Two mothers … how to make the distinction between one and the other? Do we call it different names? One is the mother and the other is the mommy? Or do we call them by their names?
This is a question that the law alone does not answer and which, beyond its importance in everyday life, represents the difficulty of modifying entrenched social and cultural paradigms.
But let’s be practical, what can we do to make it easier?
First of all, it is important to make all the forms that we have to fill out regarding our children, such as identity cards, passports, school documents, health or sports documents, among many others, to designate parents (not to mention gender), rather than father and mother.
It seems banal, but it is not. Each time we write the name of one of the mothers in a place with the indication “father” we are confronted with a discrimination that, although slight and probably unintentional, and resulting from the inertia of the bureaucracy, nonetheless exists.
Another theme relates to the family identity, including the identity of the parents themselves, transmitted by the television series, the movies, the books and the children’s joys with each other. “Do we play mothers and fathers?” This is also not an easy topic. Children, especially the smaller ones, love animals. They have books about them, they know how to make sounds and imitate them. But animals have a father and a mother. Can we create models where the kitten has two mothers or the baby bear has two fathers?
Children’s literature and the presence of same-sex parents in films and serious animation will be fundamental to the process of individual and collective identification of children and adults.
Another question concerns how mothers view their own role and the role of the other.
In situations of joint adoption this theme is, by chance, facilitated. It is a decision of the couple, taken at the same time and in which both have similar roles. In the future, it is likely that each mother faces the other with equal rights and duties to the child.
In stepparent adoption situations, the subject may be emotionally a bit more complex, although in legal terms the situation is exactly the same. From the moment of adoption the child is of both mothers, in the same way. However, in these situations it is not uncommon for the biological mother (or mother who at first held a singular adoption of that child) feel that they have more rights than the other mother.
There is still one more situation we must reflect, the techniques of assisted reproduction. In this situation, artificial insemination or IVF, one of the mothers will go through the process of pregnancy and childbirth. This situation can bring some discomfort to the couple. It is fundamental, that the matter is spoken and weighted before beginning the process, so that the maternity can be experienced by both.