First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes…the baby question

Aug 31, 2012

In this photograph taken on February 17,

Spanish couple Mauro and Juan Carlos play with their new baby girls. Credit: STRDEL/AFP/Getty Images

With marriage equality comes “invasive personal question” equality. New brides and grooms have faced it for generations, now it’s grooms and grooms (or brides and brides) who have to put on a cheery face in response to the query “When are you planning to have children?”

It’s a thoroughly modern dilemma; committed same-sex couples of past generations could hardly hope to start a family together. For most, it was never an option. Now, adoption and surrogacy have made gay parenting nearly as mainstream as gay marriage – and thus, the ubiquitous question. Family and friends may mean well, but it’s far from a casual decision.

And the same issues faced by heterosexual couples apply. One spouse may not see themselves as a parent, while the other longs to fill the nest and puree organic baby food. Financial worries and career plans may complicate the issue. And what about the changes a child can bring to a relationship?

Nevertheless, more and more gay couples are feeling the pressure from parents who want grandchildren and couple-friends who can’t wait to bond over toilet training.

Are you in a same-sex marriage, yet ambivalent about parenting? Are you thinking of starting a family – sometime – and fed up with the questioning? How do you and your partner handle what might seem like over-attention to your procreation plans?

If you’re in a same-sex relationship, do you feel outside pressure to start a family?

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