Blogging for LGBT Families Day 2012 – A Non-Bio Mom’s wish…

7th Annual Blogging for LGBT FamiliesIt’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.

Addison and Jen

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.

Addison and Mama

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.

Mama, Mommy, and Addison

Mama, Mommy, and Addison

About Jen

Outdoor adventurer and traveler. Writer, Photographer & Communications Professor. Wife. Mom of twins plus one. Tubbs Snowshoes Ambassador. Blogger at gayfamilytrips.com.

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12 Responses to Blogging for LGBT Families Day 2012 – A Non-Bio Mom’s wish…

  1. The Gay Bump June 2, 2012 at 12:22 am #

    I totally feel you. As a non-bio parent, I also was worried about bonding and not I realize how silly that was. It turns out time is the key to a bond not genetics. Who knew? Thanks for sharing!

    • Jen June 10, 2012 at 8:37 pm #

      Amazing, isn’t it? :)

  2. West Philly Mama June 5, 2012 at 9:10 pm #

    It boggles my mind how so many people still don’t get that genetics does not equal parent. Hope you know there are plenty of us out there that do get it, though!

    • Jen June 10, 2012 at 8:36 pm #

      Thanks West Philly Mama! I love your blog – you and JB are so lucky in regard to your donor. :)

  3. Dana June 6, 2012 at 10:54 pm #

    Thanks so much for participating in Blogging for LGBT Families Day once again!

    • Jen June 10, 2012 at 8:36 pm #

      Thanks for hosting it once again! It always gets me thinking :)

  4. mary December 31, 2012 at 5:36 pm #

    Thanks for posting, Jen. To look at you with your girl…how could anyone any question. That is one lucky girl with two very lucky mums! xo Happy New Year!

  5. Janeiack January 1, 2013 at 10:02 am #

    I have to admit, I asked your wife (my daughter and Addie’s birth mother) if she were ever jealous of Addie’s devotion to you. Kendra answered: “Never. I am so happy for the relationship.” I have had the advantage as a “grandmother” to learn the terminology of “unknown donor”, “sibling”, “sperm bank”, and so much more. But if I had not had you both to educate me, I would not have known the proper terminology. Your wonderful openess and blogs help all of us make the journey to understand different family groupings that are working. Thank you for the model! You are fantastic moms, and Addie is blessed.She is such an affectionate, happy, inquisitive child.

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