Posted on | June 14, 2014 | 37 Comments
This year, as Alli and I await the birth of our first child, due this fall, we began receiving our first Mother’s Day congratulations from friends and family. . . .
I’m most often asked whether I’m worried about bonding with the baby as the non-biological parent.
I’ve got to tell you, this question infuriates me.
Despite what are certainly best intentions and a tacit show of empathy, the question irks me because it puts a premium on biological links, as though the strength of a parent-child relationship is only correlated to bloodlines: the more biologically-related, the stronger the bond. As an adoptee myself, with a partner raised by lesbian moms, I know that there are many ties beyond biology that bind families and drive the parent/child bond. Though it’s less surprising that this sentiment is common among heterosexual couples who usually reproduce biological children, I am struck by the force of this sentiment within the LGBT community . . .
In case you missed any of that: Bjerk was adopted and her lesbian partner Allison Auldrige (now pregnant with “our first child”) was “raised by lesbian moms.” Bjerk continues:
Even as we battle the myths surrounding race, gender, gender roles, sexuality, class, domesticity and the nuclear family, we haven’t adequately addressed the myths or stigma around non-biological family structures, particularly when it comes to parent-child relationships and adoption. And though I don’t want to discourage any couple from having biological children, I do want to suggest that it’s high time we address the stigma of non-biologically related family members.
As an adoptee, I’ve witnessed this stigma first-hand. . . .
(In the span of three sentences, she used “stigma” three times. Perhaps we should stigmatize repetitiveness?)
The fact of the matter is that families come in all shapes, sizes and formations. More gay parents and straight parents alike are raising stepchildren and/or adopted children, bringing much-needed awareness about the growth of blended families in the country. Indeed, more than three million LGBT Americans have children, and more than 125,000 same-sex couples are currently raising one or more children under the age of 18, including biological, step, or adopted children. What’s more, six million Americans report having a parent who self-identifies as LGBT.
I think this growing family diversity is something to celebrate. . . .
Well, of course, you do! Forty percent of children are born to unmarried women and half of marriages with children end in divorce and isn’t “this growing family diversity” totally awesome? Really, normal parents who stay married should be ashamed of themselves for cheating their children out of “family diversity.”
Father’s Day is a perfect occasion for lectures about the meaning of “family” from lesbians whose sperm-donor motherhood deliberately deprives their children of having a father. Hallmark has finally issued LGBT Father’s Day cards, and I’m sure everybody celebrated “Blogging for LGBTQ Families Day,” right?
A big thanks to everyone who participated in Blogging for LGBTQ Families Day this year, submitting a total of over 120 posts! . . .
Shoshana, “the mid-twenties, mixed race, Jewish, pansexual daughter of two lesbians and an Indian sperm donor,” shares her take on”Questions not to ask the mixed race daughter of two Jewish lesbians” and explains what it was like for her “Coming out as a member of an LGBT+ family.” . . .
Sonya, at the COLAGE KidSafe blog, writes of “Two Separate Identities,” hers and her moms’. She’s the queer child of lesbian moms, but explains that she is not queer because of them.
Hannah Moch, who has two moms, writes at the GLAAD blog about why she publicly thanked her moms at her college graduation – including the fact that the two of them remained friends even after they broke up.
And they all lived insanely ever after!