Franklin, OH–I’ve often discussed the issue of the rights of lesbian “social mothers’–women who agreed to employ a sperm donor so that they could have children with their lesbian partners, who are the biological mothers.
I do believe that children fare best when they have both a mom and a dad, and that fathers offer much to children that mothers don”t provide. However, this is not possible in lesbian couples.
When two lesbians agree to have a child together, and when the child has bonded with both his or her biological mother and his or her social mother, I believe that the relationship between the child and the social mother should be protected. I also believe that the biological mother has a responsibility to her children and to her former partner to hold up her end of the deal with the partner with whom she created the child, and that courts should hold her to her commitment.
These cases are now becoming routine. When the relationship goes sour, the lesbian biological mom does to her ex exactly what heterosexual mothers so often do to their ex-husbands–drive her out of her child”s life. When heterosexual women do this, our society makes excuses for them and assumes that the ex-husband must have done something bad to merit it. With these lesbian breakups we can see the truth much clearer–some women (straight or gay) are vindictive, and this vindictiveness drives them to purge their exes from their children”s lives.
In the recent Fairchild custody case, the lesbian couple legally committed themselves to having joint custody, and the biological mother tried to employ the Ohio ban on gay marriage in order to deprive her ex of a role in their child’s life. Fortunately she failed, as is discussed in Court rules against gay mom on ending joint custody (Columbus Dispatch, 6/17/08).
One thing that’s interesting about some of these cases is that the lesbian biological mothers are so vindictive towards their former partners that they will gladly use anti-gay laws as a way to drive them out of their children’s lives.