This online LGBT+ Parenting Handbook has been created by the LGBT+ Networks (RAF Freedom Network, Army LGBT+ Forum, and Royal Navy Compass) to provide advice, guidance, and support to LGBT+ serving personnel seeking advice or information on starting a family, or advice and information for diverse families.

Each service offers their own unique operational environments and challenges, topics discussed within this handbook will differ between service, where possible the different information and language has been included.

Information found in this Handbook is delivered as tri-service, this includes links to JSPs and DINs.  If there is a 'service-specific' policy for a particular subject, then this will be highlighted. 

Please note the links on this page will only open on Defnet.

Adoption 

Adoption is a way of providing the security, permanency, and love of a new family when it is not possible for a child to be raised by his/her birth parents or within the birth family.

• Are you looking to adopt a child?
• Want more information on the process, agencies, and policies involved?
• See useful links to external agencies and more information

Fostering 

Fostering offers children a safe and caring family, usually geographically close to their home, while they are unable to live with their own family. 

Private fostering is a personal arrangement for a third party to look after a child under the age of 16 (or under 18 if disabled) for whom they do not have parental or other legal responsibility, or leaving (or intending to leave) a child or children in someone else’s care for a period of 28 days or more.

• Are you looking to foster or need a private fostering agreement?
• Want more information on the process, agencies, and policies involved?
• See useful links to external agencies and more information

Donor insemination 

Donor insemination involves using donor sperm. This can be obtained by using an anonymous sperm donor (from a sperm bank or clinic), using a known donor through sperm donor matching websites or by donation from a friend.

For personnel looking for insemination, options include: Intrauterine insemination (IUI), In vitro fertilisation (IVF), and Private donation

• Want more information on the process, agencies, and policies involved?
• Read lived experiences from personnel who have been through the process.
• See useful links to external agencies and more information.

Surrogacy

Surrogacy is the act of a woman carrying a pregnancy and giving birth for the child’s parents, as they are unable to carry a child themselves. There are two types of surrogacy: host/gestational surrogacy and straight/traditional surrogacy.

• Are you looking for a surrogate or want to be a surrogate?
• Want more information on the process, agencies, and policies involved?
• See useful links to external agencies and more information.

Other

The Handbook also provides links to co-parenting guidance; what are your options, who need to speak to, and what you are entitled to; as well as a some serving personnel 'lived experiences' stories.

For those without access to Defence Gateway, there is some guidance on parenting rights available via the Stonewall website.