Friday, June 01, 2007
Blogging for LGBT Families 2007
Hey, everybody! It's the 2nd annual Blogging for LGBT Families Day tomorrow!
As luck would have it, I did something else relating to LGBT families today—I mixed up a panful of peanut butter/chocolate bars (Mmm, butter! Mmm, sugar!) for the baby shower I'm cohosting this Saturday. My oldest and dearest friend, Cheryl, will become a mother in June when her partner, Carrie, delivers her baby.
The couple planned this baby together, are preparing their home for this baby, and will raise this baby together. They will both become moms the day that baby decides he wants to come out. Of course, laws being what they are, only the gestational mom has legal standing as a parent. For mom #2 to legally be a parent, the couple will have to shell out a couple grand in legal fees (wow, $2000+ would buy a lot of diapers and baby clothes!) and take the baby to court to appear before a judge in adoption proceedings. And of course, if the family gets saddled with some sort of regressive judicial troglodyte (like the one encountered here), the adoption would hit a snag.
Ideally, two people planning a baby together could both have their names on the birth certificate and both be considered parents from the moment labor begins. Sure, one can be present for the conception, support one's partner throughout the pregnancy, stay up all night tending to a newborn, and love that baby with all one's heart, but...that's not deemed to be enough if the parents are in a same-sex relationship. It's patently unfair.
What's most important is that a child be loved and nurtured, and I don't know anyone more innately empathetic and nurturing than Cheryl. She'll be a terrific mom. This baby-to-be is lucky: He'll have two devoted parents (whatever their legal status) and a community of supportive relatives and friends. I wish every child born to or adopted by a same-sex couple could be as lucky—and I hope that someday, their families won't have to jump through hoops for legal recognition.
Even though this is a dadless baby shower, it won't be the traditional ladies-only event. Ben will be one of the boys and men in attendance, and I'm glad he's got the opportunity to grow up in an environment in which a baby with two moms isn't a startling thing. His gay-friendly upbringing will continue when the Pride Parade passes through our neighborhood on June 24. The folks on the floats hardly toss any candy, but kids always have a blast at the Pride Parade anyway. If you live in Chicago and have kids, I encourage you to join the crowds in Lakeview and watch the parade!