Family building

Thinking about starting or growing your family? You may have a lot of questions­ — and be wondering where to begin. So let’s get some answers. Learn what family building is, see what your options are for expanding your family and find resources that can help as you begin your path to parenthood.

What is family building?

Family building is the process of building or forming a family. It includes taking steps or actions toward the goal of having children. It’s different from family planning, which typically focuses on birth control and pregnancy prevention.1

Family building can happen in many ways. You can start a family on your own, or with a partner. You may be able to conceive without help, or you may need the support of assisted reproductive technology. Or, you may want to form your family through adoption. The right parenthood path for you depends on many factors related to your unique situation.

Does health insurance help with family building?

An increasing number of health plans offer some type of coverage for infertility treatments. In the U.S., 21 states have passed fertility insurance coverage laws, some of which include in vitro fertilization (IVF) coverage. However, every health plan policy is different. That’s why it’s important to review the benefits, exclusions and restrictions specific to your health plan.2

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Sign in to your member account to see what family building benefits your plan may offer.

How do I start building a family?

If you’re thinking about becoming pregnant, it’s a good idea to meet with your doctor to get a checkup and review your health history. There are also things you can do on your own to prepare for pregnancy, like maintaining a healthy weight and eating a nutritious diet. If you have fertility concerns, your doctor can help you explore your options and navigate next steps.

It’s also important to think about the financial impact of adding a child to your family. There are the one-time expenses of having a baby — whether through pregnancy, adoption or surrogacy — plus the ongoing costs of raising a child. Budgeting for a new baby before they arrive can help you feel more financially prepared.

What are my family building options?

Conceiving with a partner and getting pregnant might be all it takes to start your family. But sometimes, the path to parenthood is more complex. Here are other options that can help you on your parenthood journey.

Fertility treatments and alternative pregnancy options

If you’ve been trying to conceive without success, you may want to talk to your doctor about fertility treatments. This could include fertility medications or medical procedures like IVF. You might also explore alternative pregnancy options like egg or sperm donation or surrogacy.


Achieving your parenthood dreams through adoption can be life-changing for you and the child you adopt. However, it’s often a complex and expensive process. Find out what to expect, where to begin and what you need to know, from adoption options to costs to legal considerations.

LGBTQ+ family building

There are many options for LGBTQ+ individuals and couples looking to build a family. These can include egg or sperm donation, IVF, surrogacy and adoption. Explore your options, plus find important information about state laws and legal considerations for LGBTQ+ families.

How do I decide which family building option is right for me?

Researching your options with your unique needs in mind can help you focus on what may work best for you. Think about things like your lifestyle, finances and expectations. For example, maybe you hope to conceive naturally. If that doesn’t go as planned, would you be open to fertility treatments? If you’re hoping to adopt, are you okay with a process that’s often long and expensive? Taking the time to look at your options with your own story in mind may help make the decision process easier.

Living without children

While parenthood may be your goal, sometimes the journey can be challenging. And for many people, the physical and emotional impact can take its toll. Whether it’s years of unsuccessful fertility treatments or an adoption that fell through, you may come to decide that living without children is the best option for your overall well-being. This can be a difficult decision, so be kind to yourself and take the time you need to process your feelings.3

Where can I get family building support and resources?

Your employer can be a good place to start. Many companies offer benefits that support employees looking to grow their family. This could include things like counseling and education resources, as well as benefits that may help cover certain family-building costs. You can also connect with clinics in your area that offer family building and fertility services. If you’re unsure where to begin, here are some resources that may help:

  • Family-building services: The Center for Family Building offers guidance on fertility treatments and adoption, plus support for single parents and the LGBTQ+ community
  • LGBTQ+ family building directory: View Family Equality’s list of LGBTQ+ friendly providers, fertility clinics, surrogacy agencies and more
  • Financial resources for family building: Explore information about insurance coverage, financing fertility treatments and adoption, and fertility treatment scholarships and grants from RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association