…What were Fair in Life; but finding what may be – make it Fair up to our Means.” ~ Anne McCaffery
This made headlines recently and I figured I could use a good op-ed piece to get my muse kick-started again. So here goes…
First of all, I am completely supportive of same-sex couples adopting and/or having their own biological children together. A loving home with good consistent co-parenting is a key factor in raising a healthy well-adjusted child. (I’m leaving single parenting out of my factoring in this case, although a loving strong and consistent single parent is just as effective in raising a healthy well-adjusted child – I think we all can agree that having two involved parents is the optimal situation for all concerned. Parenting is a tough gig.) That said, it is not the “right” of any couple to be able to have children simply because they want them.
If one or both of the partners is infertile then medical insurance can cover procedures to mitigate that, and/or provide Artificial Insemination or other options to assure pregnancy. In the case of this lesbian couple – its safe to presume that at least the biological mother was fertile – in which case it was NOT incumbent upon her medical insurance (if she had any) to provide coverage for the AI procedure. Just as it is not incumbent upon a fertile heterosexual woman’s insurance to provide that coverage. There’s no problem with the plumbing in either case.
No, I can’t say its fair that same-sex couples have to struggle on this level too, but in regard to this issue – that’s the way it is. I’m going to use myself as an analogy here for a moment: I had bariatric surgery several years ago. I could use a few nip/tucks here and there post-weight loss. However, I am not covered for it. Fair? Nope. But that’s the way it is. Life’s given me bat-wings so I better learn to fly with them! Anyway, however any of us may feel about same sex relationships, and related civil rights - we cannot deny basic biology. Unless there is some help or scientific intervention there can be no fertile relationships between same sex partners.
So, – the correct thing to do if AI is the way fertile females are choosing to conceive, is to SAVE THEIR MONEY in order to get the procedure done. Mistake #1 in the case I am discussing here. Mistake #2: The couple advertised online (Craigslist???) for a sperm donor. They must be OUT OF THEIR FREAKIN MINDS. Mistake #3: The man involved actually responded to an online advertisement to be said donor. He was not a registered sperm donor. HE must be OUT OF HIS FREAKIN MIND too. The poor kid could’ve ended up with John Wayne Gacy or Delphine LaLaurie as parental material!
We all know what a wonderful, safe place the internet is, so let’s search it to find the perfect person to create a child with…….. OR NOT.
Mistake #4: AI is a medical procedure with inherent risk even when performed by a licensed physician. Conception a la Turkey Baster at home is, how shall I say this – a “Bozo No-No”….. yeah that works…. The woman was fortunate in that her home performed procedure did not result in complications such as infection, peritonitis, sepsis, STD’s, or even death – and lead to a healthy baby.
I guess my bottom line here is that life isn’t fair. We all have dreams that are unfulfilled; things we want to do that we cannot. It is what it is, and we should try to make the best of it if we cannot change it. The Kansas court rightly decided that the donor should be responsible for child support in that proper procedures were not followed by any of the adults involved regarding the insemination of the woman, or the subsequent support of the resulting child. The judge also quite correctly inferred that the child is the person who matters here. Hopefully this will serve as a heads up to other couples deciding whether or not to have AI. If you want to be a sperm donor, please register and donate at a licensed medical facility. These steps protect you legally. If your insurance doesn’t cover artificial insemination, save your pennies, consult a lawyer, draw up a binding contract that clearly spells out obligations and will be recognized in court, and use state approved and medically licensed facilities and personnel to perform the procedure. Or alternatively – ADOPT. There are far too many children who need loving and supportive homes out there. But that’s another story…..