“The Perfect Baby”: Parenting in The L Word: Generation Q, S3E5

Micah and Maribel are deciding on a sperm donor in the newest L Word: Era Q, and they are getting out what lots of of us know—it can be a surreal practical experience, but also an prospect for finding out. Here’s my parenting-concentrated investigation of the episode, with actual-everyday living methods.

Maribel (Jillian Mercado) and Micah (Leo Sheng), in The L Phrase: Technology Q. Image credit: Nicole Wilder/SHOWTIME

Spoilers forward.

Micah has finally instructed his mom that he and Maribel are relationship, and she was accepting. He and Maribel talk about how to rejoice. Maribel implies on the lookout for a sperm donor all Micah had in head was organizing the Tupperware drawer. “Maybe we could be wild and do equally,” he implies.

Maribel agrees, as long as they can be in bed by 9:00. Micah counters with 8:30. Ah, the queer life style.

Before long, they are hunting at sperm donor alternatives online. Somehow, the present has skipped any discussions they might have had about employing a recognised vs . an unidentified donor, which is a disgrace, since that’s really an vital discussion for any person making use of donor gametes. I am, on the other hand, happy they’ve prevented the “seeking a known donor” trope (which has been overdone by demonstrates such as, but not limited to, Period 3 of the authentic The L Phrase NYPD Blue, Cashmere Mafia, If These Wall Could Chat 2 Exes and Ohs and Rick & Steve: the Happiest Homosexual Pair in All the Globe).

Even just looking at mysterious donors, nevertheless, Maribel is overwhelmed at very first, noting, “We have a ton of selections right here,” but soon realizes the “ton” narrows very speedily after 1 truly starts off searching at features. She is adamant she needs a tall donor, conveying, “My family members are all shorties. We have to regular it out someway.” (As a shortie myself, I truly feel for her.)

Micah insists the whole procedure is “weird” and “feels like eugenics.”

Maribel attempts to glimpse on the constructive facet: “We have a opportunity to layout the great baby”—then catches herself, recognizing, “Yeah, it’s eugenics.”

She has a level, in that creating a loved ones with a gamete donor opens up a planet of prospects. How even to begin? Later, she has a revelation. “Let’s not focus on perfection,” she suggests. In its place, she wishes a donor who is like Micah.

Micah thinks about his qualities. Staying Chinese American “feels crucial.” He’s also anxious, he suggests, but neither of them wants their kid to be so. He likes books—but they just can’t come across a area for that in the donor profiles. This relatively contradicts what my wife or husband and I found in donor profiles, which was that even while there could not be a precise question about a individual desire (this sort of as liking textbooks), there were also open up-finished questions about interests and abilities that assisted us locate what we required.

Nonetheless, it is difficult when a single has to dig to locate the data. Micah and Maribel are plainly annoyed. Maribel claims the full process is earning her unfortunate, and though it was meant to be pleasurable, “it’s just depressing.”

“I just wish we could make a newborn which is section of you and section of me,” she adds, expressing what so quite a few of us queer partners have felt. It is aspect of why my wife or husband and I did reciprocal IVF (RIVF), with my egg and her womb (and donor sperm)—we each required to be a bodily component of the process, and this was as near as we could get.

Micah observes, “Cishets can just get drunk and do this on accident, but we have to self-reflect.”

True—but I’d motivate queer individuals to see this as a profit fairly than a stress. Our youngsters will be superior off for it. As Maribel notes, “Cishets surely want to be undertaking some self-reflecting, much too.”

“And there ought to be a examination,” Micah carries on. “There’s a check for every thing, other than to be a parent. Any idiot could do it.”

“Oh, and they do,” Maribel concurs. They’re leaving out foster and adoptive parents in this, of course, who do have to move exams to become parents—but they have a issue, in that a small additional instruction for all prospective mom and dad could be a excellent point. (That remaining reported, the simple fact that numerous states nevertheless demand home scientific tests and history checks of nonbiological and nongestational queer mother and father performing confirmatory adoptions of their possess young children is preposterous.)

Maribel then implies they figure out what they have in typical, “So the newborn matches in our household, you know?”

Micah loves that strategy, and jests, “Let’s see if shit-conversing is a classification.” He seems at the notebook. “It’s suitable right here. Beneath religion,” he jokes.

Ha! I believe they are on the ideal track toward what feels suitable for them, while. For true couples likely as a result of the procedure of choosing a donor (or even deciding upon no matter if to use 1), I advise:

Queer Conception: The Full Fertility Information for Queer and Trans Moms and dads-to-Be, by Kristin L. Kali (Sasquatch Textbooks), which has a full chapter on picking out gamete donors (recognised or mysterious) laying out many things to consider. Also valuable is We’re Listed here! A Information to Starting to be an LGBTQ+ Parent, by B.J. Woodstein (Praeclarus Push) and LGBTQ Relatives Setting up: A Information for Future Mothers and fathers, by Abbie Goldberg (American Psychological Association), which consists of quite a few insights from research on family members that made use of donor conception.

Alas, when Maribel and Micah operate a look for with their (unrevealed) last qualities, they get no success. “Back to the Tupperware,” Maribel sighs.

Maribel (Jillian Mercado) and Micah (Leo Sheng), in <em>The L Word: Generation Q</em>. Photo credit: Nicole Wilder/SHOWTIME
Maribel (Jillian Mercado) and Micah (Leo Sheng), in The L Term: Technology Q. Photo credit rating: Nicole Wilder/SHOWTIME

They have, nonetheless, only searched one sperm financial institution, as considerably as we can tell. There are many many others:

Let’s hope Micah and Maribel quickly uncover these assets, decide on a known donor (without the need of a trope-y parade of inappropriate donors), or decide to adopt.

I have to observe, way too, an older trope that author Sarah Warn discussed back again in 2003 in a piece titled “TV’s Lesbian Toddler Increase,” observing that many displays express “the idea that ‘woman’ is synonymous with ‘mother,’” even though the similar is not true for men and fatherhood. For lesbians, “the technique is to make the lesbian people so ‘normal’ and uncomplicated to detect with, viewers will virtually overlook that they’re homosexual.” She adds that there is almost nothing completely wrong with staying a mother—“it’s that their storylines revolve around their purpose as a mother as if it outlined them solely.” As critical as it is to see representation of trans gentlemen and disabled people today like Micah and Maribel as (prospective) moms and dads, then, I hope this does not turn out to be a way of reducing their people only to the socially satisfactory job of guardian. I also want to see additional of Micah and Maribel’s occupations, hobbies, and friendships. I want to see them as effectively-rounded persons and consequently great job types for viewers who may perhaps be looking at parenthood them selves.

I’ll be keeping tuned to see if this takes place, and hope you are going to be a part of me.

Catch up on my other parenting explorations of this season’s LW:GQ:

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