Episode 7: LGBTQ+ Family Building: Understanding the Legal Side
For Pride month, we’re rolling out four episodes that cover family building for the LGBTQ+ community. The third episode discusses the additional obstacles same-sex couples often encounter when trying to start a family.
Any fertility journey can be complex, but for same-sex couples there are additional legal and political challenges, both on Federal and State levels. In this episode, we hear from Trystan Reese, a transgender activist who works to ensure that every LGBTQ+ person has the right and ability to start their own family at Family Equality Council.
We also hear from Theresa Witherspoon who, with her wife, found her family through reciprocal IVF. Theresa shares some of the hurdles she and her wife faced as a same-sex female couple, like finding the right sperm donor, absorbing the costs of fertility treatments and donor fees, and navigating the legality of same-sex parenting.
Guests: Trystan Reese, Director of Family Formation at Family Equality Council, and Theresa Witherspoon
Host: Parawana Yasmin, Patient Care Advocate at Progyny
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Parawana has had a passion for healthcare from an early age and has been studying health sciences and working in the healthcare field for over eight years. She currently works in New York as a Patient Care Advocate at Progyny and is also pursuing a degree in nursing atop her bachelor’s in integrated neuroscience. Interacting with members and being an integral part of their fertility journey is Parawana’s favorite part of being a PCA. “Somewhere along the way, we must learn that there is nothing greater then to do something for others.” She has always wanted to incorporate giving to others in some capacity in her everyday life and through her current pursuits as well as future educational endeavors she strives to make helping others a career.
Through his role at Family Equality Council, Trystan works with employers, businesses, and community members to reduce barriers to LGBTQ+ family building. He is a transgender father to two adopted children and one biological child. He lives with his family in Portland, OR.
Terri is a labor and employment attorney living in San Francisco. She and her wife chose to use reciprocal IVF to have their daughter in 2014. They did not have a history of infertility but chose this method, so they could both have a biological connection to their child, with Terri carrying the baby created using her wife’s egg.
Music From This Episode:
Artist: Kai Engel
Artist: Lee Rosevere
Track: Maximum Relax
Artist: Breath Before the Plunge
Track: End of All Things