Tue November 29, 2011
I have to thank the writer and interview participants of this article.
Single mom Jo Trizila didn't wait for the perfect man to start her family and encourages single women yearning for a child to 'go for it' like she did.
There was a time when gay parents and single adoptive mothers were unheard of, but the new norm is that almost anything works well as long as there's a dedicated adult and plenty of love.(SO GLAD TO HEAR THIS,AND READ ABOUT IT ON CNN!)
Christopher Fraley, 42, and Victor Self, 41, Parents of 20-month-old Coco.
Christopher Fraley and Victor Self became the first same-sex couple in Rye, New York, to legally wed. Coco, their daughter, was right by their side.
Fraley and Self met in 2003. "I saw kids in my life, and Chris did, too," Self remembers. Eventually, "we decided to get married," adds Fraley...
While their attitude toward fatherhood is traditional, the way they became dads isn't: Coco was born through a surrogate, using a donor egg. In expanding their family, Self and Fraley joined the growing number of same-sex parents in America today: somewhere between 1.5 million and 5 million, according to rough U.S. Census estimates, up from 300,000 to 500,000 in 1976.
The surrogacy process took two years: One egg donor became ill, then a first surrogate failed to get pregnant. But in February 2010, Kira, their second surrogate, gave birth to 8-pound-9-ounce Coco.
Strangers are mostly respectful, which doesn't surprise Adam Pertman, executive director of the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute, headquartered in New York City. "As support for legal gay marriage has grown, along with the body of research that shows same-sex parents to be just as committed, so, too, has the acceptance of gay parenthood," he says. Still, Fraley admits, people can be insensitive. "Sometimes they ask, 'Where'd you get your baby?' like we bought her at Target," he says. "I say, 'She was born, just like you.' Another person recently asked, 'Whose sperm did you use?' "
(I LOVE THIS IS PART, THANK YOU ADAM PERTMAN-WE NEED TO PREPARE FOR THIS WITH ALL THIRD PARTY REPRODUCTION, DONOR CONCEPTION, OLDER PARENTING FAMILIES)....
Coco may face a few awkward scenarios, too, as she grows. "Kids can sometimes look down on children from single-sex households, and tell them their family isn't real," Pertman says. "Coco may also start seeing news stories that upset her, like another state wanting to pass an amendment stigmatizing gay marriage. Chris and Victor will need to discuss these issues with her."
They've already steeled themselves for the questions she'll likely have. "Why don't I have a mommy?" may be answered with "Because you have two daddies." It helps that the definition of family is growing, just like Coco. "Is it such a big deal?" asks Fraley. "Look around. All families are different."
Single mom that didn't wait for the perfect man to start her family and encourages single women yearning for a child to 'go for it' like she did.
Jo Trizila, 40, Single Mom to Kate, 2 remembers the conversation with her mom that changed her life. It was her 35th birthday, and they were talking about how some of Trizila's friends had gotten married just to have kids, and were miserable now. "I said, 'I don't want to do that. If I haven't met the right guy by the time I'm 37, what would you and Dad think if I have a baby anyway?' Mom said, 'If you can afford a child, we'll support you 100 percent.' "
By the time her 37th birthday rolled around, Trizila still hadn't met the perfect man. By then she was running a public relations firm she'd founded -- the kind of success that's helping to fuel a rise in single-mom adoptions, notes Pertman, the adoption-institute executive director. "As women like Jo find good careers and their earnings grow, there's less need to find a partner to make having a family feasible."
Trizila considered getting pregnant, "but part of me was saying 'Is it worth finding a sperm donor and doing in vitro? What about adoption?' .....
... By the summer of 2009, she was cleared to adopt. "I was told to expect a couple of years' wait," Trizila recalls. But that September, a woman due to give birth shortly selected her to raise her child.
(I LOVE LOVE LOVE THIS STATEMENT):
That very same year, on December 5, Trizila became little Kate's mother.
(ISNT THAT PERFECT!? WHY DON'T WE JUST TALK ABOUT DONOR CONCEPTION AND SURROGACY THAT WAY?)
I'd never understood how you could love someone you'd never met. But I got it the moment I held Kate," she says. Rocking her daughter in the maternity ward, she thought back to her own hospital stay as a teen, for a life-threatening brain abscess and aplastic anemia. "I'd always wondered why I had survived.That night with Kate, a voice in my head said, 'You survived to be Kate's mom.' "
While she's a single mother, there are plenty of people in Kate's orbit....Still, solo parenting has drawbacks. "There's no one to ask 'Am I doing the right thing?' " Trizila says. It's also annoying when she gets asked "Are you dating anyone?" She still hopes to meet a great guy, but is happy being single for the time being. "Are Kate and I that unusual?" she muses. "Look at the divorce statistics. There are a lot of single moms -- they just didn't adopt." (In fact, about one quarter of all kids are raised by solo parents.)
Yet she'd recommend her own path to parenthood to anyone. "If I convince just one single woman out there who's yearning for a child to go for it, this interview will have been worthwhile."
(PS-I KNOW HOW SHE FEELS!)