When people see my family, they often feel compelled to ask me and my wife where our daughter came from.
“Where did you get her? Did you adopt? Did one of you have her? How? Which one?”
We hear these questions a lot. Mostly from well-meaning friends of friends. Mostly when they’ve had a bit to drink at a party. And so far, thankfully, when our daughter isn’t around. I’m not sure if this is on purpose, though I seriously hope it is. I hope that one would stop themselves from asking these questions in front of our 5-year-old who doesn’t yet need to know how invasive the personal questions can be when your family is different. And ours is. We’re different.
I never know how to answer these questions and usually do it wrong. I end up telling the person exactly how our daughter entered our family. I tell them that I am the gestational parent. I tell them about our daughter’s anonymous sperm donor. I hate it every single time.
It’s not the people who have queers in their lives who ask this. It’s always the people who don’t know us. They don’t know a two-mom family or have never been close enough to one before to learn anything about us. So in that moment, I represent all the two-mom families everywhere. Including my own. I can’t say the things I want to say.
Photo credit: Casey Carey-Brown
I want to say you don’t have the right to ask me personal questions about my family. You don’t have the right to ask me personal questions about my body.
I want to say, if we become friends, I might tell you. If you read my blog, I may even write about it. If you’re really interested, you could search the internet for “How gays make babies” and stop asking me where I got my daughter.
There are all kinds of funny responses I can think of too, one of my favorites is, “We got her through Amazon Prime! Two day shipping!” but I’m just too sensitive for that. In these moments, I don’t want to joke about my family. I don’t want to pretend I bought my kid at a store. I know how desperately I wanted this family of ours and how my heart broke with every negative pregnancy test. I know how many tears were shed over the fear of using an anonymous sperm donor and how especially scary that was for my wife as the non-gestational parent. It wasn’t easy to create this little family of ours. And it’s not really something I want to talk about at parties because you saw two women and their kid and you suddenly felt brave and curious.
Sometimes I’m tired of defending our family and answering all the questions and being the Token Gay. Sometimes I just want to be a regular parent with a regular spouse and a regular kid. Sometimes I feel like that. Then someone asks a stupid question. And really, it’s a stupid question. I won’t ask you how you made your family or what that looks like legally. I won’t question the biological history of your children. I ask the same of you. Stop it. Stop asking me where I got my daughter. If you love us and support us and all the things you said just before you asked all the questions, then stop and see us for who we are. See us as parents who love our kid. See us as a family. Stop there.