility treatment is a huge financial investment. Many people make great sacrifices in order to afford it. Without inclusive and comprehensive fertility coverage, some couples take out mortgages on their homes, dip into their savings, or are forced to work multiple jobs to build their families.
It’s worth noting the family building options that some employers offer for the LGBTQ+ community are something to celebrate. And, according to Willis Towers Watson’s 2020 Emerging Trends in Health Care Survey, employers are prioritizing family-friendly benefits to foster a diverse and inclusive workplace.
Why are employers focused on these type of benefits? To attract and retain talent, and support broader organizational goals. A comprehensive, equitable fertility benefit demonstrates the organization’s commitment to diversity and inclusion, and can help fortify company culture at a time when there’s emphasis on the value of family. Almost half of employers surveyed provide some sort of fertility coverage and this is expected to increase over the next few years as employers focus on care management programs.
Progyny designed our benefit with this in mind, because we understand that beyond just the financial implications, members need access to a comprehensive benefit design, personalized support, and the highest-quality care. This allows employees to achieve superior clinical outcomes and employers realize savings on the front-end and back-end costs.
Does your current benefit truly support all employees? Evaluate your current fertility and family building benefits plan with this Equitable Fertility and Family Building Checklist.
The Future of Parenthood
The future of parenthood is full of options, and as individuals consider how to build their family, employers have to focus on how they will support them. There has been lots of progress made for the LGBTQ+ community in the last 50 years and the “nuclear family” is no longer the only option.
We are proud to stand with Nasdaq, WTW, and Gay Parents to Be to help turn these dreams into a reality.