Monday, February 20, 2012

Choice in parenting

Recently I read a blog article by Ryan, an old acquaintance of mine, who has written a blog about gay penguins adopting an abandoned egg and raising it on their own. Its a rather cute story, actually, since I don't even know the difference between a boy and girl penguin. I think the girl ones are probably like the drab colored ones, I guess? Nature always makes the men prettier.

Like me.

However, the ideas Ryan discussed in his blog were interesting to me. They dealt with the CHOICE of parenting.

To read Ryan's blog, click here:

Its not like gay men and women accidentally become parents. I suppose if they're experimenting with a member of the opposite sex without protection, I guess it is possible that a person could accidentally become a gay parent. But a gay couple? No matter how much I've tried figuring it out, I don't see how two men could create a baby together which wasn't 100% planned.

We've also seen articles which show that gay parents make more effective parents than straight parents.

So that got me thinking...

What makes gay parents more efficient? Is it the over-use of decorated and themed nurseries? Their choice of cute matching outfits?

I stereotype as a joke. Although I have my baby's nursery theme already chosen.

1) Choice: Gay men and women CHOOSE to become parents. It is not accidental---not caused by breaking a condom or forgetting to pull out in time. (Sorry for graphic images. I know straight sex is disturbing. haha.)

If I choose to do something instead of being forced or compelled to, my heart is going to be more involved in it. I am still criticized for being active in the LDS church, although I CHOOSE to still go to church. So therefore my heart is involved in it although logically it doesn't make sense given the environment. If I choose to go to college instead of my parents forcing me to go, my heart will be more involved in the studying process and I will learn more. I will be more compelled to do a good job.

2) Financial capabilities: Being a gay parent isn't easy. Its not like we can just keep having sex until it happens. So therefore the parents who succeed are those who are stable enough to handle it. I read a blog for two gay men who both had a surrogate in India. They're in their 50's and becoming first-time parents. Their children are biologically half-siblings as they share the same egg donor. They're both semi-retired and are financially stable. Unlike the early 20-somethings who aren't even finished with school and yet have two or three by the time they graduate.

I'm not saying parents need to be completely financially stable to have kids. My parents wouldn't have had them for years if that was the case. However, it might be easier to be effective parents if they have more of a financial backing.

Think about it---if parents weren't so frazzled worrying about where they were getting the money to pay a bill, they could spend more time with their children. I think being smart as to the number of children a family has is important. If parents choose to have 10 kids but can only comfortably feed and clothe 6, then that is a problem---chances are those parents will be milking the system to get free school lunches, Bishop's Storehouse items, federal assistance, or their kids will do without.

And I am also not saying parents doing any of the above is a bad thing if they're in need---however, if their need is because they refuse to stop having children, then maybe that's a problem. Just saying.

3) Their Hearts: Many gay men and women really have it going-on in their caring department. Some of them I've met have the biggest heart when it comes to giving to charity. In addition, many gay and lesbian parents choose to adopt not just babies (which is a problem amongst heterosexual couples who generally want very young infants only---not willing to adopt older kids.) Older kids in foster care---and when I say "older" I mean sometimes as young as 5-6--often times don't get adopted. Ideal homes for them might be with a very caring, nurturing parent who will work through their issues. And yes, those parents might be two gay men or a lesbian single woman... but regardless, they'd have a home with a parent who is financially stable and chooses to raise them.

4) Testing Periods: I've read all about the home studies needed to be able to apply for becoming an adoptive parent. And let me tell ya---there are a ton of questions. The people interviewing you will question a lot of aspects in your life which won't have anything to do (in my opinion) with parenting. They want to know the real person seeking adoption. So they'll screen you. Heavily. And I bet a lot of parents wouldn't pass their questions and answers. And yet, they can still have kids biologically. No government agency steps in until after the child is born. And thats only in cases of abuse.

I also think that heterosexual childless parents seeking adoption or surrogacy also might fit the above categories as well, making them ideal parents. My only qualm is that most heterosexual couples are looking for babies and there are THOUSANDS AND THOUSANDS of children in the foster care system who need families.

Here in Utah? Gay men and women cannot adopt without first lying. Single men and women cannot adopt from the foster care system. Ever. If you go to the Utah Foster Care website, there's a few dozen kids freely available for adoption. I check weekly. Same kids are there who were there a year ago. Only those 5 and under and have left. Haven't seen any of the older kids leave.

There's a super cute little 10 year old girl on there who I would totally consider fostering or adopting. Problem? I'm single. And attracted to men. So despite having an extra room, a lot of love, and a strong desire for parenting, I'm denied before I've even begun the process.

My point is: A lot of would-be-if-they-could parents are out there. Myself being one of them. I'm looking into and planning on doing both adoption and surrogacy. I want to provide a safe and loving home for children. I'm totally capable of doing so. I don't have a uterus so I have to make do without, I suppose, and build a family in a less typical method. I don't see why society then says I'm unfit.

What makes a fit parent: Attentiveness. Love. Kindness. Intelligence. Safety. Caring atmosphere.

Don't go telling me that two men cannot raise a child effectively. Think of the two gay adoptive penguin parents and their baby who'd otherwise have died. There's a lot of kids dying out there both literally and figuratively---talk to a child who aged out of the foster care system and ask if they would have cared if they had one parent or two parents of the same gender. I bet they would say they wished they had a home to go to and people to turn to for advice. They're not looking at the sexuality of their parents: YOU ARE.


Trev said...

Beautiful post. I love your commitment to becoming a parent and wish you the best in making it happen.

Post-It Boy said...

Its not just my desire to become a parent which fueled this blog post. I remember being in a sociology class at BYU Idaho. Teacher asked students what would happen to children raised by gay parents---everyone in the class agreed the kids would become gay. I raised my hand and said otherwise---that kids have just as much of a chance to be gay with gay parents or straight ones. And the professor said "Good thing someone agrees with me." He then told the class about all the studies which had been done. Everyone's mouths dropped since they had never thought an LDS professor would say gay parents were just as capable as straight ones---he's since retired (sadly.)