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Advice | Our daughter wanted a mommy, so she chose one of her daddies

Richard Just is editor-in-chief for longform at NOTUS and former editor of The Washington Post Magazine.

Sometime last fall, our oldest daughter, then 3.5 years old, started telling us she wanted a mother. My husband and I, two men, knew this moment was coming. We had done everything we could to lay the foundation so that she and her sister could be proud of our nontraditional family: we had stocked up on children’s books for two fathers and told the story of how they came into the world many times. with the help of a generous egg donor and an amazing surrogate mother. But, at least for our oldest daughter, none of these preventative measures seemed to soften the blow of realizing that every other child she knew had a mother.