I'm new here. I'm a Chicago-based queer FTM, straight-married to my wife thanks to suing the state for a new birth certificate. We have gone through 3 cycles with anonymous donor sperm and are starting to hopefully move into the known donor realm. So some questions:
1. What are some ways that non-bearing partners can be supportive during the trials and tribulations of TTC? I'm being as supportive as I can, but it's difficult knowing that there's little I can do to make things better/work. I keep supporting DW like I normally would, but I'm wanting to make sure that I'm covering as many bases as possible. (We're also continuing to communicate about this stuff as a couple, so my desire is for more suggestions basically.)
2. We are going to be drafting up a contract for our known donor terminating his parental rights and responsibilities to any future child that may result from his sperm provision. We plan to have a local attorney review that to make sure it is appropriate. Any tips for dealing with an LGBT-friendly attorney re: such things? We also have to take special consideration for the fact that we and our donor live in different states (and we may move to FL). If it matters, we hope to have the donor bank and use it for siblings too.
3. I also saw that a previous poster was talking about her DP being an FTM and whether or not to list on birth certificate, get a second parent adoption, etc. If we are straight married (and same sex marriage starts in June), is it a safe bet that we can just list me on the birth certificate and not go through the whole adoption thing? We'll still ask the lawyer about it but I thought I'd check in here too.
Welcome! I'm in Chicago, too--there's a good group of queer parents here, if you want to get involved once you're a little further along this journey--just let me know!
1. I found it helpful for my wife to just follow my lead on things rather than trying to 'make it better'. Sometimes it's just depressing. I think keeping your communication open is really the most important thing, and letting her tell you what she needs. But also pay attention to your part of the journey--it's likely that you'll be on different cycles of ups and downs about the whole process.
2. If you are serious about having the donor bank sperm for future siblings, and could possibly be willing to wait 6 months, from what I understand your contract will carry a LOT more weight if you do that up front and have everything handled through a sperm bank instead of a more usual KD relationship. I realize that might not be what you're hoping for, but it would make things more watertight. Especially in Florida, which is still pretty conservative in their laws.
3. not sure, but with a male birth certificate I would think that you probably don't need to worry about 2nd parent adoption unless you end up in a really ugly situation somewhere.
Good luck with everything!
And so are the boys!
1. TTC is hard no matter how you do it. Support is key. Keep supporting like you are. Be involved. If you can help with scheduling stuff or picking up sperm, etc, do those things. Help DW do the things that keep her calm and healthy. For example, if she likes massages or yoga, help her to have time and resources to do those things. Having sex is good for fertility and stress also. Plan some fun/distracting things to do during the TWW. I liked to get pedicures when I was trying. You can also plan something for around the time the TWW ends. If it's bad news, you want to take care of each other and do something nice to take your mind off that BFN. Maybe hit happy hour or go out for dinner. Whatever you enjoy. If it's a BFP, you can celebrate, of course.
2. Contracts you draw up before the birth are not binding and may not stand up in a court of law. The parental rights needs to be terminated after the baby is born. You mentioned that you may bank the sperm to use later. The laws may apply differently in this case because the sperm would be going to a medical professional and then to DW. When a donor donates to a bank, they terminate their rights at the time of donation. The situation may be similar if your known donor donates to a bank first and they freeze it for you. That would be something to ask the bank about. I can't imagine it would be difficult to find a friendly lawyer in Chicago. You can also contact NCLR. http://www.nclrights.org/legal-help-resources/
3. This is a good question for a lawyer. I don't know exactly how rights are terminated or if rights are terminated through the process of adoption alone. If you do move to Florida, you want to make sure you have all your ducks in a row legally. After a lengthy court battle (with Jane Lynch's soon to be ex-wife-handled by NCLR), they do recognize out of state second-parent adoptions. If you aren't the biological father, I would imagine you would need to legally establish your parental role. We live in California and our marriage is recognized and my wife's name is on the birth certificate, but it is still recommended that we do an adoption to protect us in other states.
I wish you all the best in your TTC journey! Feel free to join over in Queer Conceptions for more support.
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Thanks for your replies, folks.
I think our plan thus far is either to have an as-needed kit used for donating and shipment or to have the donor just bank local to him and then we request it as necessary. I think we'll likely do the latter, which will help with the paperwork re: rights and such. I did reach out to a friend who is an attorney to get a referral for someone who specializes in this sort of law, so we'll look to hear from her soon (Jill Metz is the referral, for folks local to Chicago in similar straits). My friend also recommended the second-parent adoption just in case. I guess IL has some funky case law regarding this issue so it's important to be sure (google Sterling Simmons for more detail on one such example.)
Thanks for the suggestions concerning managing the TTC journey. It's a relief to know others have been through similar issues. In one hilarious but sad example, one night I got so tired that I fell asleep sitting up so I went to bed. DW all of a sudden yells an expletive aloud, so I wake up halfway - just enough to discern from her what's going on (she'd got her period after a chemical pregnancy) but not awake enough to be supportive. I apparently said "Oh no, honey..." and promptly fell back asleep. Some paragon of support I am! LOL
Anyway, we're keeping on keeping on. DW also had to wrestle with her feelings of jealousy as a dear gay couple we know got pregnant on their first try. As we're learning though, that too is a part of this process.
Be well, y'all!
I might have been the person asking about second parent adoptions. I think it all depends on your state, but if you are able to, I would do it. We live in a state that bans second parent adoption, and my DP was born in a state that won't change your birth certificate, so even though he's legally male in every other way, we were advised that we could not do a SPA because of the birth cert. We are "straight married" and he is listed on our twins' birth cert, and we just have to assume it's going to be okay. If you're going to move to the south, I would get every duck that you can in a row ahead of time.
In terms of supporting your partner, I really wanted my DP to "get it" when I felt bad (rather than try to cheer me up or convince me it was okay). I also appreciated his taking the time to learn at least some of what I was talking about (cycles! ttc! opks! etc).
Good luck to you guys!
A, partner to J, mama to O, now with a new username!
Building queer family since 2008!
(and oh, did i mention we're having twins?!?)
We did get a reminder of our privilege as our dear friend (one half of a lesbian couple) couldn't put their child on her insurance because their family isn't recognized as one. Stupid laws!
Loving stepmom to daughters aged 13 and 17. Naturally birthed my littlest one 6/21/13.
LOVE makes a family. Genderqueer breastfeeding, cosleeping, attachment parenting Mama
M/C 2/10 ~Ahti Pan, forever in my heart.