I’m a male, 29, and knew from my classmates that I was “different” by the age of adolescence.
But it didn’t bother me that much because I had two male school friends who also were different in some of the same ways.
By age 16, I was in a “loving friendship” with another guy who identified as gay, so I did too. By the next year, it was a full-on gay relationship.
I’ve been married to my partner now for seven years. My parents adjusted to this reality and we’re close with them. His parents are still uncomfortable, but friends tell me that such feelings often change when gay couples have a child… which is the subject of my question:
My partner feels that he should be the one whose sperm is used for us to conceive a child with a woman, because he’s more the “father” choice as the more dominant male in our relationship.
That decision makes me feel left out, almost an outsider to the act of conceiving our future child.
Also, if anything should cause us to split up in future, would he have more rights to child custody than me?
Future Father or Outsider?
I’m going to focus first on the object of your question: a future child. The ideal of what he/she will need most in life, is parents who are emotionally stable and equally committed to their child’s well-being.
That’s why you and your partner need to come to a comfortable feeling for being equally responsible and committed as parents and respectfully supportive of each other.
Yes, that’s also an ideal. But should you enter into your plan to conceive a child with the uncertainties and complications you bring to the discussion now, there’s already more of a sense of difficulty than joy in your planning for parenthood.
Meanwhile, “family” in today’s western society in particular has been a changing construct. Part of that is the reality of two same-sex parents raising children.
Some same-sex couples choose to adopt their children, which bypasses the question of a primary father who’s part of conception.
To me, what matters most is that there be mutual respect between you two regarding the positives that each of you bring to the task of parenting.
I strongly suggest you two have some professional counselling regarding having a child together, before you make actual arrangements.
Also, depending on where you live, look into any legal matters that will affect your parenthood, e.g. There are some places in the world where paying a surrogate female to bear and birth the child, is illegal.
A hopeful note: A comprehensive study published in the Medical Journal of Australia in 2017, showed that children raised in same-sex-parented families do as well as children raised by heterosexual-couple parents.
The review of three decades of peer-reviewed research by Melbourne Children’s found children raised in same-sex-parented families did as well emotionally, socially and educationally as their peers.
FEEDBACK Regarding the woman who felt ashamed for not having had a date for New Year’s Eve (December 20):
Reader – “That woman has nothing to be ashamed of and could consider such events as a positive opportunity, anytime at all when she feels left out.
“When I was a student and had no date, I was invited to a casual dinner party at a relative's home. She’d invited some of her friends, none of whom had dates. There I met a special young man.
“We’ve been happily married for fifty-three years.”
Reader’s Commentary Regarding the woman, 81, who suspects that her once-close younger sister, 79, has been influenced by a “friend” to change her legal documents, power of attorney and her will (December 19):
“The sister’s suspicions of Undue Influence having been applied are most likely correct but it's very hard to prove in court.
“She could take action to prove her younger sister’s “incompetency” but only if her sister agreed. If she is competent, case closed. If she isn't, her latest changes to her estate would be invalid, but legal fees might wipe out anything this woman has left to her worried sibling. It’ll also take a toll on her health.
“If the older sister truly “wasn’t expecting anything," she should let it go.
“However, there's likely more going on than she suspects, so perhaps her daughter would be willing to visit the sister, which may give her mother some closure. “
Tip of the day:
Same-sex parents have the same chance to raise well-adjusted children as heterosexual parents.