Kacy and Cori recently started their journey to parenting via donor insemination in California. They were featured in the second season of the Showtime series, The Real L Word. Here’s their story.
**UPDATE**: After getting pregnant in August 2011, Cori suffered a pregnancy loss in late December 2011. As community role models, amazing people, and personal friends, our hearts go out to them. Despite not only having to go through this devastating process, but being in the public eye, they continue to speak about their experiences, and, in turn, continue to be an inspiration for us all.
For more information on their journey, Kacy has written a beautiful, heartbreaking post at their blog.
For more information on finding support as an LGBTQ parent after the death of child, please see Jodi Levesque’s moving post for this site.***
Partner’s Name: Cori
Hometown/City: Los Angeles, CA
Number of Children: – Cannot specify
Names of Children: Cannot specify
When did you decide you wanted children?
Cori has always wanted to be a mom. That was something we discussed very early on in our relationship. Right before we got serious, she wanted to make sure that I was someone she could have a future with. In all honesty, I wasn’t sure if I was even going to get married, much less start a family. I never thought I would find someone who I could have a solid future with – which is a pre-requisite for me to even consider having a child.
But there she was. And here we are now.
How did you decide to either biologically have a child or adopt a child?
We have always talked about what we were going to do to have a child. Cori wants to experience childbirth – I definitely don’t. We decided that we would first pursue fulfilling her dream of being pregnant. What most people don’t realize if that, either way, adoption is a very real step in two women having a child. I have to go through the adoption process so that my children will be mine.
Did you share your journey with your family and friends? If so, have they been supportive?
Over a year ago, Cori and I decided that we were ready to tell our families that we were going to start to try and have a family. Both of our parents were very supportive. I come from a huge Italian/Irish family, so children are a natural progression after a wedding. My sister was excited to be an auntie – do the Disneyland trips, take them to movies and buy tiny clothes for her little niece or nephew. Brian, Cori’s brother, was equally excited to teach them about music, and hang out with them. I think our gay male friends took it the hardest. To them, children meant no partying or going to bars or nights out, etc. It was crazy… like our lives were ending because we were going to have kids. They have since lightened up, but it was really surprising at first.
What was it like to have your process followed on The Real L Word? (Was it more or less difficult to go through all of this on camera?)
I know that most people wouldn’t believe it, but you really forget the cameras are there. EXCEPT, when you are trying to change your clothes! We were ALWAYS conscious of them in that respect. Who wants to see the mommies to be getting naked on TV?
During this process, we cried, we laughed, we were thoughtful, hopeful, but ultimately it was so important for us to share this with everyone. So many women are going through what we are going through, and they have been so supportive. They have reached out to us through Twitter and Facebook. Cori and I are so inspired by their stories. We are not alone in this, nor are we alone in wanting to start a family. This is a very human story.
What do you wish you would have known before you started?
I wish we had known everything! We didn’t even know where to begin. Most of the websites encourage women to go to Fertility clinics – but there was always one glaring inaccuracy: Cori is not infertile. We just needed sperm. What would really be great is if they had a lesbian owned sperm bank that staffed Doctors who specialized in Lesbian insemination. That was my dream… but alas, nothing of the kind exists. That is why I am so excited about this website. All of the information we were looking for is available. Where were you 6 months ago!
How has your life changed during this process?
The first time Cori and I went in to do our first insemination, right at that second – Cori and I looked at each other and knew that from that moment on, this is who we were striving to be: parents. We have never been the same. Now we feel what is missing, that want of another life born out of our love. We have our Jonesy Cat, who is the loveliest cat on earth, but he really dislikes the diapers (this is totally a joke!). We just knew that there was something more and we have made decisions in our life accordingly.
How much did you budget for the process? How much has the process cost so far? What were the actual costs and how were they different from what was planned?
We didn’t know how much to budget at first. We did some research: sperm costs, IUI costs, and taking into consideration insurance deductibles, co-pays, etc. We ball-parked it at about $15K. All in all, we’re about $10,000 in.
Was your state/location a challenge to the process? How did it impact your decisions, if at all?
We live in California, home of one of the best sperm banks in the world. The problem with that bank is that they do not offer adult pictures. Once Cori and I found Xytex, although inconvenient to ship sperm back and forth from Georgia, the ability to look at the donor as an adult is priceless. It gives you a fuller picture, and Cori needed more than just a profile in order to feel okay with going from a known person to a donor. If the banks in California would have had adult photos, it would have been much easier on us.
How/Did/Will you prepare your children to answer questions about their donor/biological parent(s)?
When we first started the search for the donor, we were adamant about having one that was willing to disclose his identity. I wanted my child to have full access to their entire being. Obviously, our child will grow up with us as their parents, but it is undeniable that knowing the other half of your DNA is important to anyone. The entire reason that we did this show was to allow our child to see how we made him or her. After seeing it, we’ll obviously have to edit out quite a bit, but at the very least, we’ll have a story of their life even before they were made. They will know how much love and care went in to making him or her, and we thought it was a great gift.
Would you be willing to share the name of the agency/sperm bank/other resources you used and why? If so, please list them below (and if you have any notes – was your experience good, poor? why or why not?)
Xytex – Located in Georgia
Xytex was amazing. They are so nice and helpful and completely open-minded. They didn’t blink an eye when I mentioned that the sperm was for my wife and that we were a Lesbian couple trying to conceive. They were also very encouraging every time we called back for more sperm. They ended every call with – Good luck! People just don’t do that. I would recommend them to anyone.
Any other advice, comments, or misc. wisdom about the gay parenting process?
Stay strong for each other, and please remember that no matter how many times it takes, hope is the best fertility medicine.