Gay parenting info hard to find
by Tera Bryant
Family Issues Columnist
I thought I knew everything there was to be a parent. I had three children and was able to be a stay at home mother for the last few years of their lives.
I’ve had all manner of incidents, accidents and yes… body fluids with which to contend.
I survived many book fairs, classroom parties and spent countless hours glued to the hard and unforgiving football stadium seats while watching and worrying with equal amounts of fervor.
I felt I was in control of my parenting and had a “been there, done that” attitude. I somehow even managed to send one to college.
However, when I divorced late in my 30’s, I had a tremulous foundation of knowledge, crumble around me.
I knew nothing of how to help my children through the process of divorce and how to reshape our life and family dynamics.
Luckily, there were a lot of wonderful resources both local and online for me to learn what I could. I tore through the information and poured over the internet continually searching to make sure I was able to be the best co-parent and help my kids adjust to life post-divorce.
Again, I thought I knew everything there was to know about being a single parent. Again, I was wrong.
Because I am blessed to identify as a bisexual, I found a female partner at this time in my life. And as silly as it sounds now, I actually thought I’d be teaching my girlfriend all I knew about parenting.
When in truth, I had a lot to learn about being an openly gay parent. Apparently, that makes us different. So different, we can’t even adopt children through some organizations in our state now.
The moment I began considering our options for another child with my partner, even in daydreams, a dark cloud of uncertainty developed.
The shadow was made a little bit larger the day I read in The Gayly, legislation passed, allowing another person (besides those within our immediate family unit) to decide whether we were allowed to parent children.
I was shocked and appalled that somehow, I gave up my right to be considered as a possible mother to a child in need, simply by being who I am and living a life true to myself.
Before my divorce, I had been living in this heteronormative structure with privileges I hadn’t even recognized and knew embarrassingly little about the rights of the LGTBQA+ community.
I became quite frustrated when looking for information on gay parenting topics such as adoption legislation, and other important areas of family life I needed advice on as well. I quickly realized the resources for gay mothers and fathers were rather limiting, and local resources of information for parents like me, have been even more difficult to find.
I know I am not the only one out there who realizes life as a gay parent comes with many milestones and issues not experienced by those in a heteronormative structure.
And I’ve learned don’t know everything there is about motherhood. I never will because a family constantly evolves and grows.
This column is about me sharing my journey with you and speaking out loudly and proudly.
Each article I intend to focus on a different unique Rainbow Family topic and I’d love to hear any advice, information, or personal insights other gay parents and supporters, in our community would like to share. Feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I hope to create a conversation on a local level for Rainbow Families in our community to speak out and help one another through these different milestones, together, as a community and as a bigger family.
Copyright The Gayly. 9/22/2018 @ 11:09 a.m. CST.