MIAMI (CBSMiami) — During the month of June, the nation is honoring those who have fought, and those who continue to fight, for equality within the LGBTQ community.
A part of that fight has included being able to become parents.
When Ricardo Pena and Alex Salinas met 10 years ago, having a family together was always the goal.
“We knew it was something that we always wanted, but we didn’t know when,” said Pena.
That all changed last year during the pandemic when the husbands adopted Mateo.
“It was different because of COVID, things had been tied up and more difficult, but it happened within like a month and next thing we knew he was born, and we brought him home two days later,” said Pena.
For decades, same sex couples were banned from adopting children in Florida.
That changed in 2010 when the ban on gay adoption was ruled unconstitutional and by 2015 the repeal of that ban was signed into law.
“It’s helped that we’ve moved as a society with making changes and laws being passed and the importance of voting,” said Salinas.
Outside of adoption there are options for LGBTQ individuals or couples who want to become parents.
“Within Florida we have amazing surrogates and it’s been amazing to create so many families,” said Parham Zar, Executive Director of the Egg Donor & Surrogacy Institute
Zar has helped thousands of same-sex couples become parents through invitro-fertilization.
“With egg donation and surrogacy there’s control, there’s actually one genetic link to at least one of the couples,” said Zar.
Whichever method is chosen, Salinas says the path to parenthood is rewarding – and provides chance to give a child a loving home.
“It actually may take a few times, so just be patient, trust that what you guys are doing, and it will work itself out,” said Salinas.
Florida LGBTQ family resources: https://www.eqfl.org/family_recognition/faq