i can’t sign this

It’s that time of year again. As we say goodbye to summer and prepare to send the kids back to school there are visits to the doctor and trips to the dentist and a million and one school registration forms to be completed and signed in triplicate. In the past two weeks I have put my John Hancock on so many documents I’ve developed carpal tunnel. It’s like I’m a teenager again and I’ve just discovered masturbation except this particular repetitive hand motion is all the work and none of the fun.

It wouldn’t be so taxing if all I had to do was sign the forms, but as a “non-traditional” (read: gay) parent I not only have to sign each form I also have to cross out Mother and write in Father. Mother’s Father’s Name. Mother’s Father’s Employer. Mother’s Father’s Phone. Mother’s Father’s Signature.

It is like this everywhere we go. The doctor. The dentist. The school. We can’t be the only same sex parents in the city, I think to myself. I look around the cafeteria during school orientation and based on hairstyles alone there are obviously a few lesbians in the house. And that dad over there hasn’t stopped checking me out since we got here so he must be gay and …oh wait, there’s his wife. His poor wife. Oh honey, no. No, no, no.

How hard is it to change the form? The rest of us are living in 2015, but our schools and health providers seem to be stuck in a perpetual state of 1957. The world has changed. The modern family no longer conforms to the conventions of mother, father, and two point however many kids. Today’s family lives outside the box. Way outside the box.

I just read an article about a family in the Netherlands. The family is made up of two lesbians who are having a baby with two gay men who are currently involved in a polyamorous relationship with a third man meaning this baby is going to have FIVE parents. Where is the form for that family?

This is not a big deal. There are easily 527,342 more important things going on in the world right now than my issues with antiquated ephemera. I don’t expect this would-be controversy to trend on social media or develop its own hashtag. The matter does not require a Facebook support group or the endorsement of a D-list celebrity.

It is a simple problem with a simple solution: change the form. Just change the form. Open the word document, delete the old school Mother/Father, replace with the ultra-mod Parent/Guardian, and then hit print. Voila! Everyone wins. Even that crazy Dutch family.

Read more about my adventures as a gay adoptive father in my book Which One of You is the Mother? 

Available for pre-order on Amazon now. Release date August 24, 2015.