Where does our journey to a mixed family start? Should I begin with my own childhood, raised in the Outback, the far North West of Western Australia? With my wife’s? (she likes to call herself a Rural American Black). The story of how we found each other is long and complicated. We met in North Carolina seven years ago. We would have stayed there, except that DOMA, the Defense of Marriage Act, prevented me from getting a visa on the basis of our relationship. So we moved to London and got a civil partnership six years ago.
We have been planning our family for all that time. When we heard about egg sharing about four years ago, we knew it was right for us. I was eager to carry a child, but we wanted our baby to carry on R’s genetic line. Her genes have survived two genocides, first slavery and then the Trail of Tears. My own, rather mundane, northern English stock has never been as important to me as hers. Our solution is that I am hatching R’s egg (or eggs – I’ll keep you posted on that).
Our respective families are both religious, hers are Pentecostal, mine are Evangelical. Both have had and do have difficulties with our relationship. For the longest time, mine thought that I was going through a phase. When I told my parents about getting a civil partnership, my mother cried and my father asked me to hold it sometime when they weren’t in the country so that he didn’t have to make the decision whether to come or not. Since then, we have had some hard conversations and they are doing much better. R’s aren’t so much.
So that is where we started. Different colours, different nationalities, but a shared idea that we wanted a family.