NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – As we celebrate Pride Month, we’re taking a look at how families are coming together in the LGBTQ+ community.
There have been lots of positive changes in the last few years.READ MORE: Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony Held In The Bronx's Little Italy
As CBS2’s Cindy Hsu explains, at 40 years old, Eran Amir was single, and started the process of becoming a dad through surrogacy. Then, six months later, he met Michael Gowen.
“Literally 10 minutes into the first date, he said ‘I’m going to have a child. I’m in the process. Are you onboard or are you off board?’ I had to decide pretty quickly. Thankfully I always wanted children as well,” Gowen said.
Video show Amir and Gowen just meeting their daughter Yael, who’s now 2 months old. Her big sister is 3-year-old Ariel.
The couple says the process was long, difficult and costly, costing more than $100,000 for each of their daughters. The tough part was trying to sift through all the IVF clinics, surrogacy agencies and egg donors. So after figuring out the system, they started Gostork.com, a website that helps aspiring parents through the journey with thousands of vetted contacts and lots of information.
“We have articles on what questions to ask the surrogacy agency. You want what questions to ask the surrogate, how to choose an egg donor,” Amir said.
And it’s free for anyone to use. Amir says agencies are making big strides when it comes to working with the LGBTQ+ community.READ MORE: Small Business Owners Say Shopping Locally Is More Important Than Ever Amid COVID, Supply Chain Struggles
Many families are also coming together through adoption. Dawn Davenport heads the nonprofit website Creatingafamily.org and says there are mainly three ways to adopt. Those are domestic infant adoption, international adoption, and adoption through foster care.
With domestic infant adoption, you’d work within the United States with an adoption agency or adoption attorney. Davenport says most of them are open to the LGBTQ+ community, but a handful are not.
“There are 11 states that still allow agencies to discriminate based on religious beliefs,” Davenport said.
With international adoptions, years ago most countries would not allow perspective parents from the LGBTQ+ community to adopt. But that’s changing.
“Now there are a number of countries that are accepting. Columbia, South America, The Philippines, Nigeria,” Davenport said.
The third option is adoption through foster care. Right now, there are more than 100,000 children in the U.S. available for adoption.
“There’s almost no cost, or most often no cost, and the vast majority of the children will receive a monthly subsidy to help defray the cost of raising these kids,” Davenport said. “Many states provide college tuition.”MORE NEWS: Man Stabbed To Death In Bay Ridge, Suspect In Custody
No matter how you choose to create your family, experts say educate yourself and get ready for lots of love.