Is it rude to ask a Lesbian couple "who carried?"

OK, I was at a family/friends get together this weekend and one childhood friend of my brothers was there with her lifetime partner and their rambunctious daughter.

So I was chatting with said partner as the borhter’s childhood friend chased the child around the house trying to prevent damage. I mused over how the child seemed to semble said friend in her youth, especially in light of stories told by her parents and mine.

At some point I asked the question “who carried her”? Very casual, as if I was asking a birthweight or something. The partner answered that my brother’s friend had done the carrying, explaining that she herself was too old. The conversation went elsewhere.

Later it occoured to me that I might have asked something that some might consider to be quite rude. Was it?

I think it depends on how well you know the couple. In the situation you describe, I think you were fine; and, it doesn’t sound like she took any offense.

Speaking generally, though, if you don’t know the person you’re asking very well, it’s pretty rude – like someone you aren’t close to asking when you’re going to get married/have a baby. Also, some people don’t like sharing such personal information no matter how close you are to them; knowing them well enough to know how they’d react is key.

All just my $0.02, of course. :slight_smile:

I am neither a lesbian nor have I been pregnant, but it seems a tad intrusive if not rude. Perhaps not as intrusive as asking who the biological father is - the pregnancy, after all, would have been public at some point, in a way that the conception would not. Perhaps it’s also a bit presumptious, since the child might have been adopted or carried by a surrogate.

But doubleplus good points for not asking “So, who’s her REAL mother?” :smack:

I don’t think it’s very offensive, as long as you don’t give the “real mother” vibe. Surely they know people are going to be curious. I think you handled it fine. If it was an adoption or surrogate, the answer to the question would have been “we chose her” or “a surrogate carried her.”

I wouldn’t presume to ask where the sperm came from unless it was a very close friend. But boy would I be curious!

It’s kind of new terratory, I’d say you have extra freedom as to what is OK to ask.

People could be offended. Personally, I think it shows acceptance of the situation which is nice.

It is never ok to err on the side of rudeness. Besides, how are personal questions “new territory”?

I second that. The first thing that popped in my head was not rude unless you were probing for the “real” mother.

I assumed “new territory” referred to lesbian couples having children.

People can be offended about just about anything. Rudeness depends on context, and in this case I don’t think there was anything rude about asking.

I was more interested in who had to experience the ‘joy’ of giving birth, although part of me was wondering if the hyperactiveness of the daughter was becuase of genetic.

anyone genuinely offended by this question should have their head examined

It’s probably not the kind of question that would cause Miss Manners to come out swearing like a Cornish sailor, but it’s definitely in ‘personal’ territory, and I wouldn’t ask that specific question unless I knew the couple very well, and knew that they wouldn’t be offended.

OTOH, I’m trying to figure out another way to ask about the genetic parentage… “who were the bio-dad and bio-mom”, essentially. I seem to vaguely remember that it is now possible to create viable embryos without a bio-dad, by combining the information from two moms, but I may have that garbled. And of course thereès the possibility of cloning, so that there would be only one ‘parent’ (a much older identical twin, really).

Gay male who’s been asked to father babies for lesbians (but so far declined) checking in, and personally I don’t really see it as rude at all. It’s not a stupid question and it’s highly doubtful that each carried half and then sewed it together.

This isn’t to say it might not offend some people, but then it’s impossible to construct a sentence in the English language that somebody doesn’t find offensive. I wouldn’t hold it against you in the least so long as you acknowledge (which you did) that both are the parents of the child.

I think that’s a good way of phrasing the question. I can see some non-bio Mums not wanting any hint that they’re not the ‘real’ Mum, and not wanting any reminder of who’s biologically-related and who’s not. But ‘who carried her’ is a pretty neutral phrasing - it doesn’t speak to the biology directly, just whose womb it was.

This lesbian Mum has often dealt with people asking how I got my daughter, and I can understand people’s curiosity, so I answer.

Yes, I knew exactly what kanicbird was referring to.

That’s what’s been missing in this thread: someone to oversimplify the issue! Thanks so much!

It seems like it wouldn’t be any of your business which of them (if either) carried the child. So I vote for yes, it’s rude.

Another thought… what with in-vitro fertilisation and all, whoever carried the child might not be the bio-mom anyways. So if the OP was seeking to find out who the bio-parents were, ey wasn’t asking the precisely-right question anyways.

The only questions that majorly offend me from those I don’t know well are questions that are too explicitly sexual in nature (and above all the are you the man or the woman? bit of evasive dumbassery). I just don’t really see this as terribly invasive.

When a woman is pregnant for nine months, even strangers on the street can see who’s carrying. It’s not a shameful, secret condition. At least I hope we’re beyond that idea.

That’s the thing, though: you wouldn’t find this question to be invasive. And people who know you, know that it would be ok to ask (if you were to find yourself a mom in a lesbian relationship). But someone else might find it invasive, therefore it’s only a rude question if you don’t know the person you’re asking well enough to know whether they’d think it’s rude to ask.

Simple! :smiley:

I don’t think the question of rudeness had anything to do with pregnancy being shameful or secret. Rather, it has to do with the fact that after the child is born – when no one is walking around visibly pregnant anymore – that kind of information is considered personal. It’s a personal question. Some might be offended, others not, but the hope is that you wouldn’t ask unless you knew it was ok to.

(Crap, why couldn’t I have used that clearer wording in my response to Sampiro?! ;))