Living in a Society Designed for Heterosexual Couples
I read a thread on a Facebook Group last month where the author claimed that she wanted the word on her child’s birth certificate changed from ‘Father’ to ‘Parent’.
The section would be left blank as her child was donor conceived, but her preference was to have the word changed.
It got me thinking what my views are on this topic and whether it was important for me to have different language on my daughters birth certificate.
I’ll be honest, I never considered it at the time I went to register Daisy’s birth. Daisy’s birth certificate has a blank space where it says father and I was relieved that it was very straightforward to leave that section blank. I thought I might have had some detailed questioning and need to do some explaining, but nothing was said about it at all. It couldn’t have been a simpler process.
So is the language on the certificate important? Do I care whether it says father or parent? Lot’s of people commenting on the post were asking why it mattered. But on reflection, I think it does matter.
Mainly because of what it represents. It would be so much more inclusive to simply use the language of parent rather than differentiating mother and father. I have tried to change all the language I use to parent to be more inclusive to all and this is an example where I think it could easily be changed.
It is yet another example of how we are living in a society that is designed for heterosexual couples. We prioritise and reward people for being in a partnership. It is another process that I need to get shoehorned into because it was built for someone else in a different circumstance to me. They could easily amend it as it’s computer generated so what would the harm be?
It’s one example of so many. Hotel bookings defaulting to 2 adults, at a recent festival I attended the price for day tickets was 2 adults and one child. Why would I want to pay for 2 adults when I was going with my daughter? Antenatal classes packaging up the offer as buy a place and get one free, which in essence is meaning there is no discount if you’re not bringing a partner, the list goes on.
Even if we are not hugely angered by any of these individual examples, it is all just reinforcing how society is designed for people in a couple, not for single parents, or for single people in general.
How do you feel about this? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below.
Photo by Scott Broome on Unsplash
Interesting to highlight this issue. This is something LGBTQ+ live with all the time in many contexts. Think it would be important to consider and highlight this in future pieces and podcasts!