Monday, September 30, 2013

Making Finn by Susan Newham-Blake #review

Title: Making Finn
Author: Susan Newham-Blake
Publisher: Penguin Books (South Africa), 2013

What becomes abundantly clear after you reach the last page of Making Finn is that GLBTI couples are in the process of rewriting the rules for what we consider as family. Susan always knew she wanted children, but by the time she had committed herself to her life partner, Roxi, she knew the road to parenthood wouldn’t be simple.

Already in her mid-thirties, Susan worried that she might have issues with her fertility, and set on getting pregnant with her own child, they began looking for a suitable sperm donor. Of course it all sounds a lot simpler than in practice. Susan and Roxi were not sold on the local options – they could either have a friend donate his “goods” or use a completely anonymous donor.

But both these methods came with psychological repercussions, as opposed some of the benefits offered by the US-based sperm banks which would allow Susan and Roxi’s children to discover more about who fathered them.

What follows is Susan’s account of the months leading up to the birth of her son, Finn, and all the highs and lows of preparing for parenthood. Susan faces her somewhat daunting task of importing “the goods”, but it’s not only that. How does one pick a father for one’s child based on written reports?
 Susan asks herself many hard questions, yet her honesty is refreshing – she definitely lays her soul bare; her quest is not all plain sailing, but the outcome of Susan and Roxi’s journey most definitely serves as inspiration for other GLBTI couples who’re considering this step in their lives.

Yes, admittedly, there would have been easier ways to conceive a child, but Susan and Roxi explored their motivations for following the route they did. My only gripe was that I felt I’d have liked to hear more about their experiences post-birth, and the events leading up to Roxi eventually having her own son. What I must thank the ladies for is allowing readers to share their unconventional journey.

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