How To Overcome the Difficulties of Lesbian Parenting
You and your wife have known that you wanted children since you met. Now that you’re married and have taken the time to develop your relationship, you’re ready to take the plunge into parenthood. Like any other parents, you have your concerns.
Lesbian and same-sex parents have concerns unique to their relationship. You don’t want to spend years debating on adoption or artificial insemination — yes you want to make the right decision, but you also don’t want to linger. Even after you’ve decided how you’ll have your child, you’re entering new terrain. You weren’t raised in a lesbian household, and while love can conquer and solve most issues, it doesn’t mean that your child will not have unique obstacles and hindrances.
In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the difficulties associated with lesbian parenting and look at some moving examples of mothers who successfully triumphed over challenges.
Same-Sex Parenting Difficulties
One of the first things that lesbian parents need to keep in mind is that although many of the difficulties you face are you unique, having to look for alternative methods of pregnancy is a problem any couple that can’t naturally conceive will have to look at.
A Guardian article provided an example of a lesbian couple who went through different stages of indecision. Initially, their problems were based on uncertainty, contemplating how to actually have the child and then unsure if a lesbian couple would make good parents. They admitted that they felt isolated “as if they were the only people in the world in their situation.”
Unfortunately, lesbian couples are often reminded of the fact that they exist in a heterosexual society that perpetuates homophobia.
Difficulties for the Children of Lesbian Parents
Several commonly reported concerns of gay and lesbian parents when it comes to their children include:
Lesbian parents should keep in mind that their children may be the subject of derision. When choosing an academic environment, it is best to develop a relationship with the teachers and find out about the school’s sensitivity program.
Many lesbian parents often feel that they’re excluded from community and family events.
Another issue that both gay and lesbian parents find themselves coping with are the questions. They’ll have to prepare their children to answer sensitive questions in school and to friends.
Some lesbian and gay parents have reported concerns that their kids will hold their sexual orientation against them and blame them for being “different”.
Another issue is the child’s conception if the father is not involved, children who were birthed through surrogate mothers or by way of artificial insemination may have trouble understanding the process — this can become difficult when and if your child compares your relationship to a straight one.
A Slate.com article mentions that many children who were birthed through artificial insemination or surrogate mothers develop mental health problems or feel hurt and confused. Lesbian parents have to fortify their children and prepare them for the questions or any unpleasant situations.
During a video, lesbian author, and video blogger, Kiki Archer explained her views on explaining the concept of family to her children “I’m a lesbian mom, I’ve got a six-year-old son and a five-year-old daughter, and they’re in school and their lives are completely normal. Their normal consist of a brother and a sister and two moms. They’ve got a friend whose normal and consist of just a daddy, and they also have a friend whose normal consist of a grandma and a grandpa, and yes they have lots of friends who have a mommy and a daddy — but that’s their friend’s normal — not theirs. And my children understand that family is just about the people who are around you… all families are different.”
Facing a Different Kind of Discrimination
Many lesbian and gay parents choose to adopt children of another race and in doing so, they may find themselves having to answer questions or preparing their children to face discrimination that they can’t relate to. Time wrote a very interesting article on this topic entitled, “The Realities of Raising a Kid of a A Different Race”
No Negative Impact on Children
Lesbian parents should take comfort in knowing that the majority of academic studies show that same-sex parenting doesn’t have any negative impact on children, as Quartz pointed in an article entitled, “The Science is clear: Children raised by same-sex parents are at no disadvantage”
Same-Sex Couples Make Better Parents
Not only is there no negative impact, but on the contrary, a recent study found that same-sex parents are not only redefining the concept of family, but they are great parents. So many pregnancies are unplanned, while same-sex couples go to great lengths to have children when they do, they’re devoted.
“Gay parents might be better at raising children because they’re more often prepared, and they don’t adhere to traditional gender roles.”
- Study Finds Same-Sex Couples Make Better Parents: Is It Because They’re More Prepared, The Medical Daily
One lesbian mother found herself without a support group. She took the initiative to start her own magazine called “WE ARE FAMILY” which focuses on the LGBT parenting and family issues.
Another lesbian couple turned to social media and created their own youtube channel called “THE NEXT FAMILY”, which allows them to connect with other lesbian and gay parents while offering support for parents who have questions.
Some lesbian and gay parents have found that being an active and helpful part of their communities helps people get over any phobias and see them as people.
Lesbian parents will find that they when they decide to have children, they’ll have many of the same parental issues and concerns as others. They should take comfort in knowing they are not alone and that when things get tough, they’re fighting for something important.
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