Gay dad Roger Fleming questions if all wannabe parents have really considered the consequences.
Now anyone can get married and the queer marriage is no less valid than the other kind, and that is kinda cool. But to my mind only kinda.
Recently, of late anyway I have had several, animated and rather heated conversations about gay adoption, or more importantly having a child through surrogacy or some other legitimate form.
I have no issues with gay or lesbians wanting to adopt. I have no issues with any GLBT wanting to have a family. Only with children did I really understand true and unconditional love. Being gay and a Dad, I can’t see why other gays and lesbians shouldn’t have their love life ruined by having teenagers in the house.
Increasingly though, I find myself challenging the motives behind such ideas.
Sitting across the table from me, telling me, “I want a kid” is always met with a barrage of questions from me. I often look at such comments with disdain and a degree of disbelief. Why? Can you afford it? How do you provide? Are you doing it on your own? Do you have a partner who supports you? How stable is the relationship? Do you really have any idea what is involved with bringing up a child. Being a mum or a dad is not a hobby; it’s not something that you can pick and choose to do when it suits. Children are not puppies. With the arrival of children comes a complete lifestyle change.
And don’t throw the, “I’m financially sound” argument at me. Many rich people make lousy parents. All that means is that you will hire a nanny, or farm the child off to day care so you can pursue your lifestyle. What are the real motives behind having kids? Children are not a gay accessory and should never be treated as such. Neither are they a trophy, something to declare to the world that you have arrived. Strolling down Ponsonby road pushing a stroller doesn’t cut the mustard when it comes to being a real father or mum.
Being a parent is hard, it’s time consuming, it’s expensive,
it is an emotional roller-
coaster and fraught with pit falls. They don’t come with a handbook, or grooming guide. You cannot preorder what you would like and later return it when it doesn’t seem to be exactly what you wanted. They don’t come with warrantees or loyalty cards. Children will bring out the best and the worst in you; they will ruin your evening out, but melt your heart with a hug. They will keep you up till four in the morning but when they smile at you all is forgotten.
So the next time you sit there and tell me “you would really like to have kid,” you better be damn sure you know exactly what you are getting yourself into.
Roger is a company director, who lives in East Auckland with his two teenage children Taylor and Nathan, and Moses the cat.
He divides his time between work, teaching advanced motorcycle road-craft, yoga, playing guitar and being a vocal soccer mum and taxi.
Article | Oliver Hall