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?