Tag Archives: Lesbian Family

Lesbian Couple Discusses The Discrimination They Faced During Fertility Treatment

Lesbian couple from Greysteel in County Londonderry, have spoken of how they were left feeling “embarrassed”, after visiting an NHS clinic, and being told they were ineligible for treatment.

The couple – Sarah Murphy and Jenny Doherty – says they then decided to visit a private facility, in order for the procedure to be legal.

In the UK, for a couple to have both names on birth certificate, they must use a fertility clinic, and not do the procedure on their own.

Speaking the BBC, Sarah Murphy explained;

That was one of the main reasons why we chose to go through a clinic and not to do it ourselves. As we aren’t in a same sex marriage or in a civil partnership, Jenny’s name will now be on the baby’s birth certificate as the legal parent.”

Murphy said they were concerned that if they had taken matters into their own hands, a lengthy court battle could have ensued.

The couple went to the private clinic after attending the Western Health Trust and regional fertility centre.

The health service weren’t very helpful to be honest.”

The Trust told the BBC that it does not comment on individual cases, but that anyone concerned about their treatment should get in contact.

After the ordeal, Murphy said those in same-sex relationships should find it easier to access these services, and called for “better knowledge”among doctors.

Even if you could be told – ‘We can offer you this or we can’t offer you that’ – that would be a massive help, instead of walking out with more questions than you walk in. I think from the moment we walked in the door, we were almost dismissed.

We felt embarrassed for wanting something that every other human in the world wants.”

The couple say they don’t regret paying out around £6,000 for the private clinic, and that their parents are excited to become grandparents.

We were treated as a couple who wanted to have a baby, just the same as every other couple who were there. It has been expensive, and without loans and credit cards and help from my parents we wouldn’t have been able to afford it.

It has been priceless and we would do it again in a heartbeat, but at the same time we wish we didn’t have to spend that much.”

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It May Be Soon Possible For Lesbian Couples To Have Children With Genes From Both Parents

According to new research, same-sex couples may one day be able to have children who are genetically related to both partners.

A new technique – yet to be tried on humans – would involve scientists collecting a specific type of cell (such as a muscle cell) and producing a stem cell. These stem cells would then be used to create gametes (sex cells) – including creating an egg from a man or a sperm cell from a woman.

Research published in the Journal of Law and the Biosciences investigates the potential of this new scientific technique, known as ‘in vitro gametogenesis’ (IVG).

This could include ‘multiplex parenting’ with children having groups of more than two parents, or children with just one biological parent.

Scientist Sonia Suter from George Washington University, USA, explains IVG may be preferable to other fertility treatments in some circumstances, but in others it could be ‘substantially more problematic’.

For single parents, where all of the baby’s genetic material would come from one person’s DNA, there are greater challenges, Suter says.

We have minimal knowledge about the implications. The only way to demonstrate the effectiveness and safety of these techniques in humans is to use in vitro gametes (sex cells) to try to produce viable offspring in controlled settings – when and if we deem it sufficiently safe to do so.”

Dr George Ndkwe, medical director of the Zita West fertility clinic, told Huffington Post this technique, while useful, could radically change the notion of parenthood in future.

This is wonderful science, but it’s going to raise questions. There are possible uses of it, which in my opinion can be useful. For instance, for somebody who has no sperm at all or a woman who has no egg, if you can use any of their cells to create sperm or eggs then they can have treatment, so to use it in that way specifically for treatment, in my opinion may have some benefits.”

He added:

It would completely challenge our notion of parenthood with very complex legal implications. That’s where it gets very scary.”

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Mexican Company Airs TV Advert with Lesbian Couple and their Kids

Segundamano Mexico –  an online secondhand store in Mexico – aired a television ad with lesbian couple and their children.

In the ad the women, holding their two young kids surrounded by toys and furniture, say

It was the two of us, and then we thought why not be more? So now we are four.”

An off camera voice asks them what they bought on the site and they answer beds for the children, dressers for the children, etc. The ad ends by encouraging others to follow their example and get things they need for their families on the site.

The couple in the ad are a real couple, who were married in Spain, but live in Mexico.


Much like the US, is a patchwork when it comes to recognising familias diversas, so is Mexico.

Antonio Medina, a Mexican journalist, will be writing about the significance of the ad in Proceso Magazine, a weekly news magazine with a wide readership.

If This Life-affirming, Love-affirming, Family-affirming Photo Doesn’t Make You Smile, Then Nothing Will

A North Carolina lesbian couple’s photos, showing each of the partners pregnant, has all the world smiling after they were posted on Instagram.

Trading places

A photo posted by Mel Roy (@therealmelroy) on

The picture first was taken in 2014, when Vanessa Iris Roy was pregnant with the couple’s son, Jax. The second was taken in January of this year, when Melanie Roy was pregnant with their daughter Ero. That’s Jax playing at their feet.

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Melanie told reporters

Vanessa and I have always said we would both like to carry. The woman’s body is incredible. The way it creates and grows another human being is amazing. We hope that our picture is that sign that some women may need to encourage them to carry a child.”

After a couple of months on Instagram, the side-by-side motherhood photos went viral. The Huffington Post reports they garnered more than 150,000 Likes on a Brazilian advocacy group’s Facebook page.

Melanie told The Huffington Post

It’s crazy to see that people were referring to my family as an inspiration. We are still in complete shock.”

Lesbian Couple Highlights the Obstacles to Raising Children in States that Ban Same-Sex Marriage

Raising two young children in states that don’t recognise that their parents are married has caused couple, Nicole and Pam Yorksmith, a range of problems.

They live in Kentucky and work in neighbouring Ohio – both states that ban same-sex marriage. This has complicated school enrolment, benefits, travel, tax and, most worrisome, medical emergencies.

While they consider themselves co-parents of the children that Nicole, 35, delivered after artificial insemination, a lot of other institutions don’t see them that way.

That was a problem when 9-month-old Orion came down with croup in the middle of the night.

“He had really laboured breathing,” Pam recalled. Their paediatrician recommended taking him to the emergency room, and since 4-year-old Grayden was asleep, Nicole stayed home with him.

But Pam wasn’t listed on Orion’s birth certificate or records – “An hour later, they had to call Nicole. They have to call my wife to get permission to treat my child.”

Orion recovered, but it was a troubling reminder that as much as they want to live as a normal family since their 2008 marriage in California, they face obstacles.

I’m a very traditional person. We knew very early on that we wanted to get married and have a family — let’s get a house, let’s get married, then let’s have kids. And that’s what we did.”

Heather Peace Welcomes Her First Daughter into the World

Heather Peace’s wife Ellie has given birth to their first daughter.

The out Waterloo Road and Lip Service star, who entered into a civil partnership with long-term girlfriend Ellie in 2013 and converted to a marriage last year, broke the news to her fans over Twitter.

The birth was greeted with congratulatory messages for the proud parents over Twitter from her fans, with many tweeting Peace their best wishes.

The news comes less than a month after Peace announced the pregnancy with her wife, Ellie.

Matalan New Ad Campaign Featurs Lesbian And Gay Families

Marking its 30th anniversary, the Uk retailer Matalan has launched a major new advertising campaign, aimed at showing the range of different households in Britain today.

The campaign – called ‘Made for Modern Families’ – features real life families (86 people and a dog in total) from across the UK and plays out to a poem recited by Roger McGough CBE.

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Its theme, summarised by one heterosexual single father in this behind the scenes video, is that

It doesn’t matter what age or gender combinations you’ve got. if there’s love and cohesion it’s a family and that’s it.”

Matalan 01

Marketing director Lee Pinnington said:

We really wanted to create something that was made by and for modern families and resonates with everyone at home as much as it did for the team when we were casting and shooting the advert.

Lesbian Couple Sues Utah for Legal Recognition as Child’s Parents

A married lesbian couple filed a lawsuit this week to force the Utah vital records office to recognise them as the legal parents of their child.

The ACLU of Utah and the national ACLU LGBT Project filed the complaint in U.S. District Court on behalf of Angie and Kami Roe, who seek to both be recognised as parents to their daughter, Lucy.

Under the state’s assisted reproduction law, the husband of a woman who conceives with donated sperm is automatically recognised as the child’s parent. But because Angie is Kami’s wife instead of her husband, the State Office of Vital Records and Statistics refuses to recognise Angie as Lucy’s parent, according to the ACLU.

The office told the couple that they must go through an expensive and invasive step-parent adoption process to become Lucy’s legal parents, the ACLU says. They argue in the lawsuit that the office’s refusal to recognise female spouses as parents violates their right to equal protection.

Angie Roe said in a news release.

Kami and I should not have to go through a time-consuming legal procedure to give our daughter the protection of having two legal parents. All we are asking is to be treated the same way that other married couples are already treated under state law.”

The lawsuit names Utah Department of Health executive director David Patton and vital statistics office director Richard Oborn as defendants.

According to health department spokesman Tom Hudachko…

While we have not had the opportunity to review today’s filing, we have been working for several months with both the ACLU and the plaintiffs in an attempt to reach a solution. Our hope is to resolve the issue at hand in a manner that serves the best interest of all parties,”

Leah Farrell, ACLU of Utah attorney, said in light of cases such as Kitchen v. Herbert, which make clear that Utah must extend the same rights in marriage to all couples, the state’s attempt to apply the assisted reproduction law differently for male and female spouses is untenable and harmful.

The Roes have also asked the court for a preliminary injunction requiring the vital records office to recognize Kami Roe as Lucy’s parent while the case is being argued.


New Report Highlights the Unfair Financial Treatment of Lesbian, Bi, and Trans* Women in America

A recent report carried out in America, has revealed that LGBT women are among those most at risk of poverty in the country.

The findings were released by a coalition of organisations, including the National Women’s Law Center.

Fatima Goss-Graves, the centre’s vice president for education and employment, says the report highlights the challenges most women face. However, the concerns are further magnified for LGBT women of colour, immigrant women, women raising children and transgender women.

“Getting adequate wages, having the supports necessary to both work and care for families, having access to health care – those are concerns that LGBT women are facing and in some cases facing more acutely.”

According to the report, almost 30 percent of bisexual women and 23 percent of lesbian women live in poverty compared to 20 percent of heterosexual women.

There are more than 5 million women in the US who identify as LGBT, and Goss-Graves says discriminatory laws, along with inequitable and outdated policies, compromise their economic security.

She adds some LGBT women are unable to access job-protected leave to care for a sick partner, and others struggle to obtain official identity documents that match the gender they live.

“Transgender women in particular have the problem of it being difficult to access appropriate ID when ID is so crucial in our society to access jobs, to access things like health care.”

Goss-Graves says state and federal policies should be improved to allow LGBT families the same protections and benefits available to others, including health insurance, family leave and child care assistance.


Paying an Unfair Price: The Financial Penalty for LGBT Women in America

The economic disparities experienced by LGBT women result from the stigma, discrimination, and the legal disadvantages they experience because they are women and because they are LGBT.

The report spotlights how LGBT women face unique challenges in three major areas that dramatically increase their economic insecurity and poverty rates:

JOBS: LGBT women struggle to find and keep good jobs. LGBT women face discrimination when looking for work and while on the job. The result is lower pay and fewer opportunities to advance. Workplaces also may be unwelcoming, hostile, or even physically unsafe. Transgender women face added challenges because they often cannot obtain accurate identity documents necessary for work.

HEALTH: LGBT women face challenges to good health that impact economic security. Healthcare can be more costly for LGBT women because of discriminatory laws, discrimination by providers, insurance exclusions for transgender people, and inadequate reproductive health coverage. The result: LGBT women are at greater risk for health problems that can affect quality of life and threaten their ability to work, and they often must pay higher costs for healthcare.

FAMILY RECOGNITION: Lack of support for LGBT women and their families results in higher costs. In many states, LGBT women still are not able to legally marry their partner or establish legal ties to their children. This means LGBT women may not be able to access affordable health insurance, safety net programs meant to keep families out of poverty, and job-protected leave to care for a sick partner. What’s more, like all women in the United States, LGBT women often are forced by law to make difficult and costly choices that can threaten their family’s economic security. The United States, for example, is the only developed country that does not offer paid parental leave.

Paying an Unfair Price: The Financial Penalty for LGBT Women in America offers broad policy recommendations to help address these harmful disparities and improve the lives of LGBT women.

Increase in LGBT Adopters Seen Across the UK

In the UK, same-sex couples have had the right to adopt children since 2005. While it certainly took parliament long enough to make that legal, now approximately 7% of all adoptions that take place in the UK are done by same-sex families.

The figures may be a little higher for the leading national adoption support service, After Adoption, though, as a massive 13% of all of their adoptions between 2013-2014 were done by lesbian, gay, bisexual or trans* adopters.

The reason for that figure, After Adoption says, is because they’re keen to show that sexuality or gender identity don’t make a difference when it comes to who can provide a loving family for a child. The CEO of After Adoption, Lynn Charlton also adds that:

“At After Adoption, our priority as a Voluntary Adoption Agency is to create happy, lasting families. For this we need people to come forward to adopt who can provide loving, stable homes and who will commit to children for life. Sexuality isn’t a factor in that.

People who identify as LGBT play a key role in creating these families and this year 1 in 5 of our newly approved adopters identified as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender. But we know some people are still worried they’ll be told “no”, or that their sexuality will be a barrier to adoption.”

Meanwhile, After Adoption also recently used their position as a key sponsor and exhibitor of New Family Social’s LGBT Adoption & Fostering Week (which took place in Manchester on March 2nd) to talk about the general adoption process but also to dispel common misconceptions that people have about the LGBT community and their adoption of children.

According to official statistics, there are over 60,000 children in care in the UK and while there are no official numbers, there is certainly a great deal of same-sex couples or those who identify as LGBT who would like to adopt and start families of their own. The fact that After Adoption is helping with that is certainly a good thing and you can find out more at their website here.

Woman Creates A Sex Toy To Aid Artificial Insemination Between Lesbian Couples

‘Semenette’ is a new sex toy that can help lesbian couples conceive through artificial insemination.


Boston inventor and a reproductive health expert, Stephanie Berman, can up with the clever concept because back in 2011, she wanted to get her wife pregnant. The couple were dismayed by the available techniques.

“The only options other than going to a doctor’s office would be with a turkey baster or a needle-less syringe. We started using those types of things and quickly realized it was as awful as it sounds. There is nothing romantic or sexy and fun about trying to impregnate your wife with a turkey baster… I started thinking, what if I could recreate the technology that a turkey baster would provide, but in the form of a sex toy?”

Stephanie Berman

Having worked in women’s reproductive health for 11 years, Berman was convinced that there had to be a better way, and what’s more, that she could design it.

More: Researchers Discover It Is Biologically Possible To Make A Baby From Two Same-Sex Parents

After much research, prototyping, and engineering, Berman developed the Semenette, an ejaculating dildo attached to a pump. It can be used solo or with a partner (and a harness, if you so choose) — to conceive, for pleasure, or both.

Stephanie’s baby daughter, Isabella, born in March 2014, is a testament to the Semenette’s efficacy.


Berman said she wanted to create the toy to make the process of conceiving have more “privacy and authenticity and intimacy” for gay couples.

The toy, which is an ejaculating dildo attached to a pump, can be used with a harness both for trying to conceive and for pleasure.

 “I’ve seen a lot of couples go through months and months of trying and being unsuccessful. [I’ve seen] the emotional toll it can take on people, not to mention the financial burden.

There are so many communities that the toy is applicable for and beneficial for. For example, the trans community has been [hugely supportive]…men with erectile dysfunction…even heterosexual couples [enjoy the sensation]. At the end of the day, this is a pleasure product; it’s a product that can provide pleasure for an individual or for a couple.”

Stephanie Berman

The product is on sale for $139.99 (£92) and can be used for pleasure.

How ‘The Fosters’ Is a Triumph for Queer Families Everywhere

The Fosters is a totally rare, but totally great example of diversity. The ABC Family drama centres on a married, interracial lesbian couple – Lena and Stef Adams-Foster – who deal with all of the usual trials and tribulations of raising a family and being good role models to their children. We haven’t seen an interracial lesbian couple featured so prominently on our TV screens since the appearance of Bette and Tina on The L Word.


And while The Fosters has been praised for its positive representation and the way that it treats the lives of these two queer women with the same respect as any heterosexual married couple, the show is also a triumph for queer children. This was made incredibly clear with the show’s portrayal of their son Jude as he questioned his gender presentation and his sexuality.

More: How TV Culture and Lesbian Visibility Have Changed After The L Word

In his storyline, we discover that Jude’s previous foster parents hit him when they found him trying on a dress and in the Stef-Adams household no one bats an eyelid when he paints his fingernails blue. Sadly though, ignoring the warnings from his sister Callie that people at school might not be so crazy on the idea of a boy who uses cosmetics, Jude goes to school and gets beaten up by a group of boys. When Jude’s new friend Connor paints his nails blue in solidarity though, the connection between the two boys begins to develop into a romance. In another scene, where the two boys go to the movies with two girls, we see them lift up the armrest to link their pinkie fingers and although it’s such a small act, that scene on TV right there is helping to tell queer kids everywhere that their identities are ok.

The Fosters makes that especially clear when Jude asks Lena how she knew she was gay, after he gets jealous over Connor with a girl. Stef tells him the following:

“Oh, honey. That’s totally normal. Not normal, that’s not what I mean. You know, let’s not use the word normal at all. Honey, everybody gets jealous when their friend gets a boyfriend or girlfriend. Everybody. And it doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re gay or that you’re not. And if you are or you’re not, it really doesn’t matter to us either way. We love you no matter what because you’re you.”


Meanwhile, The Fosters creator Peter Paige (who also worked on Queer As Folk) has said that “I don’t think that we’ve decided anything definitive about Jude. Jude is curious, and we’re exploring that.”

Together, the show is fostering a positive attitude about queer identities where viewers are able to understand that exploring or questioning your sexuality is A-ok, while parents of those with children who may be exploring or questioning learn how to support it. For parents and queer children alike it’s not always easy to put your feelings into words but The Fosters is aiding that and so it certainly deserves praise.


Researchers Discover It Is Biologically Possible To Make A Baby From Two Same-Sex Parents

A breakthrough by researchers from Cambridge University, has revealed that in just two years same-sex couples could have their own biological children by using stem cells of parents of the same sex.

The researchers have proven that human egg and sperm cells can be made from stem cells in the skin of two adults. They have stated that the technique could mean same-sex couples could have babies in just two years.

The scientists used stem cell lines from embryos as well as cells from the skin of five different adults. Ten different donor sources have been used so far and new germ-cell lines have been created from all of them.

The team, funded by The Wellcome Trust, compared the engineered stem cells with human cells from foetuses to make sure they had identical characteristics.

Azim Surani, leader of the project, told The Sunday Times:

We have succeeded in the first and most important step of this process, which is to show we can make these very early human stem cells in a dish. We have also discovered that one of the things that happens in these germ cells is that epigenetic mutations, the cell mistakes that occur with age, are wiped out.”

Lifting Same-Sex Marriage Ban In Florida Allows Lesbian Couple To Be Legally Recognised As Joint Parents

A Florida judge has ruled that genetics are not required for parenthood.

This is a first in Florida, but by lifting of a same-sex marriage ban now means an infant has the right to call both women in a lesbian couple her parents.

Palm Beach Circuit Judge, Lisa Small, ruled that both Lisa Maxwell and Christine Stephens-Maxwell are the parents of 7-week-old Satori. Satori was born last month after Christine became pregnant through in-vitro fertilization. The couple had married in New York in 2012.

Florida law recognizes that a baby born to a married couple from in-vitro fertilization is the child of both husband and wife. But Circuit Judge Lisa Small extended that recognition to the spouse of the child-bearing wife, now that Florida recognizes same-sex marriages.

“To afford the constitutional protections to which petitioner is entitled, the court interprets ‘husband’ … to mean the spouse of the child-bearing wife.”

Palm Beach Circuit Judge Lisa Small

Before the ban was lifted earlier this month, Lisa would have had to adopt Satori.


“I can’t imagine having to go to a hospital, having to go to a school and being turned away and not recognized that this is my child who I love dearly”

Lisa Maxwell.

Lisa Maxwell’s petition also asked Small to recognize the couple’s out-of-state marriage, which she did.

“Not only can we get married, but we can create wonderful families.”

Christina Stephens-Maxwell

Small’s ruling builds on the ground-breaking federal court ruling that legalized same-sex marriage Jan. 6 in Florida.

The Funeral of Vanessa Collier Cancelled, Because Pastor Objected To Memorial Video Of Her Kissing Her Wife

The funeral of Vanessa Collier was due to be held at New Hope Ministries in Lakewood, Colorado and was attended by hundreds of her family and friends. However, 15 minutes before the funeral was due to start, the pastor informed the family that the funeral could not go ahead due to the inappropriate content in the video to be shown during the service.

Pastor Ray Chavez objected to the photo of Vanessa kissing her wife, Christina Higley, as well as photo of her proposing. They were told it could only go ahead if the photos were edited out. What’s more, the family said the ministry had the videos that day before, but did not review them until the morning of the service.




Instead, her family decided to move to the funeral home across the street, which only had a capacity of 60 people. Her casket was closed and driven across in the hearse.

Vanessa was 33 when she died, and left behind her wife and two children. Her family had informed the New Hope Ministeries of her sexuality, and had the video approved by them two days before the service.

Her cousin, Jessica Maestras who helped organise the funeral, said of it being moved:

“It was disgusting. 180 people had to squeeze into a room that held about 60 people. The only other thing they asked me was to have these videos ready two days prior so they could review them. I provided the video, and got the okay from the funeral home that we would be able to show it.”

Jessica Maestras

On Tuesday, friends and family of Collier were back at new Hope Ministries protesting the events that happened over the weekend.

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“I am against bigotry and stand with my friend Vanessa Collier’s family in seeking an apology and refund from Pastor Ray Chavez and New Hope Ministries. The acts that took place at her funeral were wrong and no family should ever have to go through that.”

Jose Silva

Pastor Ray Chavez, the man who cancelled the services, has refused to comment, but has however refund the family’s money.

New Italian TV Ad from Vodafone Features a Lesbian Family

“It is time to have courage” – a new TV advert from Vodafone is creating a stir. Playing the role of an expecting father, a woman waits eagerly in hospital waiting room. She then enters a room to embrace her partner and their newborn son. Vodafone modernisation.

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To open the video an actor says:

“Bisogna avere pazienza, ci vuole tempo, dobbiamo fare un passo alla volta. Ma magari invece no. Magari invece è arrivata l’ora di avere coraggio.”

Which roughly means…

“Be patient, it takes time. We must take one step at a time. But maybe not. Maybe instead it’s time to have courage.”

All though very PG, the scene is a big-step in the right direction for a country, which sometimes struggles to support same-sex unions.