Friday, April 04, 2008


In Bend, Oregon there is a man, who is legally recognised as a man, who is having a child. You see, Thomas Beatie, was born as a woman. He had an operation ten years ago which changed his gender but he kept his reproductive organs. Now he’s using them to have a child with his partner, Nancy.

My first reaction was of shock. Stories in the news just keep getting stranger!

I read the comments that were coming from readers of the articles and i began to wonder at the sanity of people. People were really angry that this person was having a child. His obvious difference in life style combined with a pregnancy was enough to bring out all the angry people.

The story is blatantly strange. The child will plainly have some challenges growing up. But at the same time, I can’t help but think that these two people are going to be incredibly attentive and loving parents. So much attention to detail has gone into the process, I find it hard to believe that a child growing up in their home would be anything less than treasured. And how is a treasured child something that is bad? I imagine that a child would feel very safe in that sort of environment. It has a great chance of being a much safer than many other scenarios that children are brought into.

In the end it should be about a child going up in a safe environment. If they are willing to do their part in providing it. We, the public, should do our part by accepting the situation (which we have no right to change) and letting them parent without the fear of physical harm or discrimination.

But that is the difficult part. Will the religiously conservative be able to put aside their judgement and allow the family to function as a family? Will the media stop treating the issue like a freak show? Will the world end in May like the Russian cult claims?

Who know. but i suspect it is our own decisions that will decide the answer


ansell said...

I disagree that the child is guaranteed to survive and live well in an environment knowing that it's mother is its transfather (for lack of terminology in the area). Is there a higher chance that the baby is going to come with genetic abnormalities, as a transman father is likely to have more than the average share of chromosomal anomalies... Should the child ever be told that their real father was an anonymous sperm donor and the person inside who they grew was their transfather and their mother is not biologically related to them?

Although other experiences in the general area, such as lesbians wanting a family of girls to feel human, seeking anonymous donors of sperm, haven't been around long enough to understand the possible psychological issues for children out of these relationships, anonymously adopted children have been in my anecdotal evidence seen to be angry at their parents for their decisions.

Using his organs to have a child with his partner is just a little confusing, although no more confusing than the children of lesbian couples I guess. Safe isn't always enough for the human mind, although it is definitely useful.

joni said...

what i don't understand is if they were going to have a child that would have an anonymous sperm donor as his father, why would they choose to have thomas beatie be the "mother"? why not have his partner nancy, be the one to carry the child so that there would be less chance of genetic abnormalities? unless of course nancy too has had a sex change, but didn't keep her/his sex organs so that they could have used her/his sperm.

and as far as the ethics of the issue go, i haven't made up my mind yet. i'll think about it and get back to you on that.

kris said...

ansell: your right. nothing is ever guaranteed, but i'm glad they have put some preparation into having a child. it isn't done on a whim.

Joni: what i understand is that Nancy isn't able to get pregnant because she had some sort of illness that resulted in her reproductive organs being removed.