The world is changing for same-sex parents – and this week I made history | Arwa Mahdawi

The world is changing for same-sex parents – and this week I made history | Arwa Mahdawi

The Guardian

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Until recently, same-sex couples in New York could only be recognised as equal parents after birth. But my partner and I are the first to benefit from a new law

My unborn child doesn’t have a name yet, but she has already had her very first court hearing. On Monday, my partner, E, and I made (minor) history when we became the first couple in New York to be granted a pre-birth parentage order under a new suite of laws protecting same-sex families. Because of the pandemic, we had our court hearing virtually, meaning I officially became a mother on Microsoft Teams. Just like I’d always dreamed I would! You know how babies born on planes sometimes get free plane tickets for life? Well, I think I deserve at least a lifetime subscription to Microsoft Office.

You may be wondering what exactly a pre-birth parentage order is. The situation is this: E is giving birth in a few weeks to a baby we planned to have. After long discussions along the lines of “your womb or mine?”, we decided she would be the one to carry. We picked out a sperm donor together. We paid for the (very expensive) sperm and multiple rounds of artificial insemination together. We went to doctor’s appointments together. We brainstormed names – and have so far failed to decide on one – together. The baby may not be genetically mine but, in our hearts and minds, we are equal parents to She Who Has Yet to Be Named. In the eyes of the law, however, it’s more complicated. We can both be listed as parents on the birth certificate but, as the nongestational mum, my rights aren’t 100% clear.

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