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

Micah and Maribel are deciding upon a sperm donor in the most recent L Term: Generation Q, and they’re getting out what lots of of us know—it can be a surreal expertise, but also an possibility for understanding. Here’s my parenting-concentrated investigation of the episode, with genuine-life resources.

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

Spoilers ahead.

Micah has at last told his mother that he and Maribel are relationship, and she was accepting. He and Maribel discuss how to rejoice. Maribel suggests seeking for a sperm donor all Micah experienced in mind was arranging the Tupperware drawer. “Maybe we could be wild and do both equally,” he suggests.

Maribel agrees, as prolonged as they can be in mattress by 9:00. Micah counters with 8:30. Ah, the queer way of life.

Quickly, they’re looking at sperm donor options on line. Somehow, the present has skipped any conversations they might have had about employing a known compared to an not known donor, which is a disgrace, considering the fact that that’s definitely an vital discussion for anybody making use of donor gametes. I am, however, glad they’ve avoided the “seeking a acknowledged donor” trope (which has been overdone by demonstrates together with, but not restricted to, Season 3 of the unique The L Term NYPD Blue, Cashmere Mafia, If These Wall Could Speak 2 Exes and Ohs and Rick & Steve: the Happiest Homosexual Couple in All the Globe).

Even just on the lookout at not known donors, nevertheless, Maribel is confused at very first, noting, “We have a ton of possibilities in this article,” but before long realizes the “ton” narrows very immediately once one particular basically commences hunting at features. She is adamant she would like a tall donor, explaining, “My relatives are all shorties. We have to average it out in some way.” (As a shortie myself, I feel for her.)

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

Maribel tries to appear on the favourable aspect: “We have a likelihood to design and style the ideal baby”—then catches herself, knowing, “Yeah, it’s eugenics.”

She has a stage, in that creating a family members with a gamete donor opens up a planet of opportunities. How even to begin? Later, she has a revelation. “Let’s not aim on perfection,” she says. Rather, she desires a donor who is like Micah.

Micah thinks about his attributes. Getting Chinese American “feels important.” He’s also nervous, he suggests, but neither of them wishes their kid to be so. He likes books—but they cannot obtain a portion for that in the donor profiles. This considerably contradicts what my spouse and I located in donor profiles, which was that even however there may not be a certain dilemma about a particular curiosity (this kind of as liking textbooks), there were being also open up-ended inquiries about pursuits and abilities that helped us come across what we needed.

Nevertheless, it is tricky when a person has to dig to uncover the information and facts. Micah and Maribel are obviously discouraged. Maribel suggests the entire process is making her sad, and when it was supposed to be pleasurable, “it’s just depressing.”

“I just desire we could make a infant which is component of you and component of me,” she provides, expressing what so a lot of of us queer couples have felt. It is element of why my wife or husband and I did reciprocal IVF (RIVF), with my egg and her womb (and donor sperm)—we both of those desired to be a physical component of the approach, and this was as near as we could get.

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

True—but I’d encourage queer people to see this as a benefit somewhat than a load. Our young children will be far better off for it. As Maribel notes, “Cishets undoubtedly have to have to be accomplishing some self-reflecting, way too.”

“And there must be a examination,” Micah proceeds. “There’s a check for all the things, other than to be a guardian. Any fool could do it.”

“Oh, and they do,” Maribel concurs. They’re leaving out foster and adoptive mothers and fathers in this, of course, who do have to go assessments to develop into parents—but they have a level, in that a minor extra education for all prospective mothers and fathers could be a superior point. (That staying mentioned, the actuality that a lot of states nevertheless need home research and qualifications checks of nonbiological and nongestational queer moms and dads undertaking confirmatory adoptions of their individual kids is ridiculous.)

Maribel then indicates they determine out what they have in popular, “So the baby matches in our spouse and children, you know?”

Micah enjoys that strategy, and jests, “Let’s see if shit-chatting is a category.” He appears at the notebook. “It’s suitable in this article. Underneath religion,” he jokes.

Ha! I feel they are on the proper monitor toward what feels appropriate for them, even though. For authentic partners likely through the approach of deciding upon a donor (or even choosing whether to use 1), I advocate:

Queer Conception: The Entire Fertility Guidebook for Queer and Trans Moms and dads-to-Be, by Kristin L. Kali (Sasquatch Books), which has a full chapter on deciding on gamete donors (recognized or unknown) laying out numerous concerns. Also valuable is We’re Right here! A Guideline to Getting to be an LGBTQ+ Mother or father, by B.J. Woodstein (Praeclarus Push) and LGBTQ Household Developing: A Manual for Prospective Parents, by Abbie Goldberg (American Psychological Association), which incorporates a lot of insights from investigate on families that used donor conception.

Alas, when Maribel and Micah run a look for with their (unrevealed) ultimate features, they get no results. “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: Era Q. Picture credit: Nicole Wilder/SHOWTIME

They have, nevertheless, only searched one sperm bank, as considerably as we can convey to. There are quite a few other people:

Let us hope Micah and Maribel shortly find out these means, choose a recognized donor (without having a trope-y parade of inappropriate donors), or choose to adopt.

I have to observe, far too, an older trope that writer Sarah Alert talked about back in 2003 in a piece titled “TV’s Lesbian Baby Increase,” observing that numerous reveals express “the idea that ‘woman’ is synonymous with ‘mother,’” whilst the exact is not genuine for gentlemen and fatherhood. For lesbians, “the approach is to make the lesbian characters so ‘normal’ and effortless to determine with, viewers will pretty much overlook that they are homosexual.” She provides that there is nothing at all mistaken with currently being a mother—“it’s that their storylines revolve close to their job as a mom as if it described them exclusively.” As significant as it is to see representation of trans gentlemen and disabled people like Micah and Maribel as (prospective) mom and dad, then, I hope this doesn’t turn out to be a way of lessening their characters only to the socially satisfactory position of parent. I also want to see far more of Micah and Maribel’s careers, hobbies, and friendships. I want to see them as perfectly-rounded persons and so superior job products for viewers who may well be considering parenthood them selves.

I’ll be being tuned to see if this transpires, and hope you are going to sign up for me.

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