We are coming up to our son's 4th birthday in a few short weeks. We both find it amazing how much our lives have changed once our son entered our lives, and of course, we wouldn't change a single thing about it. Over the years, we joined some LGBT Parenting Groups, and through the grapevine, we connected with several other gay families. Some created their families through adoption, and others through surrogacy.
I have read online that some gay families have come across polarizing views with regards to adoption vs surrogacy. Some talk about a "social division" between the two types of families. Of course this is my own opinion from my experience, but honestly, I don't see it. We have friends on both sides, and none of us judge or otherwise even really differentiate how our families were created. Sure we all know, we all spoke about it when we first met. It's a typical ice-breaker for gay couples when they meet since (at least for gay men) it's obvious that we can't have children ourselves. So the question of how we got our child is always part of the conversation. In some cases, it's fairly easy to tell that adoption was the means to creating a family, mainly when seeing a child that is a different race than both parents. In other cases, it's harder when you aren't sure because the child could be biologically one of the parents, and even harder when you can kind of see similarities to either parent.
For gay dads, we talk about it without reservation. We have all been there in one way or another, and how we created our family is usually not a touchy subject, since, for the majority of us it is the only way we can have a family. It is basically a given. Not so much for straight couples, especially those that had to endure infertility or other complications which led them to create their family in an alternative fashion. For them talking about how they created their family can sometimes be a touchy subject.
But all in all, talking about a division between couples that adopted and those that chose surrogacy is just plain silly. How you chose to create your family is your own business. Some couples prefer to have a biological tie to their children, it's human nature to want to pass along and propagate your bloodline. For others, there is this uneasy feeling that creeps up on them knowing that a child has a biological tie to one parent and not the other. Again, it is human nature, and it is all okay. There is no right or wrong way to build your family, the outcome is the same. We get to raise a child and partake in the wondrous stage of life called parenting, something that many of us from our generation probably thought was an impossible dream. I know it seems nearly impossible to me when I was younger. Marriage? Family? For me? Just not in the cards, never going to happen, society would never accept it. But look at us today! We are like any other typical family, married with a child, and a white picket fence in the front yard ... yes seriously.
I've read articles, by those that chose surrogacy, that talk about the biological tie being better and creating a stronger connection. I have also read articles from adoptive families that say they don't understand why people would choose surrogacy when there are so many children in the world that need homes. I'm here to say that while each may have a valid point to their views, there really is no point in arguing them. One way is not better than the other, each is valid in their own right and there is no point in trying to make those that chose differently than you to feel less than. Ultimately we all made whatever choice we did for the same fundamental reason, we wanted to be parents.
I say to those on both sides of this discussion, let us all just appreciate our children and love them, without getting bogged down with the "how" of it. How we got our children is a footnote in the whole story, so-to-speak. Each with its own story yes, but one that doesn't change the fact that both end up with you becoming a parent.