Today I got a call from the nurse practitioner that will be working with us when Evan has his sedated echo next week. It was a typical pre-op phone call, mostly to rule out any risks and confirm Evan’s medical history. Easy-peasy. Until two questions in he asked, “So, are you the biological parent?”
I was mildly put off, but I figured I would give him the benefit of the doubt and assume the question was somehow medically relevant.
“No, I’m the non-gestational mom.”
“Oh. Huh. Funny. I have never heard that before. So wait, can you legally act on his behalf then?”
I sighed. Is ignorance really bliss? Because at this point it was just pissing me off.
“Yes. I am his mother. My name is on his birth certificate. Both the state and federal government recognize my relationship to my child.”
He seemed satisfied by my answer, but clearly he was not comfortable with the notion that a child could have two moms because after going through Evan’s medical history, he asked, “So, have you adopted Evan?”
This is when I stopped giving him the benefit of the doubt. My legal relationship to Evan is not his to question or offer up an opinion.
“No. I do not have to because the state and federal government already recognize our legal relationship. I am his mother. As I said before, I am on his birth certificate.”
“Huh. That just seems crazy since a step-mother can’t sign legal paperwork for her step-child.”
Thank you for your incredible not-so-micro aggression letting me know that you think that my legal rights as Evan’s mother are somehow unfair to straight couples who remarry… and that you don’t consider me Evan’s “real” mom.
As much as I appreciated his attempt to marginalize my relationship to my son, I wasn’t about to let this comment pass for mere ignorance.
“Well, that really isn’t a good comparison. A step-parent is not there from the moment of conception. I am not a person who has established a relationship with one of Evan’s parents – I am his mother. It’s the same as a heterosexual couple who uses a sperm donor”
“Oh. I guess.”
You guess? Again, not your decision.
Here’s a little pro-tip – it is never your right to question my relationship to my children, regardless of what you think of the laws that are in place to protect my family.
After a few more medical questions, I hung up the phone and felt outraged. Because these micoragressions add up; from the kid at pre-K who likes to insist to Addison that everyone has a dad, to the man who gave me a hearing test and went on a rant about how if gays wanted to get married, we would need to call it something else – like “purple fuzzy thing.” These constant, often unconsciously ignorant, remarks and observations about my family and life are grating, insensitive, and painful.
At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter if I am Evan’s biological mother or not. I am his mama, and that’s all anyone needs to know.