Transgender Adoptive Parent Featured on Oxygen Documentary Series
BY Sunnivie Brydum
August 08 2012 1:52 PM ET
I'm Having Their Baby, a new documentary series on Oxygen, chronicles the adoption process from the perspective of pregnant women. The show's latest episode profiles Sydney, a 22-year-old woman in Portland, Ore., who is giving her baby girl to married couple Tinujei ("T") and Jesse, who is a transgender man.
"I realize that placing my child with a transgender parent could be controversial," Sydney says in the show, "but the truth is that he's just as capable of raising a child as anyone I know."
Sydney chose the couple from several contenders, which included a straight couple, a gay couple, and the adoptive parents. T and Jesse, both in their 30s and married for eight years, were in Sydney's hospital room for the birth of their daughter, Greta Miyo.
"Most people wouldn't consider a trans parent adoption," says Jesse. "But Sydney — she was so amazing in how she saw it as an asset. Every single second of this process with her has been pretty incredible."
"I could not have asked for a better couple," Sydney says in a video diary posted on Oxygen's website. "I don't want to imagine being in a world where they don't have kids. That's heartbreaking to me."
Despite occasional problematic language -- as when Sydney and her friends refer to Jesse as "a transgender" rather than as a transgender man or a trans person, the program is overall supportive of T and Jesse as fit parents. Sydney in particular seems confident in her selection of T and Jesse as adoptive parents, and she frames the process as a surrogacy and a "gift" she can give to two loving parents who couldn't have children on their own.
Jesse and T maintain contact with Sydney, who provided breast milk and visits Greta weekly.