It’s hard to believe a year has already past since I wrote a post for the 2011 Blogging for LGBT Families Day. In some ways, our entrance into the world of parenting was rather unremarkable. Kendra and I settled into family life quite easily, facing no external opposition or discrimination, only love and support.
However, we do answer a lot of questions – people want to know about the process of using donor sperm, how we are planning on telling Addison about her not-so-conventional conception, and myriad other queries about our roles as moms. I don’t mind answering questions – I would much rather have the opportunities to dispel any misconceptions or stereotypes.
Only one thing grates my nerves – when people refer to the anonymous sperm donor we used as Addison’s “father.” For many people, understanding and accepting the fact that Addison does not have a father is a vey difficult process. It is too outside their realm of experience. Though I try to be patient, I can’t help but correct them.
“Actually, Addison doesn’t have a father. He is an anonymous donor, not a dad.”
To me, it is rather straightforward. A father is someone who is involved in his child’s life; therefore simply donating genetic material does not make you a father.
Perhaps it stings me so much because as the non-bio mother, I still struggle with people who view Kendra as the “real mom.” It seems unfair to me that a man we don’t even know so easily merits the title of “father” just because we used his sperm.
I am Addison’s mama – one of two mothers. Over the last year, as she has grown taller and started walking and talking, my own fears of her not bonding with me because I am not the bio-mom have melted away. In fact, looking back, I feel silly for having ever worried. She has so many of my traits and personality quirks that I often forget we are not genetically related. I had to stop myself mid-sentence at one of her doctor’s visits when we were asked if anyone in the family has asthma, and I started telling my family’s medical history.
In many ways it’s sad that I had to discover for myself the secret of adoptive parents and other non-bio parents – that genetics are not a required prerequisite for being a family – but it’s why I tell our story. I hope that as others meet and learn about LGBT families, our society will transform into one in which parenthood is never questioned nor diminished because of a lack of genetic connection; one in which people inherently understand that Addison doesn’t have a father, but rather two moms; one in which our family is no longer considered “untraditional.” Because the reality is, our family really isn’t all that remarkable. We are just two moms and a baby boo… doing the best we can to take care of each other and raise our daughter to be a strong, independent, thoughtful, caring soul.