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.
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.