You what? The cost of queer parenting?

Now I think I can understand this from the male point of view. Hiring a surrogate to carry a baby to term is always going to be an expensive matter. But from a lesbian?

I’m 23, I’m queer, and I want kids – not now, but in the next decade. It’s my inherent desire, but it’s not without complications. I hear all the time that I’m too young to be worrying about something as far-off in the future as a family, but most people don’t understand the costs of accomplishing queer parenthood.

Everyone grows up hearing kids are expensive. What queers don’t hear – because a lot of us aren’t out when we’re young, and because heteronormativity dominates popular discussion of family – is that our children will probably be even more expensive than other people’s kids. Because, for us, conception and parental rights aren’t free.

As a millennial, I am: college educated, underemployed, and saddled with high student loan debt and an increasingly obscene cost of living. In these ways, I’m hardly unique. But, when you find yourself googling the price of sperm while planning your monthly budget, you realize your fiscal concerns are different from those of the average millennial. Although I’m young, if I have children, it will be because I financially plan for them now.

The median price of artificial insemination (cost #1) with donor sperm (cost #2) hovers around $2,500, and it can take upwards of four tries (cost #3, 4, 5) for an embryo to be fertilized. Artificial insemination is often supplemented with monthly fertility drugs (cost #6), because frozen sperm has a lower success rate for fertilization. The price of attempting biological parenthood is variable, but generally expensive.

What?

In most parts of the world you can get pregnant for free any Friday night you like. Sure, it might involve having sex in a manner you’re not keen on but then having a child is going to involve a lot of things you’re not keen on over the years from stretch marks through varicose veins to dirty nappies.

And if you want to be picky about it there will usually be someone in the extended circle happy to help out with filling the turkey baster.

The cost to single women, lesbian women, of getting pregnant really isn’t one of the great costs that we’ve all got to worry about.

41 comments on “You what? The cost of queer parenting?

  1. I’m deeply surprised she hasn’t added in the cost of womb rental there. She’s intending to suffer the inconvenience of childbirth? Heroic, just heroic! But lacking solidarity with the rest of the LGBTQ soup.

  2. Given courts’ perverse rulings about maintainance payment for children unseen, it might be harder to get a sperm donor than you think, Tim.

  3. Tim’s post and previous comments are simply saturated with the paradigms of heteronormativity. I think all millenials are obliged to reject them.

  4. “Parental rights”; fuck off!!!

    Adults have RESPONSIBILITY, to protect children, to nurture them. We have no rights.

  5. WTF’s a ‘millennial’ anyway? Born past Y2K’d make sense but not for the 30 yo old dyke wrote the piece. She’s living* a portion of her life after the turn of the millennium. Ain’t we all? (*OK Certain exceptions. But we know who we mean)

  6. Not even a first world problem.

    Me me me me me me me.

    You are underemployed because I suspect you did a completely useless degree.

  7. You are underemployed because I suspect you did a completely useless degree.

    She has a BA in “Creative Writing”.

  8. bloke in spain – “WTF’s a ‘millennial’ anyway?”

    Someone for whom a wire coathanger is unfortunately no longer a solution. I’d still give it a try though.

    Anyway, the she-beast has no intention of being a mother. This is, like most Komment Macht Frei articles, an attempt at competitive victimhood.

    It’s hard to come up with good reasons why you’re oppressed when you’re a healthy white 23 year old living in New York City, and lesbians on the Guardian are more common than pigeons so she can’t just use that angle. Got to spice it up somehow.

    Rather than complaining that her face is so unappealing it refracts light, she went with the admittedly more creative “I’m a lesbian who might want to be a mummy one day, but I’m too precious to be knocked up by penis or turkey baster so I might have to save up money. Bask in my first world problems!” angle.

    Call me Loretta.

  9. @Steve
    Is that really the ’90 model? Obviously not covered parked or regularly serviced, then. Known in the trade as a dog.

  10. >The price of attempting biological parenthood is variable, but generally expensive.

    Come to my town, I’m sure that any Friday night of your choice we can make arrangements… Cost to you – enough alcohol that you can be sure neither..of you can remember who the other was – problem solved.

    Anyway, $2500 dollars… that’s about £1500. In the grand scheme of having kids, you think that this is expensive…

  11. “…but most people don’t understand the costs of accomplishing queer parenthood.”

    I ran this through Google Translate and what came out was ‘Me! Me, me, me! Notice me! I’m special!’

  12. As I said over at the Graun-

    “The only reason to buy frozen sperm is if you want to exert some kind of eugenic preference, which no doubt is the motivation here; the modern Princess Feminist doesn’t want any old spoodge, only the best will do, don’t want to end up sprogging some kind of genetic chav, and all that.”

    Brianna and her “upper middle class background”[1] doesn’t want to risk the genetic lottery like a commoner. To be utterly cynical, one may suspect in fact that her choice of queerness (which means “not really a lesbian”) is down to the realisation that the light-refracting face isn’t going to net a male of sufficient quality. Better to go for a Boston Marriage and purchase the DNA worthy of her womb from a quality supplier.

    [1] Upper middle being the well known euphemism for upper class.

  13. Julia M,

    I ran this through Google Translate and what came out was ‘Me! Me, me, me! Notice me! I’m special!’

    haha.

    Seriously, though. The profile of many Guardian writers is basically losers. Upper middle-class types who are a step or two down from where they think they ought to be.

    Someone (I think Private Eye) did a thing on how many of them were privately educated, and really, a job at the Graun today isn’t much of a return on that investment.

  14. Premillennial lesbians could rely on a sympathetic gay male friend and a turkey baster… how times have changed.

  15. I must admit, I’ve never understood this turkey baster thing anyway. I always use a spoon, just like my mum did.

  16. She lives in New York and whinges about the cost of living?

    And a Leftist whinging about bent interrogated by a Social worker – bliss! Your own world, dear. Welcome to it.

  17. @ IanB – shit you’re right, how can anyone with a BA in creative writing consider themselves under employed?

  18. We should all post her some spangle at the Guardian to ensure her wishes are met.

    Parasite justifying her parasitism.

  19. Any advanced and wealthy society is going to produce upper class useless hangers on like this. However, only the Anglo-Saxon societies seem to produce them with a sense of economic grievance. Incredible.

  20. Brianna Flaherty … “I no longer buy into the idea that having a degree will give you your dream job,” she told me. She’s exasperated. “I see on Craigslist that my Creative Writing degree, which cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, qualifies me to be a receptionist.”
    [or to write for “The Guardian”]

  21. For anyone even marginally employed in NYC $10000 is chump change. Compared to the cost of parking one’s precious sprog in the Montessori daycare on the Upper East Side it’s a rounding error.

  22. come on, Blokes….have some respect for people of the other gender, even though their views might be repellent to you. It does not always give you the intellectual/moral/ethical highground to reify them according to your ideas of how they can be used in a capitalit/market context.

  23. The reason she’s going to buy sperms instead of asking for donation is that she does not want to ever have to interact with the the man in any sense other than financial. Too bad she’s not rich enough to achieve that lofty goal.

  24. It really is amazing how much of CiF’s output is barely veiled click bait these days…

    That really is true. The Guardian used to be a serious newspaper. Now it’s just a group blog that trolls its own readers to generate advertising revenue.

  25. bloke in france – “Given courts’ perverse rulings about maintainance payment for children unseen, it might be harder to get a sperm donor than you think, Tim.”

    Some stupid Court hit a Gay donor who had an explicit agreement with the Lesbian mothers that he was not pay nothing. The judge did not give a sh!t. The rule seems to be the man pays no matter what.

    Still at least he is not that poor bastard in Cambridge whose wife forged his signature to steal a prior sperm donation well after their divorce for which he is now obliged to pay.

    Ironman – ““Parental rights”; fuck off!!! Adults have RESPONSIBILITY, to protect children, to nurture them. We have no rights.”

    You can’t have one sided responsibilities. If adults have obligations, they also have rights.

    Ian B – “As I said over at the Graun-”

    How long did the comment last?

    john77 quoted “I see on Craigslist that my Creative Writing degree, which cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, qualifies me to be a receptionist.”

    I have yet to meet a Creative Writing graduate who was employable as a receptionist. I think that is a libel on all receptionists everywhere. Some of them are very nice girls.

    AndrewZ – “That really is true. The Guardian used to be a serious newspaper. Now it’s just a group blog that trolls its own readers to generate advertising revenue.”

    And it doesn’t even manage to do that. It is still sliding into bankruptcy. Still it is better than the days when they put the Islamists in charge of their Editorial pages.

  26. It is worth pointing out yet again what someone ought to have pointed out on CiF – lesbian mothers are bad mothers. Their children do much worse than those of heterosexual married parents.

    As found in Canada:

    [C]hildren of married opposite-sex families have a high graduation rate compared to the others; children of lesbian families have a very low graduation rate compared to the others; and the other four types [common law, gay, single mother, single father] are similar to each other and lie in between the married/lesbian extremes.

    [T]he particular gender mix of a same-sex household has a dramatic difference in the association with child graduation. Consider the case of girls. . . . Regardless of the controls and whether or not girls are currently living in a gay or lesbian household, the odds of graduating from high school are considerably lower than any other household type. Indeed, girls living in gay households are only 15 percent as likely to graduate compared to girls from opposite sex married homes.

    What she wants to do is tantamount to child abuse.

  27. Do you have a reference for that, SMFS? Because almost all of the studies done so far say the exact opposite.

  28. Matthew-

    Skimming your two links, the major problem appears to be the use of odds ratios, which explain the (somewhat ambiguous in everyday language) term “x% as likely to”.

    ORs appear to be commonly used these days to produce “headline” type exaggerated effects. It’s a pity people aren’t more suspicious of them in general when used by activist researchers. Public health agitprop is riddled with them.

    Cohen gives a simple worked example in the comments of his article- if the graduation rates were 99% and 96%, “…the odds ratio is this: (96/4) / (99/1) = 24/99 = .242, or 24% as likely to graduate, in Allen’s way of putting it.”

  29. @ SMFS
    I was merely quoting: I am not responsible for Craigslist, nor for the accuracy of the journalist who was allegedly quoting Ms Flaherty.
    @ Matthew L
    I can’t access the whole Douglas Allen study from your references but the criticism I read was so deeply flawed that I don’t know whether or not Mr Allen’s conclusions were valid. The data quoted to “refute” Mr Allen actually implies that having a pair of gay/lesbian parents disadvantage children. If I hadn’t read the criticism I should request a lot more data before even considering Mr Allen’s conclusions: the fallacies in the “refutation” suggests that he might possibly be right.

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