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Why shouldn’t Tom and Dustin dive into parenthood?

PUBLISHED: 07:01 22 February 2018

Dustin Lance Black and his husband Tom Daley. Picture: Ian West/PA Wire

Dustin Lance Black and his husband Tom Daley. Picture: Ian West/PA Wire

PA

A loving couple want to have a child. That’s good news, isn’t it?, asks Rachel Moore.

When Olympic diver Tom Daley and his husband Dustin Lance Black announced visa social media that they were having a baby, the nasty mouths started.

Opinions fly whenever same-sex couples dare to embark on a journey to become parents, most of them offensive and inhumane.

In many eyes, gay couples have no right to enjoy the joys, challenges and rewards of parenting, simply because they are gay. Period.

The worst judgement of all is that they have made a ‘choice’ to be different, therefore ruling themselves out of the linear life pathway that heterosexual have the right to walk – marriage, children and a family, with all the legal rights those institutions bring.

Using alternative ways to nature to build a family, like so many families are built on world-wide – fostering, adoption, surrogacy – are fine for straights but, in too many minds, should not be permitted to gays and lesbians.

Listen to people’s terminology. They don’t “feel comfortable” with the notion. What business is it of theirs? They don’t need to feel comfortable; it’s not their life.

Children won’t get a ‘balanced’ view of the world with same-sex parents. Parenting is about love, guidance, open-mindedness and teaching tolerance, not gender.

There is also academic proof to suggest that having two fathers is not biologically different to raising children with a mum and a dad.

The “poor children” will be ‘different’. They will be bullied. If the children are sent to school with bigoted ignorant views from around the dinner table and closed minds from their parents, they are set up to bully.

Children rarely notice difference and embrace everyone in their world of play and fun. It’s 2018 and different has become the norm, in terms of race, gender, sexuality, religion and much more.

In my experience, happy, confident, successful children have grown out of a multitude of family models, conventional and otherwise.

A lesbian couple that met 30 years ago at university has brought up three sons to be magnificent young men. One is at university, the other a star pupil at an international ballet school in London and the youngest, born with Down’s Syndrome and chronic heart condition, is thriving in a mainstream school.

Their father is a gay man, a friend of the couple at university and very much involved in the boys’ lives.

A gay couple that have been together decades adopted three-year-old girls recued by social services from a horrific life. They turned those girls’ lives around, bringing them security, love and a life they could never have dreamed of.

Blended families, straight and gay, come together through divorce. Single-parent families, the butt of abuse for decades, have proved to be just as effective and successful as two-parent families, often more so because they eliminate the conflict between ill-matched parents and usually have a far stronger parent-child bond.

People who adopt, foster or step in to parent their siblings’ children after death, in cases of death, parental inadequacy or desertion, are just as adept at building loving families as the conventional meet-marry-reproduce family model, whether they are single or in a relationship.

The point is that the notion of conventional family model is dwindling fast, with a whole array of different ways to ‘family’ successfully growing everywhere, which is wonderful.

Families come in many shapes and sizes. It wasn’t many years ago that children in single-parent families were stigmatised, called names because they didn’t ‘fit’ into the conventional man-woman formula.

Even in the world of the BBC’s The Archers, the stories of silage and combine harvesters of farming families have been kicked into touch by different family models.

Gay couple farmer Adam and Grey Gables chef Ian are planning to become parents with surrogate Bulgarian strawberry picker, mother of two Lexie.

Pip Archer is embracing on single parenthood, like her cousin, Helen did before her. Grandmother Peggy Woolley, not known for her liberal views, embracing all in her 90s, supportive and loving.

Even Lexie has left her children in the care of their grandmother to come to the UK to earn money for a better life for them all. Another family model

After Daley and Lance Black’s announcement a Mumsnet thread started that two men cannot be ‘having a baby’, that’s not biology. Worse was muttered in pubs.

“If it can’t happen by nature, it shouldn’t happen at all.” Then IVF and other fertility treatment for the childless should never happen.

And the legions of adopted and fostered children, happily flourishing within families are written off then, somehow not valid members of those families because they are not connected by birth.

Then came the surrogacy brickbats, with accusations that surrogacy is ‘commidifying’ childbirth, making it available like a purchase for two gay men.

Surrogacy has been a method of childbirth for decades for straight couples and no-one accuses them of buying children like an accessory.

Years ago, children born in secret to young girls were brought up as their mothers’ sister by their grandmother that they believed to be their mother.

Today, we need no secrets; people can live their lives openly and happily in whatever way suits them.

Isn’t that better than pretence, deceit and shame simply to suit the narrow minds of others?

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