Needles, New Jersey, and New Families

spermThere’s a recent AP news story going around about a “new twist” on baby making for two-mom couples. Thing is, it’s not so new — it’s the method my spouse and I used 11 years ago to start our family, with her carrying an embryo made from my egg and donor sperm. It seemed doubly appropriate to mention it again today because we started our family in New Jersey — and as of yesterday, same-sex couples in New Jersey can legally wed.  We’re happy to be celebrating as former New Jerseyans.

I did a post a few years back about our experience getting pregnant with the above method (don’t try it if you’re afraid of needles), and what we went through legally for us both to be recognized as parents at the time.

Now, many families with children will benefit from marriage equality in the Garden State. Approximately 3,300 same-sex couples in New Jersey — 20 percent of the total — are raising a total of 6,500 children under age 18, reports UCLA’s Williams Institute, many of whom “are certain to benefit from the legal recognition of their parents’ union at the state and federal levels.”

Of course, parenting rights and marital rights are not synonymous, and even in marriage equality states, most LGBT-friendly lawyers still recommend doing a second-parent adoption (as I’ve noted before). Still, this is a step towards full equality and a definite sign of progress.

The Williams Institute also tells us:

The legalization of same-sex marriage in New Jersey raises the percentage of the U.S. population living in a marriage equality state to 33 percent.  Forty percent of same-sex couples and 36 percent of all LGBT people in the U.S. are currently living in a marriage equality state.  Before today, those numbers were 37 and 33 percent respectively.

My family and I live in Massachusetts now, but we’re proud to have stuck needles in ourselves and each other in order to create our family in New Jersey.