Tuesday, March 18, 2008

The Kibosh

As much as I've enjoyed the lecturing, I must now insist that it stop.

I take issue with the insinuations that my decision regarding adoption is irresponsible and selfish for the following reasons:

A. My choice not to adopt is by no means your first indication that I'm irresponsible and selfish. And immature. Read my archives, loves. In many ways, I'm a teen aged boy. It's why you love me.

B. Secondly, it isn't in my nature to submit to humiliating and offensive procedures for the sake of acting like a responsible adult. It's part of my charm. I applaud those of you who are responsible enough to do what you have to do in order to feel secure as a family. But because there are others who choose different paths doesn't give you license to pass judgment. In other words, don't hate!

C. I've put some thought into my decision. Me, E, and Le Fetus will have the same last name. We choose to live in a socially progressive state where lots of other gay people live. So it's likely that our experiences with child care, school, and hospital visits will probably be cool. And - I'm just gonna go here - if we were to have a problem, E and I are a force to be reckoned with.

Plus I've totally beat some ass in a Taco Bell parking lot.

Just sayin'.

D. New York precedent (as is the trend nationally) is that the gestational parent is the default parent, legally. Especially when the egg donor has waived all rights to any resulting child. The gestational parent's name is on the birth certificate. E is Mom, no matter how you slice it.

E. Finally, I must insist that you not worry yourselves. I promise to impart to my daughter that I didn't simply forget to adopt her, or choose not to adopt her because I didn't love her, but only because if she got too annoying I could claim no responsibility.

So there you have it. I trust I have now completely quelled any notions that I will be an unfit parent.

I will consider posting pictures. But only if you're good.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008


Eliza, damn you, your comment is a thorn in my side. You suggest that a weekly post shouldn't be outside the short-armed reach of a Slacker. And yet lately it is.

At first I thought: Ha, weekly posts are no problem. (Phase 1: Denial)

Next, I felt curmudgeonly. Damn this blog and its constant need of updating! (Phase 2: Anger)

And lastly, grief. And self-flagellation. I cursed my feeble willpower for buckling under the slightest weight of, say, Intervention. Or a cocktail. (Phase 3: acceptance)

So anyway, here's my update: I can't do the damn adoption thing.

Firstly let me thank my readership for the excellent information you provided on second parent adoption. And secondly, I'll mention that I am frankly humbled by your depth of knowledge and your connections; those of you affiliated with the lesbian mafia of NYC are, like, hot.

But I just can't do it. I refuse to participate in this nonsense. There is no doubt in my mind that if I submit to the process I will, at one stage or another, do something inappropriate (i.e. listing a brothel as a former address, or telling the home visit social worker that my doberman eats babies for breakfast). And inappropriate behavior will likely fuck up my chances of becoming Le Fetus' legal parent. So I'm gonna try not to go there. I'd rather just wing this shiz.

However, I am considering dressing in drag at the hospital (my name can be somewhat androgynous, so this could work) and seeing where that takes us.

Stay tuned for that, friends. The thrills just don't die around here.

Friday, March 7, 2008

In Which I Regale You With Stories of India

India was a trip. I went because I'm a world traveler, sweethearts. I went to tear up some stuff. Also to visit my dad, who is a nurse there.

But seriously, I stayed out of trouble and chilled out a bunch. I visited many a tomb, and paid some respect to the big dude himself, Guatama Buddha. I left him some rupees in a gesture of thanks.

I felt a universe away from New York. First of all, Indians are way calmer than New Yorkers. I loved the calm. When I flew back to NYC I realized how calm I felt and was sort of startled by the feeling. What's this strange sensation? Or rather, lack of sensation? I am somehow devoid of that clenching tightness in my gut... Dear god what's wrong with me??

I tried to keep it that way, but the calmness slipped away, like I knew it would. Nothing is permanent.

E didn't join me, for a few reasons. So I went with my brother, which was rad. He's a good travel partner. Except for when he woke me on the flight home, harshing my Ambien-fueled mellow. I forgave him though, because he is hilarious and obliged when I demanded that he entertain me.

One of my favorite pasttimes while traveling abroad is observing how non-Americans parent their kids. Indian people loooooooove their kids. Like, a lot. I never saw so much kissing and squeezing and ruffling of small heads.

Because so many people don't have money, and the traffic congestion is indescribable, many families use motorcycles as their primary means of transportation. Mom, dad, baby on board. It's awesome. Baby is usually squished between mom and dad, looking chill.

Now, I imagine if these families had the means, they, too, would drive large safe automobiles with appropriate-facing baby seats in the back. But that's just not possible, so they do what they can to get around.

It gives one a touch of perspective. I have a friend who RENTS A CAR whenever she travels through Manhattan with her baby. She does this because "the subway is too loud for the baby," and "cab drivers are too reckless for a baby."

Uh, okay.

Don't get me wrong, I'm all for ensuring the safety of your offspring. But so much of this American-style parenting is just self-inflicted nonsense. We buy shit and stress the fuck out and buy shit and coddle and that's what makes us feel like good, responsible parents. I so hope to avoid this when E and I become parents. I cling to that hope.

In other news, I'm trying to figure out how to become a legal parent to Le Fetus once she's no longer a Fetus.

E reminded me the other day that I need to adopt her when she becomes a squirming reality. I was like, "Oh yeah. Adopt my kid. That little thing."

I asked her if I could just go to the hospital dressed as a boy and ask them to list me as "Father" on the birth certificate. She didn't like the idea, so I'm forced to navigate the treacherous waters of second-parent adoption. I have no idea where to begin, of course, so like anyone faced with a large-scale dilemma, I googled that shiz. When how do I adopt my kid and I'm not my child's legal parent, help and finally bullshit bureaucracy second parent adoption yielded nothing save for policy articles and HRC's less than helpful page on state-by-state adoption laws, I started getting annoyed.

1. What up with all the policy pieces on gay parents? The American Academy of Pediatrics published one of the plethora of detailed policy reviews in which the notion that both parents ought to have legal custody of the child they are raising together is heartily endorsed. Indeed. Why thank you, AAP, what wisdom you impart. I mean, hey, I'm glad for the vote of confidence. It's helpful to know that a group of pediatricians agree that I should be legally responsible for my child's care.

(By the way I'm just messing with ya. I'm totally glad they wrote it, because Kansas exists. And Mike Huckabee.)

2. How the fuck do I DO it? This information should be completely accessible - I'm talking detailed instructions, the step by step on how to accomplish the goal of adoption. Instead, I get policy articles and websites telling me YES! CONGRATULATIONS, NEW YORKER, YOU MAY ADOPT YOUR CHILD. Yes, but how?

Anyway, enough bitching. It just feels bizarre to have to adopt my own kid. It is so beyond the scope of my imagination that Americans live without civil rights. And we just suck it right up and do it. I have friends who live in other, scarier states, and tell me how grateful I should be that my state even allows second-parent adoption.

Um, grateful? Should New York get a cookie? In New York, an MSW gets to decide if I can be my kid's legal parent. That makes me feel...less than grateful. But what choice do I have? I will do it and move on, because at least it's not fucking Oklahoma.