Same Sex Marriage Mediation
Will Liz or Leslie be their Prospective Baby’s Birth Mother?
Janet Miller Wiseman LICSW, Certified Family and Divorce Mediator
Liz and Leslie made a series of appointments for marriage mediation. They had been a couple for seven years and married for two of those years. They had decided that their careers, finances and home were in place and stable enough to have their first child. Their friend Greg had volunteered to be the biological father of the baby if he could be in the child’s life as “Uncle Greg”. Leslie and Liz were more than happy to expand their family by including Greg.
The women were each 33 years old and both were eager to bear a child. They agreed they would attempt to have two children and that each of them could be a birth mother. However, the question they brought to the mediation was “which of us gets to go first?”
Leslie maintained that she had been an only child and, unlike Liz, had never been able to participate as an older sibling taking care of babies and that she should be the first biological mother. Liz maintained because she had plenty of experience taking care of siblings and doing a lot of babysitting, she has the most experience and could model nursing, diaper changing, late night caretaking of babies and all the rest. “We’ll both have the opportunity, but it’s clear to me that I should have our first child”. Leslie was hurt and resentful. She could clearly see Liz’ point of view, but she most definitely did not agree with it.
Leslie leaned over and softly asked Liz to remember what it had been like for her in second grade when she cried and cried doing her homework, due to reversing letters and having a hard time reading. She’d had dyslexia and in addition ran from room to room continuously and restlessly, a symptom of ADHD. Leslie said to Liz that they both knew these issues were genetic and that it would probably be easier if their child had either or both issues, for Leslie to identity, and initiate the proper diagnoses and testing since she was so close to the issues.
Leslie, feeling very vulnerable, opened up with tears for how difficult it had been for her during her early years of schooling and agreed with Liz that Liz go first in having their first child so that she, Leslie, could watch the child for early signs of the hereditary issues so that they could get very early intervention if she or he were to inherit one of them.
The couple agreed that they would not expect ADHD or dyslexia, but simply keep a watchful eye out for signs and symptoms. Their interaction here helped to cement an already good foundation.