The hardest part about being a gay parent is ignorance
The things gay mums and dads want people to know about
Over the past few years there’s been a steady increase in the number or gay and lesbian couples deciding to start a family. In 2010 there were 4,000 same-sex couples raising children together in the UK and by 2013 a study by the Office for National Statistics showed that this number had tripled to 12,000.
One in eight adoptions in England are now to same-sex couples, according to statistics released in 2018 making the proportion of children being adopted by same-sex couples in England the highest since records began.
If you’ve ever wondered if gay parents are raising their kids differently think again. Forget what you think you might know or assume as these 8 things help to tell what it’s really like:
- We’re both the “Real Mum”/ “Real Dad”. Gay dads say that they are often faced with the question “which one of you is “the mum” and likewise lesbian mums often encounter insensitive comments about who’s the biological mother.
- Our children’s donor or surrogate is not their “father” or “mother”. They are either very generous men or women who have allowed us to bring beautiful children into the world, but they are not their parent.
- Same sex married couples and relationships mean we deal with the same in-law issues as you do.
- We work hard to make sure our kids have plenty of male and female role models in the form of aunties, uncles, cousins and family friends.
- We give a lot of thought to explaining how and when we’ll answer those questions about “where did I come from?” and for now “some people have two daddies and some people have two mummies” kinda covers it.
- We don’t worry that our kids will grow up gay. Some girls simply love all-things-princess-and-pink even if they’ve only ever known a blue painted nursery and gender-neutral toys. If our children are gay that’s great and if they’re not, that’s great – and statistically it’s most likely that they’ll grow up hetrosexual regardless of how we parent them.
- Toy sets don’t often recognise our family set up - there are no gay parent families in “Sylvania” or “Little People” sets. But hey if you buy 2 sets you can have two mummies and daddies or two brides and bride grooms to mix and match!
- Other than this stuff we’re just the same as every other kind of dad or mum – our kids throw tantrums and keep us up at night. We argue, we make up and just like you we get through each day with love, laughter and patience.