Why is queer parenting still stuck on the nuclear model?


Maeve Marsden | Daily Life | December 11, 2015

As a 32 year old single lesbian who has always wanted children, I find myself having increasingly awkward conversations about whether or not I might procreate solo, in my case with a known sperm donor. “I’m considering being a single parent,” I say. “I have a male friend who is keen to donate.” Then I brace for impact.

First, there are the obvious warnings about how much work it’d be having a child alone, as well as well worn tropes about the two parent imperative. Once they’ve critiqued my potential as a Mother, they pontificate on my choice of donor, questioning his trustworthiness and his ability to cope when little mini-hims burst forth from my womb. What if he wants the kids once they’re born? Will we sign a legal agreement? Can you be sure he’s healthy? Is he handsome?

Can you imagine how my friends would react if I queried their romantic partnerships in this way? If I asked whether their husbands had the best genes, or if they’d signed a pre-nuptial agreement; if I asked what the plan was when/if they divorced. What a buzzkill, right?

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