Hmm, these bits are harder to write than I thought, in fact now I’m trying to sit down and work out a chronology of how we decided what when it all seems to merge into years of an endless conversations…
Well, one of the first things we ruled out from the off was adoption. I hope that doesn’t come across as being somehow anti-adoption but for me it was never really an option I have seriously considered, whenever I imagined me and L having a family it’s always very clearly something that begins with one of us giving birth… it always struck me a vaguely insulting somehow that because I happen to be a lesbian I’ll want to or deserve to give birth less than anyone else (although I judge myself fairly harshly for thinking this, and perhaps haven’t entirely worked through why I feel this). I know there are loads of kids who need a good home, and I see that the world is completely overpopulated, but I have never really understood why I should let go of my dream of having a biological child because of my sexuality whereas when any of my straight friends announce their intention to begin trying for a family I’ve never heard anyone ask them if that means they’ll be adopting. Is my decision to try to get pregnant rather than adopt selfish? Probably, but no more than anyone elses that I can fathom. Because of this we never got to the stage of working through the enormous expense, intrusion, or necessity to pretend to be absolutely perfect in every conceivable way that as far as I can work out the adoption route involves. So that was that, adoption out.
The other option that was immediately out (although only my lovely but ever so slightly strange mother seemed to think, and continues to think it is a option) was the using one of my brothers’ sperm (I have two brothers, my mother was never fixated on it being just one sperm) for L to conceive and her brother’s sperm for me to conceive. May possibly work for some people but not for us. No way. Yuck. And Yuck. L’s brother isn’t the sort of person with whom we’d ever share a joke (or much else, sperm particularly) so he doesn’t know about my mother’s plans for a child-nephew, but my brothers are more than aware and find the whole idea equally hilarious, misguided and a tad nausea inducing. So that was never even slightly in, my child-nephew and nieces out.
The last option that has been raised that never made it onto the drawing board was the meet some guy and take him home for an awkward one night stand. I’m actually surprised at the number of people who have suggested this to us. Firstly, I could never treat a guy like this, and the thought of anyone doing it to any of the men in my life I love makes me cross (although mostly cross in theory, I don’t really believe in the army of sperm stealing lesbians). Secondly, how we’ll explain our choices to our child has always been something we’ve considered really important and “your biological father is some guy we seduced in a bar and had bad sex with in order to conceive you” is never something I can see myself being proud to report. Thirdly, I really don’t want chlamydia, not even a little bit. I can’t pretend this hasn’t ever crossed my mind again as the sheer simplicity of it in contrast to the hugely complicated, expensive and time consuming nature of the other options have emerged, but no, this option has never ever appealed.