Sunday 16 September 2012

Is He Yours?

Some of you are already experiencing this especially if you used an Indian egg donor (and you are not of a similar ethnicity). Some of us waiting in the wings could possibly experience this in the future. I might be a bit over-sensitive about this topic and not because I am embarrassed by any means. However, I do believe in being treated equally as well as respecting people's privacy. So to each his or her own.

Anyway, my son is bi-racial - half Chinese and half Caucasian. However, he completely looks Caucasian - sandy blond hair, extremely fair skin, and sky blue eyes. I have black hair, brown eyes, and do not have fair skin. I appreciate this is unique - one usually (but not always) can see the dominant Asian gene in half-Asian children. I have met an Asian-Caucasian straight couple whose biological children look completely Caucasian. Although I do understand people's curiosity about the connection my son has to me, I think to ask the question is not appropriate especially when he is older and can comprehend the question. It's worse when they asked if he's adopted. There's absolutely nothing wrong with adoption but to plant seeds of untruth about such matters into the minds of children is unnecessary. Also, biracial children are common here in Vancouver - we are a such a diverse city and have been for such a long time. Why does it matter anyway? I can think about hundreds of other topics to talk about relating to children.

Don't get me wrong - I don't jump down people's throats for asking the question. For those who I feel are friendly, I keep it simple by saying that he is my son. I will say the exact same thing again if they start getting specific about genetics. 99% they get the drift. At this time, I have yet to meet any nasty people who are pregnant or have children around - if that were the case, I would have no problems returning the question and asking if their children (or unborn child) were theirs, hers, or his. Fair is fair I think. Of course, I would remain considerate and not ask the question if their children were old enough to understand. I would just pull the parent aside or whisper to them, about the inappropriateness of those questions.

Although similar and stupid question is, where is his mother. You are looking at his mother - me! Mother is a role in my world and has nothing to do with genetics or what I have between my legs to be honest. I believe regardless of your gender, we all play parts of the "father" and "mother" role - of course, being single, I play both roles and enjoy doing so. Now, when it comes to female and male role models, that is different. I can never be a female role model - my son has his aunts, grandmother, and my female friends for that. Finally, why does it matter to you, a stranger, where his "mother" (e.g., egg donor, surrogate) is or his relationship with her? I just don't have such thoughts when I meet someone with their child. Again, so many other children-focused topics we can talk about.

Another reason beyond equality and privacy for keeping the answers to these questions short and vague is to stop people's opinions from entering my ears. Many people have uneducated opinions about surrogacy, surrogacy abroad, gay parenting, single parenting, single male parenting, how children should be raised, etc. - and they like to give their opinions without solicitation. My favourites? "I could never be a surrogate." My response? "No you can't - it takes a very special woman to be one." Another is, "every child should have a mom." My response? "Didn't you have a mom?" I know I sound mean and I'm really not - it's just that I have an extremely low tolerance for stupidity and disrespect. At work, I am paid  to listen to all employees and "care" - outside of work, I selectively listen to those who deserve it.

I know these situations will continue for some time, especially with a biracial daughter on her way and potentially more children from India. I will also continue growing my list of witty and not-so-witty responses. I appreciate that I also might be over-sensitive but it's truly less about me at the end of the day, and more about my children. I know I can't protect them from dumb questions forever but I will try as long as I can while educating and equipping them with the skills and knowledge to handle these situations when they arise.

Of course, all of the above is null and void for people in the surrogacy community. I am an open book and feel sharing experiences is helpful. I believe in giving back and helping others achieve their dreams via surrogacy. What strikes a nerve are people who just want to stir sh*t up or quench their curiosity.

Thank you for letting me share this part of my world with you!


  1. I like your post. I recently overhead a conversation about my 6 month old twins at a shopping centre "they can't be twins, one is so black and the other is white". I quickly assured them, yes they are indeed twins, with one of the babies having an Indian father, the other having a Norwegian father. I then introduced them to my husband who of course, is neither. I gave them something to think about. Some people should keep their comments where they were initiated, as thoughts.

  2. LOL - I would have loved to seen their faces. Yes, I always say, you can THINK what you want but not everything you think is meant to be said. Some people are missing that filter though. Hope you and your family are doing well!