Surrogacy as a family building option is never a choice that is easily made. Be it financial concerns or social ones, this is a decision that requires serious consideration.
Same-sex couples considering surrogacy will, in many ways, have far more stressors than their heterosexual counterparts. But you’re brave enough to walk this road, and you’re absolutely strong enough to take whatever is coming your way. Let’s consider.
The issue of potentially not having a biological link to your child is not something that only same-sex parents will struggle with. But your struggle is different. With heterosexual couples, the struggle is often with the intended mother and her need for an egg donor. She will struggle with the idea of not having a link to her child biologically. But, since it is rare that the intended father is not also the biological father, straight men don’t have to consider that biological link all that often. But you will have to consider it.
You’ll need to decide which partner will supply the genetic material for your future child. This is a serious discussion and can cause a lot of stress for same-sex partners. Some worry that they will not love a child that is not of their own DNA. In other cases, both partners want to be the biological father, while only one sperm can fertilize the egg. So who gets the job?
First off, take a breath. Genetic lineage isn’t the end-all-be-all of family building. We know from years of research that love, not blood, makes a family. You will love this child no matter if it is of your DNA or your partner’s. You will bond with this child. The experiences that denote parenthood are what form these bonds and that love, not the fact that the child has your mother’s nose.
In the end, only you and your partner can decide which partner should bear the biological link. Many times, both partners will donate sperm, electing to have eggs fertilized with both sperm and only the best embryo transferred into the surrogate’s uterus. Many elect to never know which partner is the biological parent.
Plenty of people have opinions on who you should be allowed to love, and you shouldn’t be surprised that people will have opinions on your ability to parent as well. Same-sex parents will struggle with the fear of how society will see them as parents as well as how society will treat their children. By now you probably know that opinions are like farts. Everyone has them and they all stink.
Kids will tease kids. It doesn’t matter if they have straight or gay parents. And trust us when we say, “mommy-shaming” extends to everyone, it doesn’t matter if they’re both dads. People can be mean. But that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t explore parenthood.
The desire to have children doesn’t end with heterosexual preferences, and the ability to be an incredible parent doesn’t extend only to heterosexuals, either. Statistically, we know that children of same-sex couples are just as successful (if not more) than their heterosexual raised peers. They do well academically and socially.
Just as you’ve had to do your entire life, you’re going to need to grow a thick skin and learn to take the critical opinions of others with a grain of salt.
Finally, know that some states make it more difficult to become a same-sex parent. Some states will only allow surrogates to carry for heterosexual couples. Other states may have limitations on allowing two fathers on a birth certificate. It’s one more hurdle that you’ll have to consider that straight couples won’t, but it’s nothing you can’t handle.
At the end of the day, your fear and concerns over choosing to become a parent in this unique way tells us one thing. You’re going to do just fine. You’re worried about a child who isn’t even here yet. And that makes you a great parent already.