Many Toronto would be LGBT parents are having biological children for less money and less hassle through surrogacy in India. Fed up with legal headaches and adoption discrimination, Toronto would be LGBT parents have begun thinking outside the box—and outside of the country—to fulfill their dreams of becoming parents. (Go to full article)
I experienced a number of bodily sensations when I first read the article, including but not limited to: headache, nausea, fever, shortness of breath, and urgent and persistent need to yell obscenities at Paul, "avid advocate for [wealthy, white] LGBTA parents.
I want to be clear that I passionately believe in the healing and transformational power of Queer love. In my pursuit of family, I came home to Queer communities that honor self-determination, wholeness, and collective liberation. Queer love has helped me heal from the oppressive messages of love and family that shaped my life as an orphaned child turned transnational adoptee. I experience Queer love as inclusive, fluid, and dynamic. I believe that Queer love is the answer to the so-called deterioration of families in the United States. Queer love defies dominant narratives of "true love" as an exclusive right of the White, heterosexual Christian institution of marriage between young, attractive, and able people with class privilege. Thus, I believe Queer families that are created and sustained by Queer love are integral to the transformation of a society that honors community, healing, and collective liberation.
In the case of this article, I'm arguing that it is not a story of LGBT families. This is, instead, another story of families with class privilege within the global context of white supremacy. I am not an expert on surrogacy. (Read Kajsa Ekis Ekman if you want expertise.) I am just a member of the LGBTQ community who was born of a woman of color who was relegated to the margins of motherhood, always confined to a functional body that was defined by my relation to a white family with more money. From this position, a survivor of systemic violence that targeted my first family, I have more questions than answers.
For privileged families who are considering surrogacy through the Kiran Infertility Center, I compiled a list of reflection questions.
- What does it mean to claim a family unit that is constructed by the subordination of people of color living in countries that are struggling to survive capitalism?
- How do you sustain an LGBT family being targeted by heterosexism, genderism, and homophobia that is built upon the denial of its connection to global gender violence?
- When will the question surface: Who is my mother? How can you meet your child if you have constructed a story that confines the child's mother to no more than a willing body?
- How can you support your child in holding the complexity of their humanity, born from the dehumanization of their mother, when you are the perpetrators of the systemic violence that calls to question their validity in this world?
- Will you be able to tell your child more about superficial sightseeing experiences, than the emotional and historical context that positioned you as "real parents" and the woman of color as a body of service?
- What is the connection between messages that promote biological children as necessary to a "real" family, that also promote systemic discrimination that targets LGBTQ families?
- In what ways does the surrogacy process undermine efforts to organize for gender justice for queer and trans youth of color trapped in a homophobic and genderist child welfare system that leaves them homeless?
- Have you reflected on the ways that "less money and less hassle" for your family is directly connected to "not enough money and endless hassle" for impoverished communities of color, including the surrogate mother of your potential child?
- What is the difference between loving a child and wanting a child?
- Why is this necessary?