Fielding the "who is the real mom" question

Susan Goldberg, MA Author & Blogger, shares advice for lesbian parents on how the best way to answer people's question on who their child's real mom is
Lesbian Parenting | Answering The "Who Is The Real Mom" Question
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Fielding the "who is the real mom" question

Who's the biological mom? I think for 2 women who are going to have a baby together, or for that matter 2 men, that question comes up all the time. So it's one that you really need to be prepared to answer. So it's something that partners need to sit down and discuss with each other. Over and over again, I think before you get pregnant or during the pregnancy, it's a little more obvious, but after the fact, I think that's a really hard question because you have 2 women who are both going to be mothers or are mothers to a child, and when you ask a question like that, it really makes biology important. It really says who's the one who's actually the mother. That's how it often feels. And it can be really, really hurtful to a non-biological parent, and it can be really hurtful to a biological parent too to sort of constantly feel that her partner is being dismissed. And for that reason, because there's so much potential to hurt, you have to think about how you're going to be a unit on that question. How you're going to come together and answer it in a way that really puts your family and its safety, and its happiness and its needs first. Which means that if somebody's asking a question to you that is intrusive or insulting, you don't have to answer it, or you could try to do a bit of education, you could say, "Well that's a really hard question for us because we're both really involved mothers. Why do you ask?" Or you might sense that people are just kind of curious and they want to get a better sense of your story and what your family is like, and just say, "I carried and that's how we work." But whatever it is that you answer, remember that you have a choice to answer it, and you really do have to think about this one in advance.

Susan Goldberg, MA Author & Blogger, shares advice for lesbian parents on how the best way to answer people's question on who their child's real mom is


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Susan Goldberg, MA

Author & Blogger

Susan Goldberg is a writer, editor, essayist and blogger, and coeditor of the award-winning anthology And Baby Makes More: Known Donors, Queer Parents, and Our Unexpected Families. Her writing has been featured on the CBC and the Globe and Mail, in Ms., Lilith, and Stealing Time magazines, and several anthologies, including the forthcoming Chasing Rainbows: Exploring Gender-Fluid Parenting Practices. Susan is a contributing blogger at Today’ and In 2012, she was chosen as one of BlogHer’s Voices of the Year. She’s currently (always) working on a novel, called Step on a Crack, and on Overflow, a one-woman performance piece about lingerie and breast cancer. Susan lives in Thunder Bay, Ontario, with her partner and their two sons.

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