Hide me!

Anonymous

I’m bisexual and originally thought children might be something I would do in the context of a heterosexual long term relationship.

 

When I was single in my late 20s/early 30s, I heard Juliet Stevenson on ‘Desert Island Discs’ (!) saying that if she got to an age where it was too late for her to have children and she hadn’t got round to trying, she would feel she had ‘mismanaged’ things – or something along those lines. That got me thinking.

 

I was doing a MA in Women’s Studies and chose to do my dissertation about women having children by donor or self-insemination. I spoke with a gay friend about him being my donor over a long period of time. Ultimately he opted out and an ex-partner but long-term friend agreed to help me and to be a co-parent. He was living abroad at the time and we had a ‘trial’ run at insemination on a visit back to the UK that coincided with my cycle. And I got pregnant first go!

 

Having a child via self-insemination for me was very easy and straightforward. She was wanted, planned and conceived with love and that feels very special. I made sure her dad got parental responsibility via a court order (necessary in 1997) and she has his surname (my choice).

 

I am now a single parent with a 15 year old daughter. I co-parented with her dad, living in a shared household, for six years and have subsequently lived alone with my daughter.

 

Her dad was very hands on and totally involved in shared parenting while living with us. It then got less and less when he moved out and got married. His wife never accepted our long-term friendship and never really saw my daughter as part of their family. So my daughter doesn’t have a great relationship with her dad although she loves him greatly but she and I are very close and have a delightful mum/daughter relationship.

 

My daughter likes the story of how she was conceived outside of a relationship and by insemination. She feels it is special too (in a positive way!). She tells her closest friends, who think it is ‘cool.’

 

I have no regrets about having a child outside of a relationship though I wish about how future partners might feel about our arrangement (both of us were single at the time I got pregnant) and he used to say that if a future partner of his could not accept the arrangement then that would not be the person for him. Turns out he has married someone who doesn’t accept our friendship and our daughter into her life! So sadly, he is totally out of my life now and minimally involved in our daughter’s life.

 

For several years after he first got married the situation got worse and worse as I battled to maintain his input in my daughter’s life. Communication totally broke down and his wife sent me nasty emails, being incredibly negative about me and about my daughter. Eventually I had to end all contact and give up on anything changing or improving.

 

My daughter still struggles with missing her dad sometimes and wishing she could see more of him but overall is resigned to loving him but finding him hopeless.

 

Despite the struggles around those relationships, my daughter and I are incredibly close and I am so glad I had her when I did (I was 33) – it’s one of my top achievements.

 

Parenting alone as I have for the past 11 years does come with financial implications but we have enough money to live in a nice area. Her dad continues to pay maintenance, although that hasn’t increased in 11 years.

 

I’m an academic and so there have been consequences in terms of work and not being able to attend conferences etc without a great deal of forward planning and negotiation, so some limitations there. Possibly my career has progressed more slowly – but it has been my choice really to prioritise life at home and be there for my daughter (perhaps more so given the absence of her dad).

 

I don’t have family support but I do have a good network of friends and I have never had to pay for childcare since nursery in the early years.

 

Having a child has probably impacted on relationships. Given the situation with my daughter’s dad and how much her relationship with him changed when he got married, I have been her main source of stability and security and I have probably prioritised that over relationships. But overall that’s OK. My family never really understood my choices and chose to ignore them!

 

Doing things differently, especially as a single parent, does require resourcefulness and resilience – so the more support you have around you the better. You cannot anticipate every scenario but discuss in advance as much as you can. Go for it!

Claire

When I was looking after friends’ children and my niece, I thought about having a family of my own.

 

I have learning disabilities and don’t know how to go about GETTING help or advice on having children. I would love to have a child. I’m bisexual.

Hannah

As a pregnant woman, people think I must be straight. It annoys me sometimes.

I am very happily married to a man with a child and a bit [pats bump] but I’ve never considered myself to be straight. I’m bi.

 

When I was young, my mother would tell me that one day I would meet Prince Charming – or at least [smiles, then says in a Jewish accent] a doctor, a lawyer, a professional man. It took me a long time to come out to her.

 

When I did it was on the phone and I was in New Zealand. Her reaction amazed me. She said, “Are you? That’s interesting. I envy you.”

 

After all that time with me worrying about telling her, she blew me away.

She must have been married about 37 years by then. I often wonder what would have happened for her if she had been born 30 years later.

 

One of the greatest teachings I had was with my first girlfriend. She had had a child and the relationship with the father was over. She said, “Hannah, it’s not about being bisexual, it’s about falling in love with a person.”

 

People have said all my life, “If you’re bi you must be sitting on the fence” but I know I’m not 100% straight and I know I’m not 100% gay. I’m just open to possibilities and they change every day.

 

I’ve been lucky enough to meet a man who likes a strong woman. It’s not an open relationship but we are open to possibilities, me with women, him and men.

 

When you become pregnant people tend to see you only as one thing. Sometimes at the school gate I want to shout out, “By the way, I am not just a mother!” [Laughs]. “It just struck me, they think of me the way I thought of my mother.”

Lindsay

I’m sort of bisexual as I have had sex with men but I identify as a gay woman.

 

I didn’t want children. I got pregnant from a drunken encounter and it wasn’t diagnosed until I went into labour.

 

I’m now the proud co-parent of a gorgeous and hilarious two year old girl.

Louise

I’m bisexual. I have always wanted children, ever since childhood. I have thought about it seriously for many years, but never been in a position to do anything about it, due to being either single or in relationships which did not allow for it to be realistic. This changed when I started seeing my current partner, and we decided very quickly that we wanted to start a family.

 

We were lucky enough to conceive naturally within a couple of months of deciding we wanted children, and now have a beautiful nine month old son.

Louise II

I am a bisexual woman who is married to a bisexual man. When I was 26 and he was 24 I became pregnant unexpectedly and we had a daughter. I always wanted to have kids.

 

Now we have a seven year old, and plan to have another baby in the next year.