This isn’t news to me as most of my gay friends who’ve wanted to become parents now are. I’ve also been waxing lyrical on just this point to heterosexual couples and singles I know who are also struggling to conceive. Why? Well there still seems to be a somewhat linear view of parenting in some quarters.
As a lesbian I’ve known for a good while that one day I also want to be a mother, so, between my friends and I, we’re pretty clued up on all the ways and means - the best clinics, best websites, decisions about where the donor sperm comes from, how to find donors and co-parents, whether to involve the donor daddy – frankly, how and where to get a sterilised pot of the good stuff. *Actually conceiving DIY is another great area of theory – best saved for another blog…
Worried that there are still groups of people somehow limiting themselves to more traditional (medical-model) methods only, e.g. IVF using their own sperm and egg, I wonder if they’re perhaps ultimately missing out on the chance to be parents? Gay people, unrestricted by the trappings of tradition, conformity or expectation, seem to have cracked it - achieving the kinds of families we want, just as we want them.
You still hear stories of people ‘leaving it too late’ because they’ve had to wait around for the NHS to step in; older women (by no means ‘too old’) resigned to adoption over conception though they desperately want to give birth - but feel that not having a partner is an insurmountable barrier; couples where one is infertile yet they use their precious remaining reproductive years on rounds of IVF that sadly, fail.
So what’s stopping people? Stigma, fear of feeling different, not thinking outside the box or just plain insistence that because they are a man and a woman, or heterosexual woman, that their offspring should be biologically theirs or that they should have a partner? I don’t mean to sound harsh but really, your child is your child wherever it has come from.
Think like a gay person – be brazen in exploring every possible route to parenthood that works for them. If ‘what people think’ is going to be a barrier take heart from the cutting edge of gay-celeb parents – all these ways of having children are now pretty much the norm! And in how many contexts can you celebrate ‘normal’ as a good word? Best of all, the kiddies can grow up knowing it’s ok to have two mummies.