Friday, August 22, 2008
Here are a few dumb statements and questions I’ve encountered lately regarding our children:
Twice people have said the boys “look like their Daddy”, meaning my partner. Uh, then who do you think I am? My name’s on the birth certificate too. I know the people who said this were in no way meaning to disrespect me, but it made me feel like I’m nothing more than a babysitter. We’ve decided that we’ll both be called Daddy and they can add our first names to clarify if they’re talking to or about one of us in particular.
While getting professional pictures taken a couple weeks ago, the photographer finally looked at me and said, “So who are you? A friend of the family?” I just said, “No, I’m also a father”. I watched the wheels spinning in his head, then clarified that we’re a couple, we had them via surrogacy/egg donor, and then he apologized.
“So where’s the mother. Will she be involved in their lives?” I guess the concept of egg donor is off most people’s radar, so when this question has been asked, I just explain that there was an egg donor who plays no part in their lives or even knows of their existence.
“Did you adopt outside the country?” This has been asked of me when I’m out in public with the boys by myself. No, we’re not “Bradgelina”. I just say tell them that the boys are bi-racial and not adopted. Then they get it. A neighbor who’s white and has bi-racial (black and white) children told me she gets dumb questions like that too.
“Oh, so you’re both parents?” This requires explaining the legal process and how we’re both considered legal parents in all states and both listed on the birth certificates.
“Are you guys married?” Apparently the uninformed youth of today think gay people can marry in this country. I’ve been asked this on three occasions by people in their lower 20s. While it’s positive to find out that younger people think gay marriage is perfectly fine, it requires explaining that it’s legal only in two states, that other states don’t recognize those marriages, that a few other states offer domestic partnerships, and that our state offers neither. So next time it’s on the ballot, we need you to stop texting long enough to go VOTE!
At the time, some of these questions or statements seemed a little insulting or dumb, but then I realized that the average person has never encountered our situation. Becoming a parent this way makes you an educator on surrogacy by default. I don’t let it get to me. I don’t think there will ever be so many gay parents out there with children from surrogacy that it just becomes common knowledge, so we’ll most likely have to explain the situation over and over for many years. So far no one’s reacted negatively to me when I explain, so I find that very positive.
Posted by GayDad at 12:20 PM