And so we began our research. Prior to this conversation, we’d been leaning toward not circumcising our child if he was a boy. We trusted that Tim could teach him how to be sanitary and avoid infections. We didn’t care about the aesthetics. As two women and a gay man raising children together, we did not feel particularly bound to social custom or tradition. We researched the varied perspectives and we considered the ethics and our child’s individual rights over his body. We knew that this was a big decision—one of many—and we took our responsibility seriously.
We respected both sides of the argument, but the medical evidence supporting the use of circumcision to prevent STDs and penile cancer, and to reduce UTIs compelled us. We were finally persuaded when the World Health Organization and UNAIDS issued a joint statement in 2007 supporting the link between male circumcision and HIV prevention. Suddenly we felt that we were making a decision that could not only protect the health of our child, but could save his life. We spoke with the pediatrician we’d chosen and our OB/GYN, who would be performing the surgery, and both agreed with our position.
That said, when our OB/GYN first held up our newborn and announced that it was a boy, I soon returned to my earlier fear that something would go wrong during the circumcision procedure. I felt confident in our decision, but I was more terrified that our doctor would make a mistake during this operation than I was when she performed Abbie’s C-section.
The next day, I decided to go with Tommy for the operation. I didn’t want to send him alone. He was given anesthesia and I pressed my face to his and I held his hand. All in all, the procedure did not take more than five minutes and was a success.