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Gay parenting refers to male partners who raise children as parents. Gay people can have children by various methods which include surrogacy, foster parenting, adoption and donor insemination. The traditional family is a structure which involves only two married people a man and a woman, who take care of their biological children. The family system is created during birth and continues its relationship throughout the generation. The aim of this paper is to discuss the gay parenting system of family, showing the ideologies underpinning it the modern society and the traditional family concept. Surrogacy method is also analysed in this paper giving its advantages and disadvantages.
In the year 2012 president Obama of the United States of America approved a bill that legalised gay marriage in the nation. He became the first president to fully embrace the pressing issue of the civil rights of same sex couples. Many Americans had been supporting the idea as shown by the opinion polls realised prior to Obamas announcement. Activists for rights of same-sex people and many Democrats welcomed the news while the religious leaders and spiritual advisors rebuked the news saying they were ashamed. Many states in America had been experiencing growing number of debates on legalisation of the same-sex marriage which included the gay marriage with many refuting the idea. Friends to the president who were part of the gay community were increasingly becoming disappointed and frustrated because it was not clear to them if the president would ever pass the bill. Obama was confronted by his Florida evangelical pastor saying that he did not agree with his choice. He is said to believe that the moral values of equality and fairness and scriptural view of marriage were competing (peter, 2012).
There is increasing support to extend the civil rights of the gay people though many people continue to support the traditional family concept. Pablo is seen to favor the traditional family and he subscribes to the idea of roles created by it and the fulfillment of those roles. The traditional family was defined by heterosexuality, biological care of offspring and well defined institutions of marriage. Gay’s right to be parents has been a topic of discussion frequently in newspapers and communication arenas. Various stereotypes of mockery have been created to urge people against gay parenting. For example a press in Britain referred to the efforts of a gay couple to have children as a tangled saga (Victoria, 2001).
The inability of the gay couple to give birth to children was a major factor in contributing the preference of the traditional family over the gay parenthood. This notion however was not proved untrue by science because gay partners can have a child of their own if they choose to through a number of various ways. Surrogacy for example is one of these methods. Potential gay parents are faced with the task of reasoning about the advantages and the disadvantages of the method. Surrogacy is a way of assisted production where a woman carries a foetus and gives birth to a child for the intended parents. The woman is called a gestational surrogate. This method has been used successfully in Canada and is legal. It has provided an alternative for parents who are in difficulty in creating a family of their own.
Two methods of surrogacy have been previously used. Gestational surrogacy being one of the types of surrogacy is carried out through in vitro-fertilization (IVF) whereby an embryo is developed in the lab and transferring it to the gestational carrier’s womb. It is a type of embryo adoption. Traditional surrogacy is the second type where the woman is made pregnant by use of her eggs. The child has therefore generic relationship with the mother in traditional surrogacy compared to the gestational surrogacy method where there is no established ties. Many gay parents seem to be favouring the gestational type of surrogacy because it is very unlikely that the surrogate mother would want to associate with the baby and that she will legally fail in trying to do that.
Though surrogacy may be an optional way for the gay parents to get their children from if the need arises, it is difficult to estimate successful surrogacy as it depends on various factors which include; the age of the surrogate mother and her pregnancy ability, the procedure’s successfulness and the viability of the gamete provided by the donor. It is advised that the couple should look for an egg donor whose personal qualities they admire and want their children to take after. There egg donor should also not have health problems. There is also an issue of risks associated with the method. The risk of contracting and transferring of infectious diseases like HIV and AIDS and hepatitis is one of the many risks of this procedure (Peter, 2014). It is also an expensive method and takes a lot of time for results to be acquired. The requirements of performing a pregnancy of the heterosexuality type are not very different from the ones of the surrogacy process except that there is added process to surrogacy. Far from surrogacy, heterosexual pregnancy, adoption, the donor insemination process and becoming a couple partner to somebody who already has kids are some of the ways for gays to get children.
Adoption has been widely suggested as the most ideal method of getting children for parents who cannot biologically produce children like the gay parents. It is for one a major way to care of orphans who have been left behind. The orphans could actually benefit from the good environment the parents who are involving themselves in very expensive surrogacy method could offer. Many gay parents want to feel a biological connection with their sons and daughters that is normal which adoption method unfortunately cannot provide. There is also the probability that parents can do many more things to the children they are attached to biologically than those that they are not. Gay parents have been said to be more committed and motivated to their work of parenting because they have made a choice to be parents. Their parenthood is by plan and not by mistake like many heterosexual pregnancies. Research has gone a mile further to show that children belonging to gay parents may have the ability of open-mindedness and tolerating issues and they may have the advantage of role models for a relationship based on equity (Pappas, 2012).
Surrogacy may be very ideal to male gay partners who all want to become parents by each producing his offspring. This can be done by finding an egg donor whose egg is split and fertilized by the male sperms differently. The developing embryos is monitored and evaluated by the health care clinic and the most promising of the embryos from their respective sperm donors would be implanted in the womb of one surrogate if twins are preferred. This preference of twins however has many disadvantages and many risks with the pregnancy.
There is risk of giving birth to babies who are premature and would need to be put in incubators which is necessary for their continued development at an added cost. In addition to the risk the surrogate may need to rest in bed and therefore she must be compensated increasing the cost of the process. A surrogate carrier who may be willing to be impregnated and to twins may be difficult to find if not impossible. Some clinics have taken the initiative to look for surrogates for partners at an extra cost. The process has however been very lengthy and consumed a lot of time in search of the surrogate although it is deemed very beneficial. This method of having twins is however less expensive as compared to the process where the parenting couple wants to have two children by different surrogates.
Gay parenting is rarely practised by the male gay couples as compared to the female gay couple. Research has shown that the number of female gays raising children under eighteen years of age is twice the number of men gays that is raising children of the same age bracket. This has been explained it is because of the ease of the women to find a viable sperm donor or a sperm bank which is less expensive compared to the more expensive surrogacy practised by the men gays. There is a lot of prejudice against gay men and women in their search of custody over their children (Victoria, 2001).
Gay parenting has been widely discriminated against. People have previously assumed that gay men cannot make fathers and the gay females are not mothers and this is one of the very many discriminations. There is also the much likely possibility of embarrassment of the gay couples that do not hide their sexuality. Embarrassment may also emanate from the child point of view whose parents are of the gay community. The policies for adoption have made it difficult for gay parenting to have kids. The requirements to adopt kids by all parents is to go through a hierarchy of officials of the state, county and the agency (Erica, 2017). There is also the issue of age of parents required by the agencies before adoption.
In the traditional family structure motherhood was an essential and socially fulfilling role especially for women. Research by feminists has shown that there are many rising categories of parenthood that can be as essential as the traditional motherhood in the modern age which has been criticised (Victoria, 2001). The traditional family system that depicted the roles of men and women has become of less importance over time. This is because women have pushed for their involvement in roles traditionally designed for men. Women have opted for opportunity to create their stable careers and they have had to sacrifice their responsibility for bearing children as in the traditional families. Men have had to be much concerned about their families and this has raised a question effectiveness of the traditional families.
Gay parenting has been a worldwide issue and it is a time other nations accept the gay community as the United States of America have. There is a change in the traditional family concept and it would also mean that the beliefs and values addressing gay parenting in the traditional family are also changed to accommodate gay parenting. The use surrogacy has also pushed for change in the traditional family as gay parents can have children of their own biological origin with their genetic makeup like the children in the traditional families.
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