New Book, "Journey to Same-Sex Parenthood," Highlights Serodiscordant Gay Couple’s Journey
With marriage equality now the law of the land across the United States, the previously remote idea of same-sex couples having children has now become an unencumbered reality. But with this newfound reality also comes the challenge of navigating these fairly uncharted waters.
When writer and prominent LGBT activist Eric Rosswood and his husband Mat first started their own path to beginning a family, they had no idea where to begin. They weren’t sure if they should adopt, foster or use a surrogate; and researching the various possibilities proved challenging. The resources devoted to helping people compare the different choices were scarce, and what they did find was fragmented or from the perspective of agencies and professionals, and not from the experience of other couples who were on a similar path.
So, after the couple successfully concluded this complex and stressful journey and became parents to a young boy, Rosswood decided to put together a first of its kind, comprehensive resource for other same-sex couples looking to begin their own journeys into parenthood. The book, out March 15th and published by New Horizon Press, is called “Journey to Same-Sex Parenthood: Firsthand Advice, Tips and Stories from Lesbian and Gay Couples."
In this new resource, which includes a foreword by Little House on the Prairie’s Melissa Gilbert and an introduction from UK soap actor and gay dad Charlie Condou, Rosswood shares nearly 20 different personal stories from real life lesbian and gay couples and helps prospective LGBT parents to compare and contrast the five most popular options: adoption, foster care, assisted reproduction, surrogacy, and co-parenting.
One of the many inspirational firsthand stories in the book is told from the perspective of a serodiscordant couple, Paul and Dustin. It’s well-written, thoughtful, emotional, and touches on a topic that’s not often discussed: how a gay couple can have children when one of the prospective parents is HIV-positive. In this story, the couple chose co-parenting as a means to expand their family. They attended group sessions to meet other LGBT people interested in becoming parents, and it was there that they met Daisy, a woman who would help them and join them on their journey. The three of them got to know each other over time and created a well thought out plan to move forward.
It was in the middle of their planning that Dustin found out he was HIV-positive. Not only did the couple have to come to terms with the diagnosis, but they also had to come to an understanding about what it meant for their plans of starting a family.
They wondered how this news would affect Daisy’s own decision to have kids with them; if the woman they’d spent so much time building a relationship with might not want to raise kids with someone who was HIV-positive, due to the stigma of the disease. They feared that if she decided to no longer continue with them, they might not be able to find someone else who was willing to create a family with them.
The story takes an inspiring and moving turn as the two end up going on to successfully have children together, thus becoming role models for how successful parents can be with a well thought out plan ahead of time.
Even though this couple chose to co-parent, there are many other paths for people wanting to start their own family. “Journey to Same-Sex Parenthood” is a fantastic tool for anyone in the LGBT community who wants to have children and would like to explore the different ways to embark on such a journey.
In addition to the various firsthand stories in the book, the comprehensive resource also includes legal tips from the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR), questions each person should ask before moving forward, and a list of challenges that everyone should be aware of before deciding on a parenting path.
Rosswood believes this book is a first of its kind because of all the helpful tips and advice from other couples that have already been through the journey. Many others, like Max Disposti (Executive Director, North San Diego County LGBTQ Resource Center), believe so, too.
“This book is a valuable resource not only for those couples or individuals that are approaching parenthood, but also for LGBTQ service providers that want to become more aware of the challenges that same-sex couples face when making these decisions,” Disposti says. “Through real life experiences and passionate stories, this book is a true game changer. Once you've read it, I'm sure you'll be recommending it to everyone you know.”
For more information about “Journey to Same-Sex Parenthood,” or to purchase the book, visit Amazon.
Here are some other resources for those who are HIV-positive and would like to start families of their own:
Can I adopt if I have HIV?
Can I become a foster parent if I have HIV?