Family / Family-building

How are gaybies made?

Boy, sometimes I think straight, opposite sex, fertile, socionormative couples get all the breaks. Whenever they get the World’s Oldest Question (okay, Second Oldest), they can simply fall back on the classic “Daddy gave Mommy a special hug and then Mommy grew you in her belly.”

But what’s the Fischer-Price version of “Daddy and Papa pleasured themselves into a test tube which they then froze while they placed an ad on Craigslist for an egg donor who would provide them with an ovum they could fertilize in a laboratory with their frozen sperm and then shipped the fertilized egg to India where a nice lady was implanted with it and then grew you in her belly”?

All right, we didn’t actually do that, but we have it on unimpeachable authority, from a lawyer no less, that there are couples who have.

We adopted ours through social services, but that’s a pretty long and labyrinthine story, too.

My point here (you didn’t really think I had one, did you?) is that since deciding to become a family man as a member of the LGBTQILOLOMGBRB community, I have absolutely delighted in all the fabulous, inventive, dynamic and sometimes sorta icky ways we build our families.

(Old joke: A White Woman and a Black Woman with an Asian Son, an African American Daughter and a Caucasian baby walk into a bar…)

But what I have trouble figuring out is where the boundary lies in terms of just how much you can ask somebody about their baby-getting process at a gayishe cocktail party or Yom Kippur break fast or whatever. As far as the het crowd goes, we all pretty much know without asking who did what to whom and when.  My husband and I (god, I love saying that) have no problem at all answering any and all questions about where our kids came from and the rollercoaster ride we took adopting them. But not everybody wants to be quite so forthcoming with personal detailia.

For example, when, if ever, is it okay to ask, “anonymous donor?” (I’ve actually had a few of those in my younger, singler, sluttier days, but that’s a tale for another day.) And is it considered acceptable to discuss adoption subsidies, fingerprints, court-appointed guardians, and turkey basters over a lazy Susan of hummus and pita chips?

I’m the sort of person who WANTS TO KNOW, but never know when I might be greeted with an eye roll, a beleaguered shrug or a dismissive teeth-sucking.

But here’s what I do know. I’m absolutely enamored and proud of the amazing ways we’ve figured out to create gorgeous, loving families. And I also know never, never, ever to assume that a woman is pregnant. Learned the hard way.


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  1. I love how you handle a potentially touchy subject with grace and humor. It’s true that many parents seems to have a line that we cross without realizing until it’s too late. I always take more liberties with members of the LGBTQILOLOMGBRB community – assuming, rightly or wrongly, that we’ll allow such questions because we’ve all got a non-traditional family-making story. I’m sure I’ve offended along the way. We’re a curious people and we like stories. Shees.

    And what kind of amoral parents take their kids into a bar?!? Honestly! (Insert winky emoticon here because I don’t know how to do that.)

  2. I think I have been asked all the questions. I always answer them even when I’m tired/cranky/need coffee.

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