Getting married is difficult enough without adding decisions about children. As with any couple, you and your wife have to decide — together — whether this is a journey you want to take.
What to Talk About When Talking About Children
The discussion about having a family is one of the first you need to have with your wife. It is a lifestyle change and will affect both of you, so it is important to get on the same page. Here are some things you should keep in mind:
- This is a serious topic, so do it when you both can focus on the discussion. Be in a calm state of mind, where emotion will not sway your decision.
- Have you and your wife draw up a pros-and-cons list of having a child. Be as honest as possible, no matter how petty it might seem to you. Laying out your fears will help you both understand each other’s state of mind.
- Be frank about how it may change your life. Will you both work, or will one stay at home with the child? How will your sex life change? Can you afford a child right now, or can you afford to wait?
- Do research on what it costs to raise a child. For some, this may be a crass topic, but it is important to keep in mind. You may need a larger home, or you may need to move to a better school district. Your healthcare and lifestyle costs will change as well.
- Make the decision together. This is critical. Persuading your wife or being persuaded to have a child before either of you is ready can be disastrous. If you or your wife is not ready, agree to revisit the issue in six months.
If you’ve decided to have children now, congratulations! This is a great time for you and your wife, so enjoy it. But now, you have more decisions to make. You and your wife have to decide whether you would like a biological child of your own, or if you would like to adopt. And if you live in the United States, there are things you will have to consider.
Adopting a child is a special experience. It is also a gratifying one. But adopting for same-sex couples around the world can be confusing, no matter which country you reside in. For example, the adoption laws are state-regulated, so you will have to look up the current laws before you proceed with an adoption application.
The good news is that there are great sources of information on same-sex adoption. The Family Equality Council and Lifelong Adoptions are two examples. These sites provide you with up-to-date information on how to go about adopting in your state.
IUI and IVF
If you decide to have a child who is your own, you also have options. Intrauterine insemination (IUI) is the insemination of a woman by a sperm donor. In-vitro fertilization (IVF) allows both women to share physical responsibility for the child. In IVF, one woman donates the egg, and the other carries it. Both are good options for lesbian couples.
These options ensure that you share biology with your child, and it makes it easier for the one who is not carrying the child to legally adopt.
There are great resources for these reproductive options. The foremost authority on lesbian reproductive options in USC Fertility. There are many to choose from, so decide on a fertility clinic in your state.
What to Remember About Having Children
Children only need to know one thing — that they have parents who love and support them. They will not see you as different or odd, but just as Mom and Mom. And if you and your partner choose to embark on having a family, your child will be better for it.