Same-sex parents share their joy

Proud parents Chantal Turner and Abigail Pratt with their baby Christine Pratt.
Proud parents Chantal Turner and Abigail Pratt with their baby Christine Pratt. Scottie Simmonds

IF YOU asked new parents Christine Pratt and Chantal Turner how they felt about the birth of their first child Abigail on October 8, the word "proud" would sing out from every sentence.

When the couple first met, children were a priority for both Christine and Chantal.

"We've been together for six years now and we've both wanted kids from the dot," Miss Pratt said.

"When I first came out, I organised gay meet and greets," she said.

"Word got out and Chantal came to one of those meetings and we got married (had a commitment ceremony) a year later."

The couple said it took time to organise having a family, because they needed to know any potential donor would be happy to provide them with more than one child.

In the end, it was a close male friend who gave Christine and Chantal the chance to start their tribe.

"We got a friend of ours to donate for us and we just did artificial insemination," Miss Pratt said.

"He will know Abigail and Abigail will know him and he will donate for the next one."

Miss Pratt said with plans for her partner Chantal to carry the next pregnancy, it would give their children a blood link.

"If I haven't given birth to both of them, at least they've got siblings," she said.

Little Abigail makes up part of the tiny, but steadily growing 0.1% of young children growing up with same-sex parents in Australia.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, just over one in 10 same-sex couples have children of any age living with them.

Miss Pratt said society had become more diverse in the last decade, but it was still a challenge for male same-sex couples to raise families without discrimination.

"For us girls it's a lot easier to have kids and be out in public and hold hands and give a peck on the cheek," she said.

"Society doesn't see it as okay for two guys to raise a family."

But the new mum said she looked forward to people becoming more tolerant.

"Society is slowly becoming more accepting - Bundaberg now is a lot more open-minded than it was 10 years ago," she said.

Miss Pratt said it shouldn't matter if children were raised by step-parents, single parents or gay parents, as long as they were loved.

"At the very end of the day, you can look after a kid or you can't," Miss Pratt said.

"She's no different to any other child born in a nuclear family."


Candice and Zoe's story 

Like Christine Pratt and Chantal Turner, Candice Blake and Zoe Maidment knew they wanted to start a family.

The couple gave birth to their first child and son, Sailor, on October 1.

After more than three years together and with a happy home set up, Ms Maidment said she and her partner Candice knew it was time to add a bouncing new addition to their lives.

"We've been lucky having good support from our family and friends," Ms Maidment said.

But she said prejudices were still present in society.

"We try not to think about what other people are saying," she said.

"We love him and we're going to make sure he has the best life he can."

The couple said they would like to have more children in the future, after conceiving Sailor with the help of a fertility clinic.

"It was awesome, it was a quick labour and Candice did a great job," she said.

"We're just super happy."

Ms Maidment said it was important for people in same-sex relationships to be themselves.

"It's okay to be who you are," she said.

"If (starting a family) is something you want, don't not do it."

Topics:  children family lifestyle love parenting same-sex

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