Britain’s First Baby with Two Moms on Her Birth Certificate

LGBT parents are often prone to discrimination when they want to adopt. Their parenting abilities are scrutinized, and they face great expense for medical procedures and legal fees. The process of making two gay parents legal guardian to a child is difficult and time-consuming.

In Britain, Lily-May Woods was born with two women as parents on her birth certificate. Lily-May’s birth mother, Natalie, is designated as ‘mother,’ while Natalie’s partner Betty is listed as ‘parent.’

This positive news comes after the Human Fertilization and Embryology Act of 2008, which gives partners in same-sex relationships equal status as parents. When the sperm donor is known, the sperm donor legally becomes the child’s father. But since Natalie and Betty chose an anonymous sperm donor, Lily-May doesn’t have a father listed on the birth certificate. The parents selected the sperm donor from a choice of four men based on records of his health, personality, looks, and motives for donating.

Natalie and Betty are facing controversy from those who don’t believe they can do a good job raising a daughter without a father. Have these naysayers forgotten how many households in straight families don’t involve fathers? Many children are raised from single mothers, deceased fathers, or fathers who abandoned their kids. What’s important is not the gender of the parents, but that the child is in a loving household.

Not all parents in “normal” homes, after all, are well fit for parenting. Many children are the result of unwanted pregnancies and live with parents who don’t have the means to provide for them. Meanwhile, millions of children are brought up in gay and lesbian households, and none of those children are accidental or unwanted.

Unlike many children of straight parents, Lily-May will grow up to know that she was wanted, and that her parents were willing to go through whatever work necessary to have her and show her their love. It’s unfortunate that she’ll have to face the obstacle of prejudiced people who doubt the legitimacy of her family. Luckily, acceptance of gay adoptions seems to be on the rise. Hopefully, support will rise quickly, so Lily-May can grow up with love and acceptance from both her family and her community.

Photo credit: alex_lee2001