Earlier this week CBC Newsworld aired an informative and sometimes moving program called « Mother, Mother » on the subject of lesbians having children.

The program recounted how two Montreal lesbians dearly wanted their own child and, when artificial insemination failed, they tried fruitlessly to adopt a child on several continents before successfully adopting a seven month old boy right here in Montreal.

This issue of lesbians and children is currently being debated in the House of Lords in London. The bill in the Lords would remove the requirement for doctors to take into account the need of the child for a father when they agree to provide fertility treatment to lesbians. (The need for a father is also eliminated when two lesbians adopt.)

Gay-rights campaigners have said that changing the law will remove the discrimination against same-sex couples.

However, the Lord’s bill has provoked a storm of protest especially in England’s religious communities. The Catholic Cardinal of Westminster writes: « This [bill] radically undermines the place of the father in a child’s life and makes the natural rights of the child subordinate to the desires of the couple. It is profoundly wrong. »

The Anglican Archbishop of York says the bill is evidence of the rampant individualism and consumerism in society, focusing on the desires of a parent rather than the needs of a child. (That is essentially the position of McGill ethicist, Margaret Somerville)

There is also the fact that people adopted as children often feel the need to search for their natural fathers and mothers in later life, which again emphasises the role of both parents in shaping the child’s sense of identity.

Do you believe that a father is needed in raising a child?

If so, would that rule out lesbians having a child either through artificial insemination or adoption?

Do you know any lesbians who are successfully raising a child?

Did you see the CBC program on lesbians having a child?



  1. 1
    Paul Costopoulos Says:

    Nature has provided the necessity of a male and a female to produce a child. Some inferior forms of life have the same individual being both male and female simultaneously or in alternace, the sea horse for instance. The human specie needs both. If it takes a village to raise a child, a mom and a dad should be a minmum. Two dads or two moms, in my book, are no substitute for the real thing. Hang me if you wish, but my tolerance ends here.
    I can convieve that under certain circumstances a gay couple can become a foster family for some children and I have known a few who were rather successfull. But those children had known other models albeit defective and generally remained in contact with their biological parents.
    No amount of legal jerrymandering can change the laws of nature and the rights of a child to a mom and dad.

  2. 2
    Joe Agnost Says:

    « Do you believe that a father is needed in raising a child? »

    Not « needed » but benificial…. but let’s face reality here – divorce and not marrying in the first place is very popular these days, so kids aren’t growing up with both parents anyway!

    I think the perfect situation for a child is having a (happy) mom and dad at home – but I think having 2 happy moms is better than only one parent. (I feel the same about 2 happy dads too by the way).

    « would that rule out lesbians having a child either through artificial insemination or adoption? »

    Not for me – all the power to them!

    If they want to take on the reponsibility of parenting, and want to provide a happy home for the child then I would encourage them to do so. The more happy families the merrier!

    « Do you know any lesbians who are successfully raising a child? »

    I don’t know any lesbians! Unless they’re hiding it from me of course…

    « Did you see the CBC program on lesbians having a child? »


  3. 3
    SUZANNE Says:

    When a girl doesn’t have a father in her life, she will look for that fatherly love elsewhere. An uncle or a friend is not a good substitute. Children need dads. A woman cannot take the place of a dad. A woman cannot think like a man, react like a man, be a man. She can do many things a man can. But she can’t be a man.

  4. 4
    Cate McB Says:

    As Jung told us, what’s vitally necessary in human life is the integration of male and female. Some people do that better than others, regardless of their obvious gender. In fact, given biological gender has little to do with it. What children need is parents who can integrate male and female and sometimes this is done better with two parents of the same biological gender. Yes, I saw the show and I thought it was great — an honest portrayal of the problems re: adoption. Yes, I know three sets of lesbian parents who are doing a fine job of raising their children – now teenagers in all three cases. I also know lots of people who lost their biological parents at an early age and are doing just fine with « parents » of one gender. Working at the bedside in ICU, I see that what counts is who cares deeply, who’s really present in people’s lives and not what gender they represent.

  5. 5
    Joe Agnost Says:

    « Children need dads. »

    You know what? In a perfect world you might be right…

    Given the world we live in today I think the most important thing for a child is a stable and loving home – regardless who lives there. If the child is loved they will benefit whether they have a mom-dad, mom-mom, dad-dad or single parent. It’s the love for the child that is important…

  6. 6
    Chimera Says:

    « A woman cannot think like a man, react like a man, be a man… »

    This, and other, statements tell me that none of you are at all familiar with the world and culture of gay men and women. To address this particular statement, have you never heard of a drag king? I could introduce you to a few, and you would never, short of a strip-search, be able to tell the difference!


    I think that’s the wrong question. I think a better question would be, « Does anyone have the right to STOP them from having children? »

    I know several gay couples who are successfully raising children. I know a couple who are having trouble raising their kids, too. There is virtually no difference between « gay » families and « straight » families.

    Children do not « need » any particular gender of care-giver. They simply need to be fed, sheltered, clothed, educated, and loved. Anyone who is interested in their welfare can do it. Even biological relationships are not necessary.

    We live in a culture that has set « rules » based on flawed assumptions. It’s time we woke up to reality. If a lesbian is crazy enough to want children, I say get outa her way and let her have them!

  7. 7
    Theresa Says:

    I think that as long a child is loved nothing else matters, i am a lesbian and me and my partner are thinking of having children. After everything that men have done to me, i would not ever be able to love another man. At the end of the day where going to love it, care for it, just like everybody else dose. All a child needs is to BE LOVED people.

  8. 8
    Margaret Murphy Says:

    Children who grow up in a loving, nurturing and stable home enviroment usually become emotionally well balanced adults, confident in themselves and socially well integrated.Who provides all of these requisities is not as important as the fact that they are provided, be it by a male and female partnership, a same sex partnership or by a lone parent/guardian.Based on this premise, the child is paramount, so where is the problem?

  9. 9
    Bob Bannister Says:

    Concept. What gives a child true balance is nature in its purest form.
    A child who grows up with a male and female unit can eventually and actually put 2 and 2 together and completely understand how he or she came to be. Although this will be in its most elementary form of reality. Never the lest, it will be pure and correct. 2 women and 2 men leaves a child ultimately doubting his or her own existance and may play a major role in how a child views the world at large when he or she becomes an adult. And you definately don’t won’t a child to grow up and join the military, be put in a situation that requires him or her to make war or fighting decision base on family demographics with male and female parents of other children. This is happening now in Iraq. As the old commercial use to say about butter tasting « chiffon » margarine- « IT’S NOT NICE TO FOOL MOTHER NATURE »!!!!!!!!

  10. 10
    Margaret Murphy Says:

    The comments posted on 17/9/2008 deny the concept that a child is a thinking human being, capable of rationalisation and problem solving.I fail to understand why the previous author thinks that children brought up by samesex partnerships would doubt their own existence;that arguement, at the very least, does not hold water! I had naively hoped that we had moved on from such « baseless » thinking!Given that the previous correspondent thinks that « nature in its purest form »is the only true way to bring up children, would he therefore advocate that we all go back to nature and live as the neanderthals where survival of the fittest was paramount?May I also remind the previous writer that in neolithic times parenting of the young was done by the tribe as a whole and not just by a male and female in partnership.Maybe we as a society are not so far away from that concept after all, though I doubt very much if the previous correspondent,would take this into account!

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