I grew up with step brothers. My Mum and Dad got divorced when I was very little. Mum moved in with (I’ll call him SD = Step Dad), who had two sons. My brother and I lived with Dad, my step brothers lived with their mum and then all of us would come together at the weekend to stay at Mum and SD’s. We went on holidays together every year, we occasionally spent weeks and weeks together over summers. Mum and SD were together until I was about 19 – so they were pretty much my step brothers for my whole life. Until divorce said they weren’t any more. They weren’t great at keeping in touch, I tried to no avail. I haven’t seen either of them since about 2001. I see them on facebook – they both have children. My step nieces and nephews? Never met them.
“If you and Bec have one each, they will be step siblings” said my Mum. Like you and your brother were with SD’s two.
According to Mum: If my wife and I make two babies, one with her eggs, and one with my eggs, no matter who carries and gives birth to the babies, the one with my DNA will be my baby and the one with her DNA will be her baby. Our babies will be step siblings, because their Mummies are married. “Oh, unless you’re going to use the same donor, in which case they’ll be half siblings.”
So – I’ll be “Bec’s baby’s” step mother then, right? Don’t answer that, I’m offended enough already.
My mother, and people in general (note: in general does not refer to everyone!) try really hard to be cool with it. You know, with the whole lesbian thing. “It’s cool that you’re lesbians, in fact, it’s amazing. You’re so brave” Except when we try to do things that “normal” (ha ha!) people do, like get married and have babies, it blows peoples minds. They cannot engage their brains to function outside of the usual 1+1=2 mathematics. You can’t be real parent if you don’t have your code running through their veins. Sure there’s adoption and all kinds of other ways to become parents, but unless you are biologically their parent (even if you have carried the baby in your womb for nine months!) then you’re not their ‘real’ parent, are you?
My mum is gutted that we aren’t using my eggs (despite the fact that we are undecided on which way to go in the future) because it won’t really be her grandchild, will it? On one level, I understand that. She wants to see the family resemblance. She wants to see her parents in a small person. But my brother is on his way to being a Dad in April – so she’ll have that.
Why do I have to convince people (I don’t, I know!) that a baby I have made with my wife and who will grow from seed size to ape size in my care is my child? Why don’t people just accept your explanation of things, rather than challenging it. It’s so bloody hurtful. Especially when it’s immediate family who are apparently so accepting and supportive.