Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2020-05-13
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News  Entertainment Features Donate Bars & Clubs Calendar Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor

  IDENTITY

Views: Eggs and Mothers
by Mubarak Dahir
2004-03-01

facebook twitter google +1 reddit email


In a saga that tests the understanding of modern science, judicial fairness, and the rights of gay and lesbian parents, two lesbian mothers are fighting over who should get custody rights of fraternal twins that both women helped bring into the world, and both participated in raising until their relationship went sour.

The two women, identified only as K.M. and E.G. in court documents, met in California in 1992, moved in together in 1994, and registered as domestic partners in San Francisco. The couple wanted children, but had a problem: E.G. was having trouble producing eggs. Because of fibroid cysts on her uterus, K.M. couldn't carry a child to full term.

The solution they came up with seemed the perfect mix of biology and love: K.M. would offer her eggs for fertilization, and E.G. would carry the children in her womb.

But while waiting to have her eggs harvested at the fertilization clinic, K.M. says she was handed a stack of documents to fill in and sign. Things like her medical history. Without realizing it or thinking much about it, she says, she also signed a form waiving her rights as a parent. Such a form is typically used to thwart legal battles in cases where a woman offers her eggs to a heterosexual couple that cannot have children of their own. The director of that clinic (who was not there when E.G. and K.M. sought to produce children) now says that such a form should never be given to a lesbian couple, and has done away with it.

That form didn't seem to matter much initially. When the babies were born a month prematurely, both mothers stayed by their bedside round the clock in the hospital. As the babies turned into toddlers and then young kids, they called both women 'momma.'

But in 2001, the love that K.M. and E.G. once shared faded. E.G.-the birth mother—took the kids and moved to Massachusetts, and continually tried to cut out K.M.—the egg-donor mother—from the children's' lives.

In an earlier court decision, E.G. won full custody rights to the children, based solely on the waiver form K.M. signed while waiting to donate her eggs. Luckily, an appeals court will hear the case again. It should consider more than a hastily signed form that should never have been presented to biological parent anyway.

For her part, E.G. continues to claim that she never intended to share parenthood with K.M. In court, she testitifed: 'I told her [K.M.] that I would not be willing to consider an adoption until five years after the children were born because I didn't know her well enough.'

This is a remarkable statement that seems hard to believe. E.G. was willing to move into a house, trade rings, register as a domestic partner, and bring children into the world—all with someone she didn't know or trust? If that is true, it begs the question of just how fit a mother E.G. is, allowing a virtual stranger to help raise her kids for six years.

The truth, of course, is that both E.G. and F.M. are the mothers of their children—in the biological sense as well as the sense that matters most, the sociological sense. Both women participated in the births and rearing of these children for more than six years. The mere fact that the two women are no longer a couple cannot erase the history or importance of the ties the children have with F.M.

Thankfully, an appellate court is set to re-hear the case. 'We're hoping the [new] ruling advances the law so that the children of gay families have the same legal protection as the children of heterosexual families,' Jill Hersh, K.M.'s attorney, told the Los Angeles Times. On appeal, the court should consider the real life circumstances of this couple, and grant F.M. the joint custody she deserves of her children.

But this tale is more than one of scientific interest and domestic wrangling. It carries with it an important message to those of us in the gay and lesbian community—especially as we fight so hard to have our relationships recognized and valued.

It is particularly unseemly that E.G. is leaning on circumstances and rules that disadvantage gay and lesbian parents in order to deprive F.M. of her rightful place as a lesbian mother. That is even more galling in light of the fact that our movement is now more than ever engaged in a fierce battle to win recognition and value for our relationships.

gay and lesbian people, we cannot clamor for the marriage rights that would legally equalize our relationships, and yet refuse to act fairly in the analogous circumstance of divorce.

In all senses of the word, F.M. is a mother to her two children, and neither societal prejudice against her as a lesbian, nor personal malice against her from E.G., should prevent her being re-united with her kids.

e-mail at MubarakDah@aol.com


facebook twitter google +1 reddit email





Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

VIEWS LGBTQ discrimination is a disgrace 2020-05-18 - Re the New York Times article, "Aimee Stephens, 59, Plaintiff in Transgender Rights Case" ( obituary, May 14 ): Our world has long ...


Gay News

LETTER Handling the pandemic 2020-05-13 - Dear community: How is our community responding to the coronavirus pandemic? The key seems to be a social-distance approach that many of ...


Gay News

MOMBIAN: COVID-19 pauses family-building for many LGBTQ people 2020-04-29 - Nina Willbach and her wife, a Philadelphia couple, have been trying to get pregnant since last June via assisted insemination. In March, ...


Gay News

LETTER In praise of Pritzker 2020-04-29 - To the Editor: Illinois physicians and hospitals commend Gov. J.B. Pritzker for his steadfast leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic. Every day he ...


Gay News

OP-ED The media needs to stop reporting about Queen Latifah's sexuality 2020-04-28 - Does the media's cat and mouse game of chase with Queen Latifah lead many of us—especially in the LGBTQ+ community—to another "Gotcha!" moment ...


Gay News

LETTER Administrative errors 2020-04-15 - Dear Editor: For war against an unforeseen enemy, we need a war administration. If the framers of the Constitution had foreseen the ...


Gay News

OP-ED: COVID-19 LGBTQs, minorities disproportionately affected 2020-04-15 - These are some truly historic times. And in what may come as no surprise to many, the coronavirus pandemic is adversely affecting many ...


Gay News

THE AMAZON TRAIL A giant 2020-04-15 - "We lost a giant today," tweeted California state Sen. Scott Weiner, who is chairman of the LGBTQ caucus. A giant is exactly what ...


Gay News

Teachers Union: South Side Black residents need ready access to services 2020-04-06 - CHICAGO, April 6, 2020—Registered nurses at Provident Hospital are holding a media availability during their shift change to describe how the closure of ...


Gay News

LETTER Missing Marc 2020-04-03 - Dear Editor: I want to add some thoughts about the contributions Marc Loveless made beyond those mentioned in his obituary in the ...


 



Copyright © 2020 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor


 



About WCMG Publications News  Entertainment Features Donate Bars & Clubs Calendar Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.