There are more and more same-sex couples raising children. Some couples opt for surrogate mothers, others choose artificial insemination. Adoption is also always an option for same-sex couples. However the baby is coming into their lives, he or she deserves to be celebrated, and the parents-to-be will need baby stuff. For the most part, same sex showers are just like any other baby shower. You will need invitations and the parents will need a gift registry, but there are some things that you may want to keep in mind when planning a same sex baby shower.
It is tempting to decorate the entire party in rainbows. Sure, it’s tempting. After all, whether you are gay or straight yourself, you want to show support for the new parents. But, and here’s the kicker: it’s not about pride. This shower is about two people welcoming a new baby. And gay people do like other things. So, choose décor that the parent’s will enjoy. Does your couple enjoy photography? Decorate with some of their favorite photos. Are your parents-to-be muggles by other mothers? Throw a Harry Potter themed shower. In short, choose the décor for the parents, not for their orientation.
Once you have chosen your theme and décor, it is time to move on to invitations. Obviously, you will want to create or purchase invitations that go with your theme. There are lots of heartfelt and funny LGBTQ birth announcements and shower invitations on the market today. Some fun themes are “Two Moms (or Two Dads) are better than one,” or “Hatched by two chicks.” Be creative and have a good time celebrating this special moment.
Then you come to the question of who should you invite? Like any other shower, talk to the parents. They should have a list of people they want to invite; people that they know will celebrate with them. Be sensitive to their wishes. Whatever you do, do not add people without discussing the new guests with the parents. It is tempting to believe that a new baby might reconcile family members. But this isn’t always the case. There are people who take issue with same sex parents. It’s heartbreaking to get a response saying that a guest will not attend due to disapproval. But, it is even worse when they show up and share their disapproval in person. This party should be a celebration of new life, not an opportunity for anyone to jump onto a soapbox.
There may even be people the couple requests that refuse to come. There are people who feel that attending a shower might show “approval” for a lifestyle they don’t agree with. Don’t feel the need to try to “talk this type of guest” into coming. Simply thank the person for their response and move on. There is no reason to tell the parents why the guest is absent.
Babies of same-sex couples need the same things as any other baby. Help the parents create a gift registry for those things that they need and want to raise their child. Add a selection of both large and small items. Some guests may want to go together to buy a crib or travel system, while others may be able to afford to purchase large items alone. But don’t neglect those guests who might be watching their cash flow. Be sure to include other necessary items that are less expensive such as bottles or crib sheets.
There are a plethora of books celebrating LGBTQ+ families. There are classic titles such as Heather Has Two Mommies, or Tango Makes Three. In addition, there are more specific books such as Mommy, Mama, and Me, or alternatively, Daddy, Papa, and Me. But don’t forget some of the more classic baby books such as The Runaway Bunny, or Guess How Much I Love You. Both books explore the tender relationship with a single-gendered parent.
You might also want to consider books for the new moms or dads. There are some great titles designed to help new parents deal with some of the issues unique to same sex parenting. Journey to Same Sex Parenting, helps new parents navigate the many medical and legal issues that surround same sex parenting. If your new parents are both father’s, check out The Ultimate Guide for Gay Dads. Not only does it discuss things like finding LGBTQ-friendly doctors and schools, but it specifically addresses issues such as what to do on Mother’s Day and other situations unique to men raising children.
There are some things to consider for same-sex couples that may be a little different. Some same-sex couples include a third person that may be involved in the pregnancy. This may be a sperm donor who will be part of the child’s life, or a surrogate who is carrying the baby. This person should be included as much as the parents wish. However, if the parents don’t include the third person, don’t ask about it. Families come together in many different and wonderful ways. It really isn’t anyone’s business how the family is formed. It is considered extremely impolite to ask a gay couple how their child came to be. Think about it, you wouldn’t ask a straight couple what position they used or what they were doing when they conceived their child, would you? And that’s really the biggest thing to keep in mind: a same-sex baby shower really isn’t all that different than a dual-sex baby shower. Just be sure to shower the parents with as much love as you can.