How Larger Benefit Buckets Support Inclusivity
Infertility used to be regarded as a “woman’s problem.” Over time, research and medical practice came to recognize the importance of male factor infertility and to develop treatments for men’s fertility problems as well. Benefits for fertility treatment focused on coverage of specific conditions and treatments.
Today, society recognizes that families aren’t always heterosexual couples with 2.5 children. Same-sex couples and single men and women may also want to have a family, and may have different obstacles to overcome than medically-defined infertility. Offering a range of family-building benefits in a bigger “bucket” supports inclusivity, which enhances talent acquisition and retention.
LBGTQ Family-Building and Benefits
Same-sex couples may have the same fertility issues as heterosexual couples, but they also have unique needs. Lesbian couples will need donor sperm to conceive. Some have reciprocal IVF, when one partner is the egg donor and the other carries the child. This or use of a surrogate may be necessary if one or both partners are unable to get pregnant or to carry to term. Coverage under a strict medical definition of infertility as being able to conceive after a year of unprotected sexual intercourse discriminates against lesbians.
Male same-sex couples will need a gestational surrogate and an egg donor in order to have a biological child. LGBTQ family-building benefits are affected by the laws of your state. But offering family-building benefits demonstrates that your company cares for and supports all kinds of families.
Single People and Family-Building Benefits
Providing egg freezing and sperm freezing as part of family-building benefits enables young women and men to preserve their fertility in case they don’t find a partner and have a child during their peak fertility years. If they decide not to wait, single men and women who want to have a biological child on their own face some of the same issues that same-sex couples do. They, too, will need sperm donation, egg donation, and/or a surrogate.
Adoption, a Choice from the Heart
In the cases where fertility treatment doesn’t work, adoption benefits provide another means of family-building. Some people choose not to undergo fertility treatment and build their family through fostering or adoption. For those who can open their hearts to a child in need, adoption can be a good solution. Adoption has costs associated with it. Covering these as part of a family-building benefits package makes parenthood possible for your employees in the most inclusive way.