Gayby Family Affair

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With the LGBT community struggling for equality, we often face scrutiny when it comes to the idea of same-sex couples having children. Although bringing a child into this world is something shrouded in love and lifelong commitment, it is often seen as something different with two mums or two dads.

 

I spent a whole day with Jill, Florence and Jasper, a couple and their son who defy any negative misconceptions about same-sex parenting.  Jasper is eighteen months old, and has been two years in the making for the happy couple, who have been together for seven years.

The day starts off like any other family household. Cue 6am, Jasper is wide awake and wanting attention, breakfast is followed by playtime, gardening, snacks, lunchtime, naptime, drawing, snacks, playtime, reading, dinnertime more reading and bedtime. One thing is certain through the run of this day; Jasper has a very stable and loving home environment.

Questions posed about negative backlash and a lacking male role baffle the couple, who believe parenting is grounded simply by love. ‘Some politician made the comment of “who will take the child to the soccer”, we can’t believe that, it’s just so… not even of this century. It’s hard to comprehend because – who thinks like that?!’ said Florence.

‘I think children grow up on love. If you go back to the old school days, most of the time the fathers had very little to do with the upbringing and yet the kid survived, he’s got two pops, two grandfathers here, he’s got uncles’, explained Jill.

Are there any male roles these two women can’t fill? According to Jill: Definitely not.

‘Florence is the man! She can fix anything! Ask her to go and build a wall and she’ll do it’.

Brushing all negativity to the side, the two parents brimmed with excitement talking about watching Jasper grow up, and the favourite part of their day.

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He comes into the room with his shopping trolley and his blanket in it and he gives us his blanket and that’s his good morning. He runs in every morning and says “I’M READY!” and gives us his bottle. It’s lovely; he just wants to see you, the raw expression on his face! We took him to Northbridge to see the big screen, and he just couldn’t get over how big the TV screen was!’ said Florence. Both women gushed about the prospect of Jasper soon talking, and watching him walk into school for the first time.

Both Jill and Florence have decided to make the sperm donor a recognisable face in Jasper’s life, they’ve also decided to let him pick what he calls them, ‘he calls us “Mumma”, you can tell who he means with the intonation, we’ll let him work out what he wants to properly call us by himself’, explained Jill.

With Jasper set to be the only child in the women’s lives, both plan to put 110% involvement , Florence explained ‘he is going to be our one and only so why not? We haven’t got four other children to go to the sports carnival, we have one, so we’ll be there with the video cam, making cupcakes and stuff’. The two hope that their presence will breed acceptance in Jasper’s school environment.
Nadine Walker

Photos By Claire Alexander

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