Choices about Fertility and Parenthood

A recent collaboration between researchers at the Law School and the Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health, and Society (ARCSHS) at La Trobe University and Swinburne University of Technology has resulted in a new research study that explores the choices made by Australians who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT) around their fertility and pathways to parenthood (or non-parenthood).

"The aims of this research are to explore what informs the decision-making of LGBT Australian's around parenthood, and where these individuals are accessing information about family formation," says the study's Chief Investigator, La Trobe University Associate Professor of Law, Dr Fiona Kelly.

"We are interested in learning about the various pathways that people may have traversed - or the decisions they are planning to take - with respect to forming families. This may include any experiences they have had with the services provided by fertility clinics."

Over the past 15 years, greater awareness and increasing societal acceptance of LGBT families within Australia has meant that parenting within the LGBT communities has become more common. At the same time, there have been a number of significant social, legal, and medical changes that have contributed to the fertility decision-making of LGBT individuals. This study was conceived (pardon the pun!) as a response to these changes, and through it, the researchers hope to increase our understanding of the fertility intentions and aspirations of LGBT Australians.

The study involves an online survey of LGBT Australian, which asks a series of questions about parenting status and intentions, decision-making with respect to parenthood, what influences these decisions, and sources of information and advice about reproductive pathways.

The survey is open to any Australian residents aged over 18 who identify as LGBT.To participate, please visit www.lgbtfertilitydecisions.com.au to access the online questionnaire.

Any questions regarding this project may be directed to the Chief Investigator, Dr Fiona Kelly, of the Law School at La Trobe University on (03) 9479-6404 or by email at f.kelly@latrobe.edu.au. This study has ethics approval through La Trobe University's Science Health and Engineering College Human Ethics Committee. If you have any complaints or concerns contact the Senior Human Ethics Officer, La Trobe University, P: 03 9479 1443, E: humanethics@latrobe.edu.au (SHE CHESC s15/100).