Journal Article

Family formation goals among sexual and gender minority individuals in urban India

Sexual and Gender Minority (SGM) individuals’ (nonheterosexual or noncisgender) desires and intentions to form families have been under‐researched. Further, research on family formation among SGM individuals is even more scant in India. Family formation, a significant milestone for many individuals, has important implications for overall health. Using data from interviews (n=25) and focus group discussions (8 participants) with SGM individuals in Bangalore, Chennai, and Kolkata, we explore desires and intentions related to parenting. Pressure to have children was ubiquitous, though participants’ parenting‐related desires varied. Participants considering parenting noted many priorities including their financial stability, relationships with partners, and the legality and legitimacy of their partnerships. Adoption and assisted biological reproduction (e.g., IVF) were the preferred methods of family formation. Experiences and expectations of stigma for themselves and their children shaped participants’ limited control over parenting‐related decisions. However, they exerted agency as they navigated achieving their ideals for family formation.

Published in a peer-reviewed journal of the Population Council.