Written by a queer couple, who have heard it all. Hi. We’re Rose and Rosie, two women who are expecting a baby!
We’re no strangers to outlandish comments - we’ve been sharing our life on YouTube for nearly 10 years, from when we started dating, to getting married, to trying to conceive. So trust us, we’ve heard it all.
When we found out firsthand how little information there was for queer couples to have a baby, we even launched our very own podcast in hopes that we could learn as much as we can, and share that knowledge with others hoping to start a family.
And boy, have we learnt. But sadly, we’ve also learnt some of the not-so-great things along the way: how often people say offensive and, frankly, homophobic things to queer expecting couples. So, let’s nip that in the bud, shall we?
7 things not to say to a queer, expecting couple
1. So…who’s the REAL mama?
This same question can also be phrased as: who is the bio mum? Who’s the real dad? But whose baby is it really?
Seriously? It’s both of our child. We are a couple and we decided to have children together. Why the sudden intrigue and need to know? This can get especially confusing when one mum is a surrogate for the other mother’s egg, as some people like to ask who was giving birth, thinking that gives them all the answers. It doesn’t.
Ultimately - it’s pretty odd to be diving into someone’s DNA history every time you meet a child. It’s rude, it’s unimportant and it’s outdated. Who’s the real mum? We both are.
2. How did this happen?
Our car salesman said this to us when we walked in and he saw my bump. He kept asking us over and over again, how? He couldn’t fathom how we were still a happy couple, when in his mind, one of us had to have cheated…. And we’re lesbians and we don’t sleep with men, so… how? Poor thing, it just did not compute.
After a few questions I told him “Well, we’ve had a donor picked out for a while” but my time is too precious to have me stand there and explain the numerous complexities and different methods that two women can go through to conceive. There’s this awesome thing called Google that I’m sure would give him all the answers, if he would just bother to look.
So, yeah, don’t be this person.
3. Aren’t you worried about how the child will develop without a father?
Ok, so our child won’t have a father, but who said our child won’t have a father figure? A father and a father figure are two very different things. And if you’re concerned our child is growing up in a world without men… Just look around. Our child will have men in their life left, right and centre, from uncles, friends, grandfathers, teachers, people they meet in everyday life, like doctors, bankers… the list goes on.
But what is this sexist notion that a father could teach our child something we can’t? What does that say about widowed or single mothers? Would you ask them the same question, or praise them for doing their best? Trust me, whatever our child needs, as a parent we will provide that. Let’s drop the outdated gender roles, shall we?
4. What if they want to live with the donor?
What if? Although we’d like to think that we will have such a wonderful bond and relationship with our child that they wouldn’t consider moving in with a stranger. But, we will let our child determine how they want to handle their own personal relationships.
5. Are you worried about the child getting bullied?
First off, why on earth would you assume our child would be bullied? Secondly, If our child gets bullied, the problem lies with the person bullying them, and is the responsibility of no one but the bully.
We both had a lot of conversations with same-sex parents before embarking on our parenthood journey, and here’s what we learnt: Kids aren’t born hating anyone, they learn that (usually from their parents.) If you explain to children that some people have a mum and dad, and some people have just a mum, or two mums, guess what? They get it! You are their teacher, showing them what the world is like. Families come in different shapes and sizes, and that’s ok!
6. If you split up, will you even see the baby?
Yes, because once again, (and I’ll say it louder for the people at the back) it’s our child. We both have legal rights and guardianship over our child. If we split up, we would have to go through the same processes as everyone else in order to establish custody.
7. Do you think it’s right to make a baby with a total stranger?
Plenty of people do it all the time! It’s no biggie.
But, if you think our sperm donor is a stranger, think again. We probably have access to more information than the average couple - donors are tested extensively and we have access to not only their personal and medical history, but that of their families as well. On top of all that, we spent an entire year deciding on which sperm donor to use. And we have been together nearly 10 years before we are bringing a child into our relationship. So we definitely know everything we need to know about each other!
Ok, your lesson on nine things not to say to a queer expecting couple is officially over! Did you take notes?
For more of Rose & Rosie’s parenting journey, check out their Parental Guidance podcast here.