June marks LGBT Pride Month, a time for celebrating and advocating for further acceptance for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people. In the press release inaugurating the month, President Obama highlighted the major federal action promoting LGBT justice in the past year, the Executive Order on LGBT Workforce Discrimination.
Not many daughters get the opportunity give a wedding toast for their parents. It’s kind of an unusual situation. I can't go the typical route and say, “when I first met Anne and Theresa…I was in the womb. I remember when they were just two young lovebirds, the vague sound of their voices coming through to my amniotic sac.”
Isn’t it great that all families are not the same? Diverse families help make interesting neighborhoods and communities that serve to enrich our lives. As a fertility specialist, I’ve helped straight couples struggling with infertility, gay men and lesbian women, bisexual people in same-sex relationships, transgender individuals, as well as straight singles, from around the world - to have children of their own.
We know nearly a dozen other same-sex couples who have also adopted children with special needs, both from the U.S. and abroad. And there are hundreds, if not thousands of others like us across the U.S. The intentionality with which they chose to parent is carried forward into their raising of their daughters and sons. They have done all the things that other parents do, often while facing stigma and a lack of legal stability for their families.
The long process of preparing for the pregnancy and the pregnancy itself presented several challenges for me and us: starting with searching for a donor, then the conversations with the different doctors at the fertility clinic about all of our options, to issues related to our relationship as a couple, to reflecting on my own role as a mother—the non-gestational mother.
I had no idea that being gay was not normal when I was little. I grew up in a large Black family in Washington, DC, on a steady diet of Harriet Tubman, Martin Luther King and Jesse “I am somebody” Jackson. It was important to my family and community for us to always know who we were as Black people.