off the cuff

Single Mom, Gay Dad


Gay Dads

If you asked most people whether having a mother and a father in the home is essential to raising a happy, well-adjusted child, most would agree that it is.  Rom coms like Baby Mama (2008) and The Backup Plan (2010) explore the plight of the single woman who is ready for marriage and children, but has been unsuccessful in finding a suitable mate.  Both films show that a woman’s decision to voluntarily become a single mom is still looked upon unfavorably by society, and both stress the idea that it is better to wait and find a mate with which to raise children rather than going it alone.

Additionally, as of late, gay rights, and specifically gay marriage, have been a topic of great concern. The issue of gay marriage, often raises another issue for fodder – gay parenting.  Naturally, if you believe that homosexuality is wrong, it would follow that gay marriage and gay parenting wouldn’t be on your top 10 list of causes to support. But, what if you support gay marriage and thereby, gay parenting?

Without getting too deep into the issue of being gay, I am more interested in beginning a discussion about what, if anything, a child may lack or how one may be influenced by having same-sex parents.  In this day and age, when a woman gets pregnant out of wedlock, she is often slandered for her decision to procreate with a man who is not her husband, or in instances where the woman is artificially inseminated, she is deemed selfish and not acting in the best interest of her child even if she is financially, emotionally and physically able to raise a child on her own.  But, why? What I noticed is that it isn’t the “number” of people dedicated to raising a child that made the case of the artificially inseminated mother an abhorence, and it isn’t even the lack of commitment that causes others to shun the unwed single mother. It seems to be the absence of a mother AND father figure consistently present in the home that insights apathy towards the single mother in both scenarios.

Psychological studies have shown that children who grow up in 2-parent households (male and female) are  typically more well-adjusted and confident than their counterparts who do not. Do children NEED a mother AND a father to become whole, emotionally stable human beings? If one is an advocate for gay parenting, doesn’t this directly refute the idea that a mother and father are essential elements in a child’s development?  There are certain things that a woman provides that a man cannot, and vice versa.  Therefore, it would follow that if a child is without one or the other, it would somehow impact or negatively affect the way in which that child views the world and relates to others in society.

I cannot reconcile the two.  Can you? Many men and women who grew up in dysfunctional and single parent homes have struggled to overcome the absence of their mother or father, or both. Is a mother and a father necessary to the proper development of children?   If so, why is gay parenting celebrated and single parenthood shunned? Which situation is more ideal?   

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Discussion

19 thoughts on “Single Mom, Gay Dad

  1. I don’t think that the “normal” family is usually the best family. The best family in my opinion would be a family, in which the child would be taught to love, to fight for what he/she wants in life. To learn what respect is… Who cares about the gender of the parents? 🙂

    Posted by alexkellyoc | March 4, 2013, 10:02 PM
    • I agree that a child should be taught love and all those things you mention, but what about other tools that are necessary to survive in this world? So, are you basically for single parenthood, as well, as long as the child is being taught love etc?
      I guess what’s interesting is that we are increasingly becoming a generation where women say they don’t need men and men are showing that they don’t need women? At the end of the day, I still think we need each other, which is why there is often a feeling of solitude when a child has grown without a mom or a dad.

      Posted by 30thoughts | March 4, 2013, 10:21 PM
      • I personally was raised by my mom but the person I am today is only because of me and the life I’ve had (cliche, I know but real in my case).
        I read an article that soon, men will disappear and the generation will be women only, who can do everything. As for the “creating children”, the article had the idea that people will be created via technology in a sense. Like we now have in vitro, which some lesbians use when deciding they want to have a child together-the article stated that people will be created in a close way.

        Posted by alexkellyoc | March 4, 2013, 10:25 PM
      • Wow that’s interesting and that definitely seems to be the direction in which we’re headed. I’ll have to find that article.

        So, you don’t feel any kind of way about not having your father there and present? The women I know whose father’s weren’t around were tremendously impacted by this absence, but I understand that ppl cope with things differently and while some may be extremely sorrowful about things, others may not.
        Are you ok with men disappearing?? lol

        Posted by 30thoughts | March 4, 2013, 10:30 PM
      • If you have a father like mine, his loss would be paradise. He is still alive though (sadly…) and as far as I know has another girlfriend (I’ve lost the counting).
        As a bisexual human being, I’d be a bit disturbed if they disappeared but I guess that what happens, happens for a reason. I like saying that whenever it happens, we’ll see our true reaction towards it since it’s one thing talking and completely other when actually having to experience it.
        Yes-we’re all different so some women are “marked” by the absence of their father (even if he’s abusive as mine) but the up bringing and the life of each one can really define if this will have a big effect.
        As for the article-I actually read it on Cosmopolitan (surprisingly, the magazine has some serious stuff as well) but I can’t really remember when.

        Posted by alexkellyoc | March 4, 2013, 10:35 PM
      • Cosmo!! Yeah their articles are usually about how to drive your man wild in bed…that’s a change.

        I would be devastated if men disappeared. I think they provide something (besides a pe***) that women never could. I would hate a world full of women. I think men and women were created differently for a reason, and I hope men never become obsolete. But the more men you have who want to be women or who don’t want women, I suppose the less they will have to offer as men *shrugs*

        Posted by 30thoughts | March 4, 2013, 10:51 PM
      • I personally would miss their nature if they disappeared, since I personally have more males as friends than females. I like their honesty (in most cases, they’re more honest than women are).
        And yes-Cosmo usually has articles about that plus advertising ugly (in most cases) clothing.

        Posted by alexkellyoc | March 4, 2013, 10:54 PM
      • Lol @ “advertising ugly clothing.” I appreciate your perspective. Although I don’t know you, you do emit a certain sadness. I’m not sure why, but I hope that whatever it is, you find peace. Thanks for visiting and I hope to hear more from you in the future.

        Posted by 30thoughts | March 4, 2013, 11:21 PM
      • Thanks but I am over it-whatever happened made me stronger, instead of a “daddy’s girl” type we face mainly today….

        Posted by alexkellyoc | March 5, 2013, 6:10 PM
      • Cool. Daddy’s girls do seem to be less self-reliant 😉

        Posted by 30thoughts | March 5, 2013, 9:30 PM
  2. It’s not polite to say, but I do think a mother and father are ideal. While I’m not into judging or legislating what people do in the privacy of their own bedrooms, biologically it takes a man and a woman to make a child for a reason. I’m more of a traditional woman, and while it can be frustrating I appreciate that my fiance is such a man’s man about some things. There’s just a sense of security that comes from having a strong male figure in the home that can’t be replicated by a woman. Also, there are some things that as a mother I won’t be able to teach our kids as well as he can, and a lot of it falls into the stereotypical “man territory” (fixing things, making decisions, negotiating, etc). While biology isn’t 100% of our destiny, it does form a large part and we would do better to acknowledge it. To me, the women’s movement was more about women trying to do what men do, rather than women being respected & recognized for our unique talents. But that’s just my take.

    Posted by Lecie | March 5, 2013, 1:36 AM
    • @Lecie I am also pretty traditional myself and what prompted the blog was a conversation I had with a friend who believed the same – that it is ideal to have a mother and a father raising and child, but she could not reconcile that with her beliefs in gay marriage and gay parenting.

      I found that interesting and would like to know how do you make sense of it. Most ppl do think that a child needs a mother and father for reasons that you mentioned, him being able to teach things I can’t and vice versa. I have never met a child who was a product of gay parents, but I would like to. We need certain tools to survive in this world, and I think without those tools, any child will be lacking.

      Posted by 30thoughts | March 5, 2013, 3:13 AM
      • Honestly, I haven’t reconciled it. I’m a law student, so on that level I support gay marriage because (fortunately or unfortunately, however you look at it) there is no constitutional basis for prohibiting gay marriage. It’s an equal protection violation analogous to the old miscegenation laws. All the arguments hearken back to religion, which brings up separation of church and state. There’s just no way to do it. On a personal level, I’m fine with it because if homosexuality is a sin, it’s no more a sin than premarital sex, cursing, lying, envy, etc…throwing stones at glass houses, and all that jazz.

        However, I *do* struggle with the idea of gay parenting. There simply isn’t enough research to say whether it’s detrimental (if it is at all). And the strongest arguments against it that I’ve seen could also be used to attack single parenthood, which we obviously allow. So, do we let children languish in the care of the state? (I read somewhere recently that something like 1/3 of kids given up for adoption will never be permanently placed, and 2/3 of those children are minorities). Isn’t one loving parent, or two loving gay parents, better than no parent at all? Even knowing the legal issues, if it came on the ballot I’d be awfully tempted to vote it down.

        Posted by Lecie | March 5, 2013, 3:32 AM
      • I too am a law student, but everything that is legal isn’t moral. Given the world we live in currently, I tend to be unable to reconcile a lot of things. I think we live in a world now where no one wants to draw the line between what it is right and what is wrong. It’s just hey if you feel like that’s what you want to do, do it! If you don’t want to do it, hey that’s fine too. Without rules, there is chaos. While I would think it’s unfair for a couple to be unable to adopt a child based on their sexual preference, i also don’t think it’s ideal for a woman to raise a baby without at least having the child’s father in her life. I think everyone deserves both. What about when the child gets to be of age, and they look around and see other kids with mommies AND daddies, they will feel a sense of emptiness even if the father isn’t there for reasons not his fault (i.e. no longer living; mother doesn’t know the father bc she was artificially inseminated). What really is best for the child? Don’t we want to give our kids the best advantage? If we’re talking about fairness, THAT doesn’t seem fair.

        Posted by 30thoughts | March 5, 2013, 3:51 AM
  3. Everybody NEEDS two parents – a mother & a father. Not two men, not two women and certainly not a single mother. It’s unfortunate that in today’s society we have become so accepting of one-parent households, even though we KNOW that that’s NOT what’s best. That’s like saying, “I know that people do better when they finish high school, but let’s give them the freedom to drop out anyway since it’s their legal right to do so.” Why purposely screw a child up just because they want to? I cannot & will not stand up for gays adopting children or “having” children at all.

    Posted by Chocolate Vent | March 5, 2013, 5:40 AM
    • @Chocolate Vent – Tell em how you REALLY feel! lol First, thanks for your comment. It sort of goes along with my mention that these days, no one wants to offend anyone so everything is acceptable. Sadly, there’s no longer right or wrong, we’re all just supposed to be and act the way we want with no consequences.
      I believe a mom and dad are necessary because of the negative effects I see exhibited in friends and associates who grew up without one or the other. So, you basically think it’s the same – gay parenting and single parenthood?

      Posted by 30thoughts | March 5, 2013, 6:32 AM
      • Yes i do. Grant it, i disagree with homosexuality for religious reasons. But the results are still the same – children need each gender in the home. Not only one, or two of the same. I live in California & voted Yes on Proposition 8 (opposing gay marriage) and thankfully it passed. But I need to do more. This country is going in a backwards direction (pun intended!)

        But don’t worry, I have the same fervor against single-parent homes & fight for abstinence all the way! I am a little biased because I grew up with both parents in the home, however, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to tell you what’s best for this society.

        Posted by Chocolate Vent | March 6, 2013, 6:08 AM
      • Most people that have grown up with two parents in the home would like the same for their children. I’ve also heard several times that kids who live with parents that aren’t married often encourage their parents to get married. It’s interesting how what some people deem as a “social construct” (marriage) is actually somewhat embedded in children as important.

        I grew up with both parents, but it wasn’t a pleasant situation most of the time. Still, I think it is ideal to have the mother and father present raising children together.

        I’d love to hear from someone who was raised by homosexual parents and how it affected their life if it affected them at all.

        Posted by 30thoughts | March 7, 2013, 9:32 PM
      • The only problem with talking to them is that they wouldn’t know any other way. Being raised by a gay parent is “normal” to them. I doubt they would see any issue with it, provided that they turned out alright.

        Interesting discussion…

        Posted by Chocolate Vent | March 9, 2013, 3:10 AM

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