Parenting Intentions Among Transgender Individuals

LGBT Health. 2017 Apr;4(2):115-120. doi: 10.1089/lgbt.2016.0153. Epub 2017 Feb 17.


Purpose: We know very little about how transgender people create their families and the issues involved in these decisions. This qualitative study explored the parenting intentions and desires of 32 self-identified transgender individuals who want to become parents in the future.

Methods: Data were collected using an open-ended survey with 32 transgender men and transgender women regarding when and how they want to become parents in the future.

Results: We found that transgender individuals expressed specific desires for parenthood, such as biological relatedness and barriers to parenthood, such as physical limitations or lack of legal protections, which influence how transgender individuals choose to become parents in the future. For example, many participants described wanting to be biologically related to a future child and how this can be complicated by being transgender due to hormonal treatments, surgeries, or not having the biological means of become a parent using "traditional" methods.

Conclusions: The barriers and desires discussed provide invaluable insight into the parenting intentions and reproductive health of transgender people. This study revealed numerous examples where healthcare professionals could benefit from this new knowledge, such as increasing communication with patients about these desires and issues related to treatment and reproduction.

Keywords: adulthood; fertility; foster care; parenting; transgender.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adoption / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Adoption / psychology
  • Adult
  • Family / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intention*
  • Male
  • Parenting / psychology*
  • Qualitative Research
  • Reproductive Health
  • Reproductive Techniques, Assisted / psychology
  • Transgender Persons / psychology*
  • Transsexualism / physiopathology
  • Transsexualism / psychology