Monday, July 9, 2012

The innate desire to be a parent

One of the things that I have always been amazed about in being a family lawyer is the innate desire of many of us to be parents, and the desire, no matter how badly at times that we screw up as parents, to be better parents for the sake of our children.

When I started undertaking surrogacy work several years ago, I was struck by the desperation of people to undertake surrogacy. It was extremely moving to talk with clients who were seeking to have children, that this was part of their life journey, and that they would move heaven and earth to achieve the dream of parenthood.

Despite the differences at times being played out in commentary and the media that there is some huge differnece between gay and lesbian or single intended parents, as opposed to married couples who want to achieve the dream of parenthood, or those in heterosexual de facto couples, what impressed me was that in reality, these differences were really a chimera, a mirage.

The reality is that some people, whether in a relationship or alone, and irrespective of their sexuality, want to have kids, that this is an essential part of who they are, and to deny this reality is to emphasise ignorance over knowledge.

The other realities in dealing with surrogacy, or adoption, is that anyone undertaking these journeys does not do so lightly or flippantly, and has to deal with a myriad of steps, decisions, costs and delays. Each is the journey of last resort- when there are no other options left to achieve the dream of being a mum or dad. I have never seen anyone decide on a whim to achieve parenthood this way.

A fair description of that dream is in this blogpost, Why having a family some day is important to me,  by Dylan Carmichael. Although he describes it from his perspective, namely that of a gay man, the desire to become a parent I think is well described, and applies to anyone who wants to become a parent. Thank you Dylan for writing your post.

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