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Thread: Everything you want to know but have been too afraid to ask (about samesex parenting)

  1. #1

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    Smile Everything you want to know but have been too afraid to ask (about samesex parenting)

    I just wanted to open up a thread like this because I've found a lot of people have a lot of questions but aren't sure how or when or where to ask. So I wanted to create a space for anyone to ask any question they have.



    So ask away. I promise I, at least, won't be offended (providing the question is respectfully asked, of course). I understand that the concept of same-sex parenting, and a baby having two mums and in some cases no dad, is generally foreign to most so rather than have you wonder and maybe let your imagination take hold with wild ideas I'd like you to ask anything you want to ask.

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    I'll be the first off the ball! You know I only ask out of curiosity - I honestly don't see you and Shel raising a baby any differently than if DH and I did. So here goes...

    Do you see a male influence in your baby's life as important? Why/Why not?

    If so, who will the male influence be? (Granfather, Uncles etc)

  3. #3
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    Ok i'll go first.

    This isn't really a question...

    In my head, from reading the posts of same-sex couples who are ttc, pg or parents, it pretty much sounds like they are like any other couple raising a kid... Is that a wild assumption?

    I can't think of anything (other than methods of conception, and i suppose FF if both parents are men, though i did once see a programme about a couple of guys who had triplets by surrogate and they bought breastmilk for them all and never gave them FF) that would DEFINITELY be different, but everything else i kind of see it in a primary and non-primary caregivers dynamic, whatever sex the parents are, kwim? Like in our relationship when we have a baby i will be the primary, DP will be the non-primary. Some of that is definitely because of my sex, but TBH his earning power is so far beyond mine, if we were BOTH wo/men he'd STILL probably not be the first choice for primary carer, because he can do so much more in providing for our family financially than i can.

    So my question is, is that really naive, and are there actually big differences (i imagine the way other people treat you might vary wildly too actually) between opposite-sex and same-sex parenting couples?

    Bx

    DAMN! Typed too much and missed the top spot

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    I am also curious to know (and this is something I could ask in the AC threads) - how did you and Shel choose a sperm doner? Did you try and find a likeness to Shel?

    Will Shel ever consider being the biological mummy to any future bubs?

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    Leasha what a great thread - Well Done!!

    My question is are you worried about how people will react during school / kinder to Jazz's family dynamic and if she'll get picked on?

    One of my closest girlfriends and her longterm partner have decided not to have kids based on this and just wanted to know what your thoughts are

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    how do you react when people (who don't know the situation) ask about the dad...
    for example, i've got dark brown hair and ds is very blonde, so quite often, at the supermarket or something, i'll get asked 'does his dad have really blonde hair?' 'is his dad really tall?" do you know what i mean?

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    I'll answer yours first Bec.
    I think there are differences, not so much in style, but dynamic. Most of the questions I've been asked are about dynamics and structure. Obviously theres the primary caregiver (me) and non-primary (Shel), but mostly the questions are about how we chose that IYKWIM, why we made/will make certain decisions, and actually a lot of questions about stereotypes and how we live without them (without male/female stereotypical roles how do the dynamics of our family work). I hope that makes sense...? Theres also a lot of "what if" questions people have.
    But you're right, there are alot of questions where I just answer "we just do the same as any other couple", some people don't know that there isn't a difference in some things. I guess thats basically what I wanted to start this thread for, to help clear up any questions/misconceptions.

    Amy, of course a male influence is important. Jazz doesn't have a dad, so we have made sure she has lots of other male influences. Both Shel and my dad, I have two brothers (7yo and 15yo) and theres SILs husband (mid 40s) so she's got uncles of all ages, we have a gay couple who are 'uncles' to Jazz, plus friends of the family... we've made sure she has so many different types of male influences

    Sperm donor - we were lucky that there was an Australian donor that had practically all the same physical charateristics as Shel so that was an easy decision for us. We'd talked about what we were hoping for in a donor, and were lucky that we found the perfect one.
    Shel has never really had the desire to birth a child, though she's kind of warming to the idea (though she ran FAR FAR away from the idea after supporting me through labour! but shes back to warming to it slowly). We'd have to decide if we want to use the same donor if possible, or finding a donor that has charateristics like me. Thats a tricky decision actually...

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    OK. Must admit I've always wanted to know if both of you (in general not just you two) get called mum or does one get called mum & the other something else?

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    So if shel decided to have the next baby would that mean you would then go out to work so shel would be the primary carer or would she just birth the baby and then you continue to be the primary carer to both children...



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    Dee, actually I'm glad someone asked this.

    Firstly, when it comes to being picked on, my initial reaction is to say that kids will tease about anything. Hair colour, clothes, physical charateristics, religion etc. If its not one thing its another so thats what I say to people firstly.

    But yes we are obviously worried about her being picked on about the decisions we've made. For starters I'll say that we'll never hide the fact that we are a lesbian couple, we'll never teach Jazz that it is something to hide or be ashamed of. We'll be teaching her that some people don't understand that there are lots of different types of love, so there might be people who aren't very nice.

    At the moment I am working with a GLBTI organistation and the education department about incorporating same-sex family structure into the curriculum from Prep. Not sex education, but just including that sometimes two women or two men love each other and they are a family too. There are books out there that are appropriate to 5yo's so trying to get schools to stock them and read them. We're also going to be very involved with the P&C with whatever school she goes to, to encourage diversity and acceptance.

    Ultimately though we're looking into Montessori for her primary education, as I know they are very openminded and accepting.

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    Rainforest, I've been told she is going to be tall and then asked if her dad is tall. I answer "she's going to be tall like her other mum, because we chose a donor who was just like her" which I think answers the question quite well We chose a donor like Shel so those questions would be pretty easy to answer.

    Satya, well most of the time I am mumma or booby mumma lol (like in my sig) and she is mummy. Sometimes we just say mum and other mum depending on who is saying it. But we're both some form of mum.

    Tali, well at the moment (this is fairly tentative) in 12-18 months time, if Shel decides she wants to birth the next baby then she will become primary carer and I'm going to be the working parent. If I'm going to birth the next bub then I'll be staying home. But whoever births will be primary carer of the kidlets. If Shel doesn't want to birth #3 (and at this stage 3 is our limit) we'll have to work out something as we do both want the experience of being stay at home mum.

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    Thats very brave of you Leasha, I couldnt give up been a SAHM mum, BHL has said ( on a bad day ) that he would love to be a SAHD.... So he could work in the garden and play on his car LOL like that would happen.... But I know he knows that he couldnt do it just like I know I couldnt go to work each day a miss even a second of what the winkies are doing...As much as the drive me batty at times...

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    Hey Leasha....

    Thanks for answering .....

    I agree with you - kids will tease over [I]anything[/I] i think it's great you guys are going to be so involved and teach the other kids that there are so many different ways of being a family

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    not really sure where this is coming from or even if a q you can answer BUT , i know of a lesbian couple who have a child and now currently PG with number 2 (each woman have taken turns in carrying the child )

    But what stuck out to me is that this couple got ivf for free from the defence force (they both work in the DF) SO do you think that they could be using the DF to have babies for free .. as i assume you had to fork out alot of money to help concieve Jazz?? I kinda felt put out by the fact that i know alot of ttcers who put so much money into IVF and no result where as they were at the front of the line and concieved .. they joked it was a present from the DF for working for them ...

    And did you find much ignorance from FS , seeing as you are gay and wanting childern ?? kwim ..
    were your treated any different ?? and how were you treated in Hosp ???

    AND do you get stupid questions like "whos the man in the relationship ??" i think ignorance has alot to do with silly questions and im so glad that you are trying to make a difference in understanding !!

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    It's a hard decision for me to make to give up being a stay at home mum... I guess to me I know how much I love it, I love watching her learn and grow, and I hate the fact that Shel is missing out, I just want her to be able to experience that too, and so does she. It would be hard for me to go to work, but then I think it'd be equally as hard for Shel so I kind of feel really selfish for wanting her to support us all the time and not have this experience with Jazz and other kids when they come along.

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    im so glad that you are trying to make a difference in understanding !!
    I agree. I think it's fantastic that you are putting yourself out there to openly clear up an misconceptions. Well done!!

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    Hey! I didn't know you got it for free if you worked for the DF... time for a career change!

    PMSL JOKING!

    Lea, not sure if I could answer that... maybe yes, but then it'd really suck working for someone just for that if you don't at least like what you're doing so if it is just for free fertility treatment then they would be pretty unsatisfied with their work. So I'd feel sorry for them if that was their motivation.

    I have PCOS so our final out of pocket wasn't too severe, but I know of couples who do fork out thousands. Now, I'm pretty unpopular in the lesbian parenting 'circuit' for this opinion BUT i\ll say it anyway because its what I think...
    I'm a lesbian, I can't help that, but I do chose to be in a lesbian relationship. I don't chose who I love, but I chose who I have a relationship with. I chose love and happiness, and the reality is we have no sperm between us. I can't be bitter about it, and about the fact that we have to include someone else in our family plans or pay for an unknown donor. I'm personally ok with paying for sperm if it means I am parenting with the woman that I love. I did get a rebate from Medicare, but before we knew that I had PCOS we were prepared to pay the full amount.
    (I know that was OT but I thought it might come up so I'll answer it now)

    From our FS, we found them a little stand off-ish at first, but I think they are like that to everyone. In the end we were treated as no different, Shel and I both had to sign the agreement, they respected that she was my partner and was treated as my partner every step of the way. In hospital we were treated wonderfully, there was no question at all, we didn't have to ask for recognition, that was just a given. Shel was the one to be with Jazz while I was in recovery, there was never any insinuation that it would be any other way, and on my charts and on Jazz's little record they wrote Shel in automatically. It was fantastic!

    PMSL when someone asks "who's the man" I say "neither, we're lesbians"

  18. #18

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    firstly congrats and thank you for this wonderful idea.

    My question is one that just popped into my head.
    Who's surname does Jazz have?

    Also there a lot of kids out there without dad's and they do fine.
    She is a very lucky girl to have two wonderful mothers who adore her, if only all children had that!!


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