Many people assume if you have twins you must have had IVF. Worse still, total strangers think it is perfectly fine to ask you to confirm just how your children’s conception came about.
Friends who are “older” – including those without twins – complain about attracting the same curiosity from people they barely know.
And same sex couples (“who is the father/mother?”).
The answer oh curious stranger is, “none of your business!”
Perhaps when I receive such questions, I should respond in kind by asking the stranger if he/she had sex to have their child/ren? Maybe I could throw in some other up close and personal curly questions such as their medical history and maybe what they earn?
For the record, I never answer questions about how our girls were conceived.
The reasons are simple.
- I don’t want to set up a “natural versus assisted conception” thing
- It is not just my story to tell – it’s a story shared by my family
- And It just doesn’t matter
Do you get asked if you used IVF? Would you feel okay asking a complete stranger if they had to have medical intervention to have their kids?
Why would I share such intimate details with a complete stranger? I don’t see any benefit in having this discussion.
Of course I would have to be living on another planet not to know couples that have used IVF due to one or both parents having an issue with fertility, or one parent having a congenital issue they don’t want to pass on or because they are a same sex couple in need of an egg or sperm. Or for whatever reason. There is certainly no shame in taking advantage of the wonders of medical science but it is damn personal stuff.
I sympathised with Nicole Kidman when she was forced to justify to millions of strangers all over the world her use of the term “gestational carrier”. Sure it sounded a little unusual but I think she was just saying, “hey this baby is my precious child and the technology involved is not the focus”.
It does not matter how you conceived your children as long as they are here, happy and nurtured. Whether the journey started with fours years of trying, one night of passion, or IVF, AI, GIFT or whatever is irrelevant.
It is no one’s business but yours. If you choose to tell family or friends that’s up to you. In my book, being asked by a stranger how you conceived your kids is just weird.
Have other parents of multiple birth children encountered such a question? Are we particular magnets for such inquiries or have single bub parents heard them too? Maybe the assumption is that all twins and triplets are IVF babies? Hey, prior to the first IVF bubs being born in 1978 people did have twins and triplets you know.
Has the frequent use of reproduction technology created a new social acceptance about quizzing people about how their much loved children came about?