VISTAS Online is an innovative publication produced for ACA by Dr. Garry R. Walz and Dr. Jeanne C. Bleuer of Counseling Outfitters, LLC. Its purpose is to provide a means of capturing the ideas, information and experiences generated by the annual ACA Conference and selected ACA Division Conferences. Papers on a program or practice that has been validated through research or experience may also be submitted. This digital collection of peer-reviewed articles is authored by counselors, for counselors. VISTAS Online contains the full text of over 900 proprietary counseling articles published from 2004 to 2017.
Supporting Same-Sex Couples in the Decision to Start a Family
Debbie C. Sturm, Erika Metzler Sawin, and Anne L. Metz
Although accurate statistics have been difficult to ascertain, current estimates indicate there are between one and four million same-sex couples raising children in the United States. Many same-sex couples face significant systemic barriers such as laws and policies that may complicate and prolong the process of becoming parents. Even when they are able to successfully navigate such systemic barriers, same-sex couples engage in a series of decisions including biological and non-biological pathways to having a child, identifying support systems, and establishing parental roles and identities. Counselors are in a unique position to support same-sex couples in the decision-making and longer-term process of becoming parents. Common challenges, societal and systemic barriers, and opportunities to inform and advocate for this population are discussed.
Keywords: same-sex, gay, lesbian, parenting, advocacy