Surrogacy often gets an uneducated and undeserved bad reputation. A simple five minute google search reveals far too many nightmares – both real and fictional (and let’s face it, none of us can look away from the train crash; it’s both fascinating and horrifying!). Add to all that misinformation a major propaganda campaign against gay parenting and it’s a recipe for disaster.
Myth: Surrogacy is Narcissistic
Fact: This one doesn’t only apply to gay parenting. The mythological argument goes that only a narcissist would want to pass on their DNA to a child. What?!? If that’s the case, then *every* parent who is raising a child that is biologically related to them is equally narcissistic. Are people who sound this alarm really advocating that we all baby swap and anonymously raise each other’s children without knowing their parentage? This is just plain silly. Yes, adoption is a great option as well and one that many people use, but the truth is, it’s very difficult to adopt and the outcome is far less certain as the birth mother can change her mind. The other half of the equation in surrogacy with gay couples is that one parent is certain to not be genetically related to the child, and I can guarantee they love that child just as much; no matter whether there is a biological connection.
Myth: Children raised in an LGBTQ relationship are being brought up in an “immoral” environment.
Fact: Some religions hold that dancing is immoral. In India some people still participate in a bizarre baby tossing ceremony where an infant is dropped 50 feet from a tower in the thought that it will make the baby healthier, braver and stronger. Some religions believe that you should never partake of medical intervention as to do so would be to contradict God’s will. I could come up with hundreds of examples of how everyone’s version of morality and right and wrong differ vastly. There is *nothing* immoral about a child being raised by people who love it, care for it and tend to its health and well-being. The number or gender of the people who provide that care is immaterial. Which is a great transition to:
Myth: The only acceptable home for a child is one with a mother and father who are married to each other.
Fact: The American Psychological Society has unequivocally stated that parental gender has little influence on a child’s well-being. The only acceptable home for a child is one where they are raised by people who love it, care for it and tend to its health and well-being! It’s that simple. Even taking the gender of the parents out of this myth, it does a major disservice to single parents everywhere, who tirelessly work to provide love to their children. It doesn’t matter if a child is raised by two dads, two moms, a single parent, step-parents, foster parents or adoptive parents as long as they are loved.
Myth: Kids who are raised by gay or lesbian parents will be subjected to teasing or harassment and rejected by their peers.
Fact: Kids tease kids. No matter what. Good parents teach their kids not to tease other kids. Full stop. That’s it. Let’s work on raising good parents, first. With that said, I was raised in a traditional family structure with a stay at home mother. Guess what: I was teased, harassed and rejected by some of my peers. It had nothing to do with my family structure or anything about me other than the fact that I was a normal, awkward kid who didn’t wear the right clothes or hang out with the right crowd (amazingly, my friends didn’t tease me – so perhaps I *did* hang out with the right crowd…). Instead of stigmatizing kids based on who their parents are, let’s all work together to teach our children love and acceptance or all – and zero tolerance for bullying.
The only thing that truly matters is whether a parent or parents love their child.