The high wall that stood in the way of an LGBT couple having a child | FRIDAY DIGITAL

The high wall that stood in the way of an LGBT couple having a child

Nonfiction writer Kota Ishii delves into the depths of Japanese society!

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In Japan, it is rare for a transsexual couple to raise a baby. As far as I know, there are no reports of such cases in Japan, especially where newborns are adopted for special care.

This time, for the first time, we provided special adoption support to such a couple. I believe that the steps taken by this couple will pave the way for a new way of special adoptions in the future.

That’s what Takuko Okada, the representative of Baby Poketto, a support group for special adopted children, said.

In Japan, people who are born transgender can change their gender on the family register by undergoing gender reassignment surgery, and can also get married. In fact, a number of couples have gotten married after undergoing such procedures.

There are four main ways for former same-sex couples to have a child.

With the help of a third party, they can have a child through sperm donation or surrogate motherhood.

2. Use the foster parent system.

3. Adopt a child as a regular adoptee.

4. Adopt a child as your own legally as a special adopter.

2 is a system where children who cannot be raised by their biological parents are taken in from foster homes and raised until the age of 18 with the support of the government. The third is a system in which a child is taken in by a third party and brought up in the same way, but without support from the government, and in the future the child can be separated if he or she wishes. The fourth is a system that allows couples to raise the baby they have taken in as their own with the approval of the court.

Among couples suffering from infertility in Japan, the most common choices were 1, 2, and 3, but in recent years, the number of couples choosing 4 has been on the rise because it allows them to raise their newborn as their own child. Nevertheless, for former same-sex couples, there are very high hurdles to overcome, no matter which one it is.

This time, probably for the first time in Japan, Baby Poketto has decided to give newborns to former same-sex couples for special adoption. Through this process, I would like to shed light on the “invisible wall” that exists in Japan.

(*For privacy reasons, some of the facts, including the name, have been changed after consulting with the couple.)

The father’s heart-wrenching response

Takuko Okada, representative of Baby Poketto, politely answered our interview.

When Yasuo and Yumi Uehara were born, they were both female. Yasuo was more of a transvestite, with a female body and a male mind, and as we will see later He underwent gender reassignment surgery in his 20s. He underwent gender reassignment surgery in his twenties and married Yumi.

87. In 1987, Yasuo was born in a town in Ishikawa Prefecture as the eldest of two siblings. She had a younger brother who was born in the same year as her. From the time he was in elementary school, Yasuo spent his days playing baseball with the boys, wearing the clothes of his cousin who lived next door.

At that time, there was still very little information about sexual minorities in the local area, and Yasuo felt vaguely uncomfortable with his own sexuality, but did not clearly understand what it was.

Yasuo’s sense of discomfort with his own sexuality was intensified when around the age of 12. It was around the age of 12, when he was going through puberty. People around him expected him to be a girl, and when he tried to behave in his own way, he was looked at suspiciously and sometimes ridiculed. The sudden changes in his body, such as menstruation, also puzzled him greatly.

During his junior and senior high school years, he spent all his time playing softball with such mixed feelings. On the other hand, he once had a relationship with a girl without telling her.

After graduating from high school, he left his hometown in Ishikawa Prefecture and went to college in Osaka. In a big city like Osaka, there were a number of communities where sexual minorities gathered, and such sites were beginning to appear on the Internet. As I came into contact with them, I gradually became aware of the discomfort I had been feeling.

In his fourth year of university, after deciding to enter graduate school, Yasuo returned to his parents’ home in Ishikawa Prefecture for a long time. It was at this time that he confessed his gender identity to his parents. His father must have had something on his mind, because he invited him to go for a drive with him. On the way, Yasuo confided in him about his sexuality.

His father was a taciturn man. He gave a short answer.

So it was. …… I’m sorry. I guess I didn’t raise you well.”

It was good that he had not been rejected, but it was heartbreaking that he had made his father sad as a result.

After entering graduate school, Yasuo decided to live his life as a man and underwent hormone therapy and other surgeries, including a mastectomy, in turn. After earning his master’s degree, he decided to work as a specialist at a facility for disabled children. At work, she told some of her supervisors about her sex change and they understood.

I don’t want to have any regrets.

Room in BabyPoket

It was not until he started working at the facility that he met his future wife, Yumi, who was a year younger than him and worked at a nearby nursery school, which was connected to the facility where Yasuo worked. It was there that they met and began dating.

Eventually, the two decide to live together on the premise of marriage. On this occasion, Yasuo went to Yumi’s parents’ house and told them about his sex change. Yumi’s parents said, “If it’s your decision, then it’s yours.

I think it’s fine if it’s their decision. Just don’t do anything you’ll regret later.

Thus, Yasuo and Yumi came to live under the same roof and got married with the approval of their families.

From the time they officially became husband and wife, both Yasuo and Yumi agreed that they wanted to start a family with children someday. The fact that they were both working in professions related to children was probably a big factor.

At the same time, however, they were well aware that having a child would not be easy. This is evident from the fact that there is little information about transgender couples raising children in Japan. Even though there are means such as in-vitro fertilization and foster parenting, there are many cases where it is difficult to reach that point.

Yasuo describes the current situation in Japan as follows.

In Japan, people tend to think that a couple like us having a child is not a normal family. Whether it’s IVF or the foster care system, in order to have a child in a way that is accepted by the world, you have to go through the process of changing your gender according to the guidelines, and you have to be married in the family register. However, there are many hurdles to overcome, and many people are unable to reach this point.

Even among such couples, there are those who crave for children, and some of them try to get them in dark ways that are not allowed by Japanese law.

A hot topic these days is the search for sperm donors through social networking sites. In fact, people are sending out messages on social networking sites asking for sperm donations from anyone, or asking for sperm donations including sexual intercourse. It is said that there are also malicious companies.

Even so, transgender couples who want to have children still turn to them. There have been many reports of problems arising from this.

There are also cases where people go abroad and adopt a child from there. Although they are not related by blood, they can raise the child. As far as the Internet is concerned, there are couples who are raising their children that way, but because of the circumstances, detailed information rarely comes out to the public. It is done in private.”

Big challenges after marriage

This is happening because of the complex issues surrounding transgender people.

If a transgender person wants to marry a partner of the same sex, he or she must first go to a domestic psychiatrist for about six months of counseling and then get a second opinion. After that, they must go to a gynecologist for a vaginal examination (measuring the size of the vulva = often causing emotional distress to the parties involved). Only after all these procedures are completed and approved by the review board is the person diagnosed with gender identity disorder.

It is only after that that the person concerned can take the hospital’s medical certificate and receive hormone therapy. However, not every town has a hospital that will do this, and if you cannot find a psychiatrist who will do the hormone therapy, for example, you have to explain it to them and find a gynecologist who will do it for you. Going to the gynecologist once a month in male form is a huge mental burden.

There is also the issue of cost. In addition to hormone therapy, gender reassignment surgery can cost a lot of money. It depends on where and what is being done, but in general, the cost is several million yen. The negative effects of the surgery on the body are also enormous. Of course, it is essential to have the understanding of family, support from friends, and consent from the workplace.

Even if one were to overcome all of these obstacles, get a sex change, and get married, there would still be major challenges ahead.

Artificial insemination through sperm donation can be quite costly depending on how it is done, and in some cases it can run into the millions of yen. Then there are the issues of who to get the sperm from and where to do the insemination. For example, sperm donation through social networking sites can cost as little as 1 kit. 200,000 yen. For example, sperm donation on SNS is sold for 200,000 yen per kit.

Even if you want to use the foster parent or special adoption system, you need to have social status and economic power. For example, working for low wages 50s A couple in their fifties working for low wages, for example, may be rejected because they are considered to be too old when the child grows up, or because they do not have the financial resources to raise the child.

Looking at it this way, you can see that even with the institution of marriage and children, it is extremely difficult to overcome. This is why it has been so difficult for former same-sex couples to have children, and why some couples decide that they want to have children at all costs, and skip over the above process to have artificial insemination or adopt a child overseas. Not that there is anything wrong with that overseas, but depending on the country and method, there have been multiple reported cases of trouble.

Fortunately, however, Yasuo and Yumi have taken the legally recognized steps to legally become husband and wife, are financially stable, and have professional jobs related to their children. They are financially stable and have a professional job related to children. They have the understanding of their family and others. Above all, they wanted to create an environment where they could tell the truth to their children when they grew up. That is why they decided to have a child in a way that they would not have to hide it.

The couple had two options in mind.

1. Receive a sperm donation from a relative.

2. Adopt a special child.

Legally, there was nothing wrong with this, and they knew much more than other couples in terms of raising children. However, there is a wall in front of the two of them.

For more details, please read ” ‘We want to raise our children happily…’: the struggles and dreams of an LGBT couple”.

(Titles omitted in the text)

  • Interview, writing, photography Kota Ishii

    Born in Tokyo in 1977. Nonfiction writer. Graduated from Nihon University College of Art. He is active in reporting and writing about culture, history, and medicine in Japan and abroad. His books include "The House of 'Demons': Parents Who Kill Their Own Children," "Forty-three Killing Intentions: The Depths of the Kawasaki Jr. 1 Boys' Murder Case," "Rental Child," "Kinship Murder," and "Social Map of Disparity and Division.

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