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Germaine Greer doesn't agree with David Furnish being named as 'mother' on birth certificate

(220 Posts)
Athenaviolet Tue 26-May-15 20:08:30

And neither do I!

Is the word 'mother' just meaningless now?

I didn't even realise this was legally possible.

KatharineClifton Tue 26-May-15 20:15:33

Is there not another option for same sex parents?

KatharineClifton Tue 26-May-15 20:16:19

Don't agree with Greer on any of the rest. An egg is just a blank canvas.

Athenaviolet Tue 26-May-15 20:24:12

What do you mean by 'blank canvas'.

Personally it's important to me that my dc have come from my eggs. We have a genetic link. That's a biological fact.

I think trying to pretend that biology has no significance is naive, and in this scenario erases genetic mothers in a way that's misogynistic.

Mide7 Tue 26-May-15 20:30:49

I don't understand her problem? As fair as i know it's a conversation that same sex couples have about whether or not they want input from the donor/surrogate. If they want to do things anonymously, what does it matter who's the "mother"?

VikingVolva Tue 26-May-15 20:34:35

Linguistically, I don't think a man should be termed a "mother", and so would hope that legal documentation can instead reflect the two parents irrespective of their sex.

KatharineClifton Tue 26-May-15 20:43:23

I'm not so sure that Greer has seen the birth certificate. Where is all this coming from? If there really isn't an alternative birth certificate (after parental order is applied for) then that is disgusting.

Athenaviolet Tue 26-May-15 20:43:47

Exactly, Viking.

"What does it matter whose the mother?" - well my jaw just dropped at that!

Erase the meaning of the word mother from language and you are on the path to erasing mothers entirely. On a site called 'mumsnet' that's really disappointing anyone would want to erase mothers.

It's all very hand maids tale.

OrlandoWoolf Tue 26-May-15 20:46:40

Who is the mother in this case?

How would you define mother? Is it as simple as the person who carried and gave birth to the baby?

If you adopt a baby from birth, are you their mother? Or adopted mother?

Athenaviolet Tue 26-May-15 21:14:40

Imo given how much the 'assisted reproduction industry' has grown in recent years it's about time we changed the law, or at least consulted on it re: what should or could be on a child's birth certificate.

Imo there should be a record of the genetic patents, a record of the gestating mother and a record of the people after the birth who are committing to raising the child.

jorahmormont Tue 26-May-15 21:19:13

I totally disagree. Should we not consider adopted mothers to be the mothers of their children?

Until there is a system where birth certificates say 'Parent 1' and 'Parent 2', I don't think it's fair to force same-sex couples to only have one on the BC, and nor is it fair to put the egg donor as the mother. I am considering donating eggs when I've had my family, and obviously understand that any children will have the right to find me when they're 18, and that's fine, but I certainly don't want to be on their birth certificate, or considered their mother in any way. I imagine surrogacy is similar.

jorahmormont Tue 26-May-15 21:19:55

Oh, and I assume you'd have the same issue with a same-sex female couple describing one as the father of the child too?

PuffinsAreFictitious Tue 26-May-15 21:26:03

Um, yes, Jorah.

The simple facts are, male parents are fathers, female parents are mothers. Having a male parent describing themselves as mother not only seeks to invisiblise women as mothers, but also, what does it say about fathers?

It's also oddly heteronormative, and smacks of old fashioned homophobic questions asked of SSCs about which one is the 'butch' one, which the 'female'.

Rivercam Tue 26-May-15 21:31:22

It doesn't me if Dvid Furnish terms himself mother when the child is growing up. In single,parent families, mums have to be both mums and dads in many situations.

However, on the birth certificate, it should have the actual biological mother. What if the child wants to find out who is biological mother is later in life, for a personal or medical reason? If her name isn't on the birth certificAte, then that information will be gone for ever.

Rivercam Tue 26-May-15 21:31:58

( and dads are mums and dads)

LurcioAgain Tue 26-May-15 21:34:10

I will ask my lesbian friends what the wording on their DC's birth certificates is - I am pretty sure that they did not put one of them down as "father". I think birth certificates have more flexibility in their wording these days. I'd be very surprised if Furnish was actually listed as "mother".

I personally (full disclosure - I am the mother of a donor sperm child) would be in favour of a two part birth certificate - the public part would list the "social" parents, and a second private part would list whether the child had been conceived with donor sperm or eggs. The reason I favour a two part approach is that I think the child has the right to know, but shouldn't be put under any obligation to disclose it to third parties (e.g. employers, etc. who routinely ask for birth certs) who might be bigotted arses.

EhricLovesTheBhrothers Tue 26-May-15 21:34:55

Adoptive parents get an adoption certificate, they don't go on the birth certificate. David isn't the mother, he's the other father. He can't be the mother, adoptive or otherwise, because he's a man.

jorahmormont Tue 26-May-15 21:39:53

If there is the option for them both to be 'father', or 'parent', I agree it's very odd and off for one to choose to be 'mother' - but if there is no other option, what are they supposed to do? Forgive me if I'm wrong, but they don't know who the biological father is, do they? So they couldn't even do that (or am I thinking of another celeb couple?).

I agree with Lurcio that best thing would be a two part birth cert, so the child can find their sperm/egg donor when they are of age if they want to, but the social birth certificate which lists the parents who are raising them, and that's the public one smile

PuffinsAreFictitious Tue 26-May-15 21:42:45

They have an adoption certificate. The birth certificate is slightly different and will have the biological mother's name on it.

GraysAnalogy Tue 26-May-15 21:43:33

Why would it make it meaningless?

Just because you haven't created the egg doesn't mean you can't be a mother - just ask the thousands of women who adopt or other means.

We're quick to say 'kids don't need a father' and all that speak but we feel threatened when a man calls himself mother on a legal document that probably doesnt have another option?

RJnomore Tue 26-May-15 21:46:41

But he isn't a mother - adopted or otherwise. He's a man and thus completely unable to be a mother.

He is a PARENT and should be recognised as such legally but equality isn't calling someone who is quite blatantly not a mother, a mother.

It kinda makes the whole thing look and sound ridiculous. I'm pretty sure when same sex couples get married they don't refer to them as husband and wife do they?

PuffinsAreFictitious Tue 26-May-15 21:47:20

Just because you haven't created the egg doesn't mean you can't be a mother

No, but having a penis and 'identifying' as male does.

Mide7 Tue 26-May-15 21:49:54

Athenaviolet, I'm assuming your quoting me. I'm still getting to grips with MN. Why did that make your jaw drop?
In modern society aren't boundaries blurring? With male female parents, single parents, same sex parents. I'm not saying to erase mothers, just that it shouldn't matter who's name is under which label.

almondcakes Tue 26-May-15 21:50:51

The new UK birth certificate lists mother and then father/parent. The registrar crosses out father or parent, depending on the gender of the second parent, as far as I understand it. I read that, but I actually thought there were separate birth certificate forms - one with father and one with parent. Either way, I believe those are the two options.

I think there is a website somewhere where people born of surrogacy and similar are asking for secondary information to be added to the birth certificate - for example adding a genetic mother as well as a biological one, in cases where that is relevant.

heylilbunny Tue 26-May-15 21:51:32

Oh dear the poor kids born on these technologies. No one can even agree who the mother is and how many parents they have but they are expected to suck it all up and accept it graciously. They get no say while the whole world dissects their lives.

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