Many same-sex couples choose to get married and start families, though the process is clearly different for them than for opposite-sex couples. Many use adoption to bring children into their lives, while others use tactics like in vitro fertilization to have biological children. How many couples take this route?

Numbers do get a bit tough to pin down, as they’re always changing. One way to look at it, though, is from the perspective of the children. Reports claim that around 6 million American children have parents who are part of the LGBT community. 

This type of statistic does leave the door open for some qualifiers, though. For instance, not all same-sex couples who have children are actually married. The widespread legalization of same-sex marriage that we enjoy today is still relatively new and many people in committed, long-term relationships have not gotten married. 

Another thing to consider is that some individuals have children in opposite-sex marriages before coming out and joining the LGBT community. They may have been trying to live a more “traditional” lifestyle before getting divorced and deciding to be true to who they were, not who society said they should be. This can create a complicated family situation when they get married again, this time in a same-sex union, and they are still parents to those children who were born before. 

Through all stages of this process — long-term relationships, marriage, divorce, remarriage, etc — it is crucial that same-sex couples know their legal rights. As with any family situation, the children always need to come first, and it’s important to make decisions with their best interests in mind.