March 15, 2006

Jann Wenner And The Protocols Of Gay Parenting

jann_baby.jpgWhile Jann Wenner and his wife have three kids already, the Rolling Stone and Us Weekly publisher is apparently now having a baby with his longtime boyfriend, too, art dealer/model/whatever Matt Nye. [Congrats, fellas!]

Since there are like five senior execs at Us who are expecting kids, too, magazine staffers initially speculated the mercurial Wenner was just planning to steal the cutest baby and fire the parent, but now it turns out they're having it the old fashioned way: with a surrogate. [Due in August, btw.]

But here's my question: Gawker said that, duh, the kid'll have Matt's genes, since Wenner's already propagated his own DNA. But, barring some big announcement or an insemination party invite, is it cool to ask gay dads-to-be about their sperm deployment decisions? [Of course, if he looks like Gawker's photoshop mockup, the question'll be moot.]

Gawker's other gaffe--a reader poll to name the kid--is redundant: if it's a boy, he's obviously gonna be named Ennis.

Name Jann's Kid! [gawker]


It is NOT cool to ask gay dads to be about their sperm deployment. It's even more inappropriate to ask them "who's the daddy" (especially in the presence of the child). That said, it happens all the time. I have thought about turning it around and asking the same question of straight couples, and I have not found one person who would not be offended.

Still, it is a new concept for a lot of people to comprehend so we gay dads must put up with it for the greater good. It comes with the territory and is well worth it.

Another gay dad emails in:

"Our story's pretty simple. I wanted to be a parent, and started lobbying [my partner] about 7 years ago. We wanted a biological link to the baby and agreed on a "bio" child (instead of adopting), although it didn't matter who's DNA we used.

"He gave me the option of using my sperm AND staying home, but I think that's selfish. We negotiated and compromised that I'd stay-at-home to raise his bio child. We chose an egg donor that looks like me, and everything's worked out very well for us.

"Everyone's story is different, but most gay couples will blindly fertilize the egg without knowing whose sperm is used. I imagine that approach would lead to someone's eventual disappointment, so I wanted to know whose sperm we used."

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