This has been a difficult day. Knox is out of town, it was rainy and cold most of the day, Lolita destroyed a couch cushion while I was in the shower. I just have heavy boots today.
It all started with an email from my sister-in-law. We’ll call her… Louisa. I like that name. And I love my sister-in-law. We don’t agree on everything (she homeschools her kids, feeds them raw milk, and is pretty letter-of-the-law when it comes to the church), but we’ve always gotten along really well. I love and respect her, and I know she feels the same way about me. So, in this email, I know her tone of loving concern is sincere. She’s worried about my health and the way an extra-familial pregnancy and birth will effect me and my family. But mostly she’s concerned about whether having a baby for a same-sex couple is the right thing to do spiritually. She encouraged me to talk to my bishop about it so that I could be sure there wouldn’t be any negative repercussions with the church.
Louisa already talked to her own bishop about it. He happens to be a doctor, and he mentioned to her the possibility of my contracting HIV (or, as she puts in the email, “getting AIDS”) from the Intended Father’s sperm. I am really annoyed that he would say this to Louisa, a world-class worrier. It isn’t even an issue in my particular situation; Urs isn’t HIV positive. Now Louisa is unnecessarily worrying about something beyond my spiritual health.
Like I mentioned before, my own parents talked to their ecclesiastical leader about surrogacy, too, before they even knew I’d been matched with a same-sex couple. Getting this email from Louisa mentioning that she also talked to her Bishop about my surrogacy… I’m starting to wish that my family would stop involving all of these men who I barely know (or don’t know at all). Whose business is this? It’s mine. And they’re right that I should talk to my bishop about it. That doesn’t mean they need to tell their own bishops all about me.
I’m directing my anger toward people who love me, but it’s just displacement. Really what I’m upset about is the fact that I know no bishop is going to support me in this. My own happens to be pretty laid-back, but the more I think about it and the more reaction I get from mormon family members, the more certain I feel that this is absolutely not going to be ok with any Bishop. I just found this blog, A Day in the Life of a Perfectly Imperfect Perfectionist, that addresses the issue pretty directly. Everything about that blog grates on my nerves, but I have to hand it to Vanessa for clearing up the church’s position. The fertility doctor she’s seeing is LDS, and he told her that a surrogate he worked with had gotten a letter from the first presidency saying something like this:
“Homosexuals using a Surrogate is discouraged
Single Woman using a Surrogate is discouraged
Unmarried Couples using a Surrogate is discouraged
Woman using a Surrogate simply to avoid the inconvenience of pregnancy is discouraged
People selling their eggs or sperm is discouraged (you are putting your own baby into the world)
Traditional Surrogacy is discouraged.”
This is all hearsay. I’m not sure I believe that some random surrogate got a signed letter from The First Presidency. But it’s all too easy for me to believe, since it confirms all my fears. This is not going to be acceptable. Everyone is going to hate and reject me for doing this. I’m going to get kicked out of the church and all my extended family will shun me. I’m doomed to hours and hours of well-meaning lectures from everybody I know.
But what I’m doing is RIGHT. It’s GOOD. It’s NOBLE. I’m not going to change my mind about it. It’s a good thing I’m so stubborn. I guess I’m just going to have to talk to the bishop and be prepared for the worst.