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19x Queer & Lesbian Family Stories | LOVE Makes a Family

In this article, we’re sharing queer & lesbian family stories to normalize queer and lesbian parents and to normalize what LGBTQ families look like.

Love makes a family– within the LGBTQ community, we know a little too well that blဝဝd is not always thicker than water.

We asked 19 couples to share their stories, we asked them about their relationship and the journey towards parenthood. Every love story is unique, and so is every family story.

There is a serious lack of LGBTQ family representation worldwide. We hope by sharing these stories, this information can help people on their journey to parenthood.

While there is no ‘right way to become parents or a family, there are many options for queer people. And if there’s little visibility: you might not know what these options are.

Visibility matters. Sharing stories helps.

We also have a Dutch blog post with Dutch queer/lesbian families!

Queer & Lesbian Parents Share Their Stories

  1. Chanel & Dínea

Pronouns: Chanel she/he/they, Dínea she/her
LGBTQ+ identity: both queer panടexual
Dating since: 13 May 2009
Started planning parenthood: June 2010
Became parents: 16 December 2018

Chanel and Dinea @ladyboisandbabyboy

Journey to parenthood

We sought out a trusted cryobank but eventually changed our minds about continuing on that path and used a known donor instead.

We chose a family friend who was experienced and successful with donating. Dínea wanted to carry so it wasn’t something that was debated about.

Best thing about being a family

Sharing and receiving unconditional love!

Shittiest thing about being a queer family

People treating you like a sideshow act just for existing. It’s hard to be made uncomfortable on family outings but we try to make the best of it.

Best advice for queer & lesbian people/couples wanting to start a family

Do it! And don’t let anyone deter you!

Chanel and Dínea offer one on one vent sessions and support for LGBTQ+ families and LGBTQ+ youth. DM them to connect and make sure to follow them @ladyboisandbabyboy!

  1. Cara Cochran

Pronouns: she/her
LGBTQ+ Identity: lesbian
Dating current partner since 15 December 2018
Became parent: 15 December 2012

Cara Cochran @caras_atl

Journey to motherhood

My journey is a little bit different. Myla is my biological daughter from before I came out. Her birth father was only in the picture for a short time, and I raised Myla by myself as a single mom for the first 5 years of her life.

I met Cara W, and that was it for me. I knew she was the one! She had always wanted a child, and from the first moment she met Myla, she became a mother!

Their relationship is so incredibly beautiful to me because it is a reminder every day that DNA doesn’t make a family, love does.

Myla loves her two moms more than anything in this world, and I just couldn’t ask for a more amazing little family!

Best thing about being a family

The best thing about being a family is knowing you have someone to count on, support you and love you no matter what!

It’s being able to explore new places together, and try new things with the ones that know and love you best.

Shittiest thing about being a queer/lesbian family

Having to endure people thinking you’ll taint or ruin the child because they don’t have a mom/dad family. The rude comments we get about Myla not having a father, or the outcasting that can occur from other parents or kids once they realize we’re a gay family!

Especially in the south, in America, people can be so cruel towards gay families sometimes.

Best advice for queer & lesbian people/couples wanting to start a family

Make sure you and your partner are on the same page. Make sure you are both ALL IN!!

It’s never easy to raise a child, and you want to make sure both parents are active participants throughout that child’s whole life, even in the hard times.

Also, don’t listen to the negative comments people have to say. You choose YOU, and your happiness! It’s the best decision you will ever make, and the most rewarding gift you will ever give yourself.

Lastly, you can still have adventures!! Babies don’t mean that the fun is over, and you have to stop living.

Sometimes it’s the most beautiful to see the world through a child’s eyes, so just know that there is still so much to see, and explore altogether as a family!

Unconditional love

Parenthood should never be conditional! I see too many parents saying they love their child, but only if they live, act and become what they want them to be! This is not parenting, and shouldn’t be tolerated.

Parenthood is simply UNCONDITIONAL LOVE! If you’re not going to provide that, then you shouldn’t be a parent! We see this too often in our LGBTQ+ community, and it’s heartbreaking.

Follow Cara on Instagram @caras_atl

  1. Sarah and Anna

Pronouns: both she/her
Dating since: 14 December 2012
Started planning parenthood: March 2018
Became parents: 25 January 2019

Sarah and Anna @ohwowmomentsmamas

Journey to parenthood

We chose private infant adoption, and we were matched with our sweet boy almost 1 year after starting the journey.

We knew we wanted our first experience as parents to be with an infant, so we chose private adoption. We weren’t ready to explore IVF* yet at that point, and I (Sarah) have always felt called to adoption, so luckily Anna was on board with that plan!

*In vitro fertilization, where and egg is removed from the ovaries and fertilized in a laboratory.

Best thing about being a family

All of the love, the laughter and the memories we are making together.

Shittiest thing about being a queer/lesbian family

Our child doesn’t have any friends/family who have the same family make-up as him. We are hoping to change that and meet more gay families in our area. Also, people don’t always immediately recognize us as a family.

They will ask us who the mom is, and then it’s sometimes awkward when we say we both are. It’s not easy to become a family as part of the LGBTQ community, and it is very expensive no matter how you choose to do it.

Best advice for queer & lesbian people/couples wanting to start a family

If you want it, go for it and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Do your research and make sure that you are working with people who want to support your family.

Follow Sarah and Anna on Instagram @ohwowmomentsmamas

  1. Vanessa and Jory

Pronouns: she/her
LGBTQ+ Identity: lesbian
Dating since: 26 March 2011
Started planning parenthood: June 2015
Became parents: 7 July 2016

Vanessa and Jory @vnessadoll

Journey to parenthood

We became parents via at home insemination through a known donor.

We decided on our donor because he was healthy and we would have access to him and his medical history if an issue would arise with our children. We decided my wife (Jory) would carry because she is two years older than me.

Best thing about being a family

The unconditional love we have for each other and our kids. We never thought it possible so we are very grateful to be parents.

Shittiest thing about being a queer/lesbian family

The assumption that one of us is “less” of a mom because we are not genetically related to one of our kids. People have asked me if I love my son less because he is not biologically related to me.

Best advice for queer & lesbian people/couples wanting to start a family

There are so many ways to make a family. Don’t get discouraged when one option isn’t available. No matter what anyone says, LOVE makes a family – not genetics.

Follow Vanessa & Jory on Instagram @vnessadoll

  1. Jessica and Samantha

Pronouns: both she/her
LGBTQ+ Identity: lesbian
Dating since: 23 January 2013
Start planning parenthood: February 2017
Became parents: 30 November 2020

Jessica and Samantha @callusthepaces

Journey to becoming lesbian parents

We found our donor through an online bank. Our criteria was based off of a number of things including but not limited to blood type, CMV status, genetic history/makeup, education, personal attributes, and more.

As far as carrying, we always knew Sam would carry first as Jessica wasn’t sure she wanted to carry at the beginning. Seeing Sam pregnant and experiencing pregnancy was something we both wanted to happen as soon as possible.

We started our journey to parenthood via IUI* in February of 2017. Samantha went through 6 failed cycles, and Jessica went through 4.

After Jessica’s last cycle, they decided to switch over to IVF with Samantha. 12 embryos were frozen and sent off for PGS testing. Of the 12, 6 came back normal so we were set to move forward with the FET.

Transfer was March 30, 2020 and we finally received our positive pregnancy test 5 days after the transfer. Our baby girl, Palmer Rose, was born in November.

*Intrauterine insemination, male contribution that has been washed and concentrated are placed directly in the uterus around the time the ovary releases one or more eggs to be fertilized.

Best thing about being a family

The best thing about being a family is knowing that this unit we’ve created is truly ours. Our IG handle is @callusthepaces because we wear our family name proudly.

Being able to see our dreams of creating a family and growing together finally come to fruition is an amazing feeling.

We chose each other, and believe that Palmer chose us. We get to choose to love each other daily, and there’s no greater feeling than that.

Shittiest thing about being a queer/lesbian family

The worst thing is the constant bashing of how our family was created and/or the people who feel like they have the right to say who and who isn’t a “real” parent.

Someone commented on our video and asked “Who did she sleep with? Where’s the father?”

Clearly we are a lesbian couple, and we choose to not have a father in our child’s life. Our decisions and the validity of our family shouldn’t be debatable, but unfortunately most feel like it is.

Best advice for queer & lesbian people/couples wanting to start a family

Our biggest point of advice is to do your research before getting started. Also know that your journey is your own! No couple will experience the same as another, so don’t get caught up in comparing because your journey is your own.

Be each other’s support system, but also don’t be afraid to branch out and create your own TTC (trying-to-conceive) tribe. Nothing feels better than having that sense of community when your family and friends may not be able to understand what you both are going through.

Follow Jessica and Samantha on @callusthepaces

  1. Beth

Pronouns: she/her
LGBTQ+ identity: bi, my wife: lesbian
Dating current partner since:  1 March 2015
Became parent: 13 December 2012

Beth @theinclusivestepmom

Journey to parenthood

My wife adopted her daughter at birth with her ex-partner. It was a private adoption that fell into their laps through a family member who had a friend who had a family member.

My stepdaughter is now 9, and we have been working to add an “ours” baby to the mix to grow our family. We have been trying to do this both via fertility and fostering to adopt.

We used the California ടperm bank previously PLUS a known donor over the years do try and conceive via IUI. I am the one who would carry, and we chose donors primary on intuition.

We always have all doors open for however a new little soul wants to come here.

Best thing about being a family

Creating an environment full of love, being married to my best friend,  and watching/helping a kiddo grow into someone who is going to make a positive impact on this world.

Shittiest thing about being a queer/lesbian family

We live in rural America, so getting “looks” is never fun. My wife is androgynous presenting and often gets reprimanded for using the women’s restroom.

Dealing with bigotry and losing family members due to “religious” beliefs is also difficult and painful.

Best advice for queer & lesbian people/couples wanting to start a family

Be open to different avenues!

Follow Beth on Instagram @theinclusivestepmom

  1. Tara & Mandi

Pronouns: both she/hers
Dating since: 6 August 2010
Started planning parenthood: May 2014
Became parents: 8 November 2015

Tara and Mandi @livingrosa

Journey to parenthood

We knew that we wanted to start trying for children right after we became a married lesbian couple in June of 2014. While we were engaged, we saw a possibility to get everything in order to start our family right after our honeymoon.

We decided that RIVF (Reciprocal IVF) is how we wanted to start to try to create our family. Using Tara’s egg and donor ടperm to create embryos which would be implanted into Mandi and she would carry the pregnancies.

Luckily this route worked for us and we created all 4 of our children with the same method.

We went to Cali Cryo bank and choose an open donor (we purchased in bulk and used the same donor to create all our children). Mandi always felt the desire to be pregnant and Tara can go without that experience, haha.

We did RIVF so we would both feel included in the process of creating our children.

Best thing about being a family

There are so many great things about being a family. If I had to pick one it would just be loving each other. But the truth is its all the little moments that make being a family so fun.

Watching your wife love your kids, watching your kids love each other, watching them play, learn and grow. These are the things that make my life complete.

Shittiest thing about being a queer/lesbian family

Just like the little moments are the best, there are also little moments that hurt.

Someone asking who is the real mother or who is the father instead of using correct terms like donor because our children will never have a father, they have 2 moms.

When your kids start to get older 100% of the things they see on tv feature families with a mom and dad. It’s hard for them to understand that their family (which feels so normal to them) isn’t the same as everyone else’s.

Lack of representation is the hardest part of raising kids in a queer family. We hope to see this more in lesbian shows and lesbian movies.

Best advice for queer & lesbian people/couples wanting to start a family

My advice is always to make a plan but also have backup plans because the journey is sometimes not as easy as you hoped for.

Follow Tara and her beautiful family on Instagram @livingrosa

  1. Kat & Paige

Pronouns: she/her
LGBTQ+ Identity: lesbian
Dating since: 14 August 2014
Started planning parenthood: February 2019
Became parents: 29 May 2020

Kat and Paige @iamkatoliver

Journey to parenthood

Paige and I spent about a year going through the process to become licensed as foster parents and a foster home in Texas. Once we became licensed to foster, we received our first placement within 2 weeks.

Somehow, both Paige and I just knew we wanted to foster (and eventually adopt). We never really had a conversation around IF we wanted to do it… the conversation was more of when do we want to do it and what ages, etc.

It’s something we always laugh about – being on the same page somehow without ever really discussing it.

Best thing about being a family

The laughs! There are challenging days as a new parent but the laughs make it all worth it.

Shittiest thing about being a queer/lesbian family

For us, it’s the comments and mindset that we aren’t really a family or a “complete” household for a child without a male figure in it.

In the foster world, we have seen a lot of comments and questions around if children are better off with married, straight couples vs LGTBQ+ couples.

Best advice for queer & lesbian people/couples wanting to start a family

Keep an open mind and heart! There are so many paths to a family and no one path is better than the others. No matter what anyone says or thinks, your family is defined by you and your love – not someone else’s.

Follow Kat on Instagram @iamkatoliver

  1. Ursula and Brittany

Pronouns: both she/hers
LGBTQ+ Identity: both queer
Dating since: 20 April 2010
Started planning parenthood: February 2016
Became parents: 29 July 2019

Ursula and Brittany @ursyurs88 @sevensilentmiles

Journey to becoming queer parents

We chose to become parents via Reciprocal IVF, using Ursula’s eggs and Brittany’s womb.

Our intention was to choose an open donor but based on options and characteristics availability, we decided to go with an anonymous donor.

Originally, we opted for Ursula to be pregnant but due to complications with PCOS we eventually decided for Brittany to become pregnant via reciprocal IVF.

In the end, it was the best decision for our family as it allowed us to both participate in the pregnancy.

Best thing about being a family

The best thing about being a family is the truly unconditional love that we have for our twins. It brings us so much joy to watch them laugh and smile. We feel so grateful to be their moms.

Shittiest thing about being a queer/lesbian family

The worst thing about being a queer family is the lack of understanding we get from hetero families. Sure, our family was built in a unique way and doesn’t look like theirs… in the end we have the same foundation, which is that love makes the family.

Best advice for queer & lesbian people/couples wanting to start a family

Our best advice is to do what makes you happy even if people in your circle don’t agree or understand your desire for a family.

We (as queer families) might have to jump through more hurdles to create our families but it is because of those challenges and/or the amount of planning we put into building our families that make us so grateful for them.

You’ll never take your children for granted and they’ll always know that they were created with so much love and longing.

Follow Ursula and Brittany on Instagram @ursyurs88 and @sevensilentmiles

  1. Alejandra & Morgan

Pronouns: she/her
LGBTQ+ Identity: Bi/Lesbian/Queer
Dating since: 26 August 2016
Started planning parenthood: August 2019
Becoming parents: November 2021

Alejandra & Morgan @twomomsinmotion

Journey to motherhood

We used a fertility clinic for cycle monitoring and did at home insemination with a known donor who is a friend of ours.

Morgan carried. We chose for her to carry first because of our age difference and she is older by 10 years. Choosing our donor was a journey in itself.

We had a lot of options to choose from; our brothers offered to donate, we could use an anonymous or a known donor from our lives.

Each option has its benefits. We decided to use a known donor in our life because of his ethnicity and personality. He has a great understanding and respect for the LGBT community and overall is an incredible human being.

Best thing about being a family

Love. There is so much of it. We didn’t even know this much could exist! Also, knowing that we will be in each other’s lives forever and be able to celebrate all the milestones together.

Alejandra and I very much admire each other. Knowing we will raise a child with the best of aspects of one another and values that we share is incredible.

Shittiest thing about being a queer/lesbian family

We had a difficult experience at the fertility clinic. They didn’t have much experience with the LGBT community and associated family planning. Beyond that we deal with every day comments that we navigate around.

We don’t mind educating people but sometimes it gets tiresome. Comments like; Who’s the father? Who’s the mother? How’s your husband? And even “I feel bad for the child”.

Best advice for queer & lesbian people/couples wanting to start a family

Give yourself more time than you expect for family planning. Every step along the way takes time. Be patient. In the meantime, surround yourself with people who love you unconditionally.

Family is not defined by genes, it is built and maintained through love.

Follow Morgan & Alejandra on Instagram @twomomsinmotion

  1. Nicole and Nish

Pronouns: she/her
LGBTQ+ Identity: lesbian
Dating since: 21 August 2009
Started planning parenthood: January 2014
Became parents: 6 November 2018

Nicole and Nish @nishandcolesworld photo by @barefeetimagery
Photo by @barefeetimagery

Journey to becoming lesbian parents

We hoped that the journey would be an easy one and never expected it would take us three years of fertility treatments (IUI*) with a fertility specialist before we would get pregnant.

When it finally took we were at the end of our rope and had almost accepted not having children of our own. So thankful we did not give up on trying for our miracle.

We always knew that Nicole wanted to carry and that Nish did not have that desire so it was a very easy decision to make.

*Intrauterine insemination

Best thing about being a family

The best thing about being a family is having a loving and supportive unit that shares in unconditional love.

Shittiest thing about being a queer/lesbian family

The main thing is those who hate or do not agree with the LGBTQ community acting as if we are not truly a family or that Nish is not Pella’s mother because she did not carry.

Best advice for queer & lesbian people/couples wanting to start a family

Be prepared for the journey. It may not always turn out the way you expected it to.

Patience and faith brought us a long way through our journey and even during tough moments we were able to hold onto each other to make it through.

Follow Nicole and Nish on Instagram @nishandcolesworld

  1. Abby

Pronouns: she/her
LGBTQ+ Identity: Bi/queer
Dating current partner since: 31 March 2013

Abby @abbysrollercoasterlife lgbtq family

Journey to motherhood

I was a parent before Jamie, my wife, came into the picture. My oldest was conceived due to a relationship I had with her birth father.

He is no longer in the picture, but Jamie is the only other parent Maiyah knows as she came into her life when she was 18 months old. Jamie and Maiyah have their own relationship, and I’ve loved watching it grow over the past 8 years.

Our second child Jamison was conceived via Reciprocal IVF. A decision we made because Jamie did not want to be pregnant but I did and I also wanted her to have a biological child. Regardless of who Jamison is related too she is both Jamie and I’s daughter and Maiyah’s sister.

We decided to go with an open donor because we wanted our child to be able to have access to that information when she is older. We both believe that knowing who helped bring you into the world is important.

Best thing about being a family

Being surrounded by people you love. Sure we drive each other crazy but being able to live and share my life with my wife and children is the best feeling.

Shittiest thing about being a queer/lesbian family

The worst thing is how difficult it is to expand your family. As time moves on I hope it gets easier for all families.

Best advice for queer & lesbian people/couples wanting to start a family

Do what feels right for you. Everyone will have their opinions on what worked for them, but your journey is your own, and you should do what feels right for you.

Follow Abby and her beautiful family on @abbysrollercoasterlife

  1. Raffinee and Micaela

Pronouns: both she/her
LGBTQ+ Identity: both lesbian
Dating since: 31 December 2011
Started planning parenthood: June 2014
Became parents: 3 April 2016

@raffinee lesbian family

Journey to becoming parents

Our journey to parenthood was filled with a lot of ups and downs. A lot of unknowns, new information, and big decisions get thrown at you and sometimes figuring out what feels like the best course is hard.

We started with what we knew. Both of us wanted to get pregnant and that we wanted our children to have the same donor. We had 15 vials of donor ടperm to have our children- so we just had to figure out how we were going to get there!

We loved the idea of them sharing all sharing that special bond, so we wanted to find a donor that had enough vials. We looked for around four months to find a person who felt like a good fit. Once we found him, we kept comparing every subsequent donor we found to him, and that’s when we knew we landed on the one!

We relied on our fertility doctors to give us their best advice as to where to start. Since we both had fairly straightforward health histories and a pretty good supply of ടperm, we decided to start with IUI.

On the fourth try Micaela got pregnant with our son, Mateo. Shortly after he was born, I got pregnant on a medicated cycle of IUI with our twins, Luca and Lola. It was my fifth cycle of IUI.

Best thing about being a family

How can I choose just one?! I have always wanted to be a mother. When I was younger and navigating my orientation, I was worried that I couldn’t be BOTH a mother and a lesbian. I didn’t know any lesbian families growing up and didn’t see that modeled for me in the media.

When I realized that the two were not mutually exclusive and that I could HAVE both I felt like my entire world opened up.

Now that my dream has become a reality, I feel like it is literally the best thing ever.

It is so much more work than I ever anticipated, but it is more rewarding than I ever thought possible. The love that Micaela and I have for our children knows no bounds and it’s such a beautiful thing to experience parenthood alongside Micaela.

I love seeing Micaela as a parent. I love watching the bonds between our three children form and deepen. I love those moments when our kids show up for each other. I love when our kids tell us they love us out of the blue and unprompted. I love watching them experience things- seeing their faces light up will never stop being one of my favorite joys of parenthood.

I love so many things! It has changed and shaped my life in the best way possible and I am so grateful!

Shittiest thing about being a queer/lesbian family

When people try to place their own gender norms, societal constructs and heteronormative beliefs on OUR family it can be frustrating.

I always try and take remarks and comments with a grain of salt knowing that negative thoughts or opinions stem from their limited way of thinking. If it’s a safe environment to do so, I also take that moment to do some kind of education.

Follow Raffinee and Micaela on Instagram @raffinee and @memicam

  1. Ivy and Terry

Pronouns: she/her
LGBTQ+ Identity: lesbian
Dating since: 10 March 2015*
Started planning parenthood: 20 June 2018
Became parents: 31 March 2020

Ivy and Terry @mrsxrebel @terrysuxx

Journey to motherhood

We got really lucky because our journey was very quick and easy. We did IUI and it worked on the first try. We went to our first doctor’s appointment to get all the details and I happened to be ovulating that week, so I got pregnant 2 days later.

We did a standard insemination and didn’t use my fertility medicine.

Terry never wanted to carry so it only left one option. We chose a donor who was half white and half Asian to match Terry’s ethnicity.

Since she wouldn’t be the biological parent we chose someone who looked like her. He was also very intelligent, healthy, and nice. He was the perfect fit for our family.

Best thing about being a family

Everything! She is an amazing little girl so full of life. She keeps us on our toes and there is never a dull moment.

Shittiest thing about being a queer/lesbian family

The worst thing is people staring and giving us mean looks. Luckily she is still very little but I think it will be a lot harder when she goes to school.

I know children can be ruthless to anyone who is different. We always just ignore rude people so we will have to teach her to do the same.

Best advice for queer & lesbian people/couples wanting to start a family

Just go for it! There’s never a right time to have a baby, and it will be a huge learning experience no matter what age you are.

Don’t let any outside judgments or expectations hold you back from what makes you happy. All that matters is your little family.

Follow Ivy on Instagram @mrsxrebel and Terry on @terrysuxx!

*in May 2021, Ivy and Terry announced their split on social media

  1. MyLin and Lindsay

Pronouns: both she/her
LGBTQ+ identity: MyLin bi/queer and Lindsay lesbian/queer
Dating since: 19 February 2013
Started planning parenthood: March 2017
Became parents: 22 October 2019

MyLin and Lindsay @stokeskennedy_ queer lesbian family

Journey to parenthood

I (MyLin) had a child from a previous relationship so Lindsay came into this relationship as a bonus mom. But we always wanted to have kids together.

We started our journey TTC in 2017. We had discussed and decided since I had one already that Lindsay would be the first to carry. And our donor is a friend of ours whom we love and trust and are so grateful for.

So we used a known donor, via at-home insemination (AHI) and got pregnant on the first try but then Lindsay had a miscarriage 10 weeks in.

It was rough getting over that shock but after a few months we started trying again. We tried for a little over a year with a couple different donors with no luck.

After seeking help from a fertility specialist we found out Lindsay had PCOS. We took some tips from the doctor and got a new donor.

Lindsay got pregnant on the second try. Now 15 months later, I am also pregnant and we used the same donor via AHI. We are very excited for our growing family.

Best thing about being a family

It has been such a joy building this family out of love and creating an environment for our children that is intentionally filled with love, acceptance and open communication.

Shittiest thing about being a queer/lesbian family

I think the most annoying thing about being a queer family is people feeling the need to share their opinion of saying our kids “need” a dad or asking who our baby’s “father” is.

It’s like 1) that is our donor and 2) families vary in so many wonderful and beautiful forms.

A family might consist of a single parent or a grandparent or 2 moms or 2 moms and 1 dad or 2 moms and 2 dads and that is perfect.

Unsolicited opinions always come, but we just don’t give it as much energy anymore.

Best advice for queer & lesbian people/couples wanting to start a family

Just do it! Do the research, reach out to people in the LGBTQ+ community that have been successful in conceiving, ask questions.

You deserve the family of your dreams and although there are still several obstacles in our way, it is attainable.

I also advise looking into second parent adoption to make sure the family you have created is secure… legally.

Follow MyLin and Lindsay on Instagram @stokeskennedy

  1. Silvana and Debora

LGBTQ+ identity: lesbian
Dating since: 14 March 2013
Started planning parenthood: 10 December 2019
Became parents: 6 December 2020

Silvana and Debora @fitvana_ queer lesbian family

Journey to parenthood

My wife (Debora) and I always knew we wanted children. When we were ready to have kids, we embarked on the journey. It took three tries until we finally conceived.

My wife and I wanted something “real” more personal and less medical. Therefore, we got pregnant at home. We did the IUI method.

My wife wanted to carry our first child because she is older. We chose a donor based on his height, education, looks, and family medical history. Also someone who resembles me.

Best thing about being a family

It’s the true love ! Family is something you can’t replace.  

Shittiest thing about being a queer/lesbian family

Worst part about being a lesbian: it’s not being accepted for loving another human being. My Dad chose not to be part of my life after finding out the person I want to spend the rest of my life with is a woman.

Best advice for queer & lesbian people/couples wanting to start a family

It will be a bumpy road. Be patience and more importantly don’t give up.

Follow Silvana and Debora on Instagram @fitvana_

  1. Soy and Aja

Pronouns: both she/her
LGBTQ+ identity: both lesbian
Dating since: 11 December 2011
Started planning parenthood: 11 March 2018
Became parents: 19 August 2019

Soy and Aja @soyboogie @gottaluvaja lesbian parents

Journey to parenthood

We spent the majority of 2018 learning as much as we could about the IUI process and actively started trying to conceive in April.

We weren’t sure what our process would look like (whether it would be successful on the 1st attempt or if we were going to have to try multiple times.

After 4 failed IUI attempts we were finally successful on our 5th attempt! Although our journey to parenthood was far from easy we wouldn’t have it any other way.

On August 19th 2019 we welcomed Arlo into the world!

Best thing about being a family

The absolute best part of being a family is experiencing life together. Whether it’s something Aja and I have done a million times once we do the same activity with Arlo it’s like experiencing something new for the first time.

Shittiest thing about being a queer/lesbian family

The worst is that even though we live in a pretty “progressive” state. In the eyes of the law Arlo has to be adopted by Soy as 2nd parent.

We planned and conceived him together yet on paper until Soy has officially 2nd Parent adopted him, there is no legal tie. We’ve already begun the 2nd Parent Adoption process but feel as though the laws should’ve caught up by now.

Best advice for queer & lesbian people/couples wanting to start a family

Be patient – be there for one another & advocate for yourselves at all times.

Follow Soy and Aja on Instagram @soyboogie & @gottaluvaja

  1. Jessi & Millie

Pronouns: she/her
LGBTQ+ identity: we use Lesbian, Queer and Gay interchangeably
Dating since: 2015 (married since 2019)
Started planning parenthood: 2017

Jessi and Millie

Journey to parenthood

In 2017, we started foster care training with our plan A always being to adopt siblings from foster care. We also understood better that adoption should never be the primary goal and the ultimate goal of foster care should be reunification. We would wait till we are emotionally ready before fostering to help kids get home.

In 2019, our first long-term foster placement started, a 14-year-old girl.

Early 2020 we had our first artificial insemination with a donor and got pregnant. Which resulted in a miscarriage at 8 weeks.

In August 2020 we met with our fertility clinic who completed further tests & helped us make a decision to move to IVF (not allowed while long-term fostering). One month later, our foster daughter coincidentally has court orders granted & goes back home. After that, we started short-term respite fostering.

February 2021: we’re starting injections and feel hopeful & excited. We have decided to share everything on Instagram @jessi_and_millie in real time moving forward.

Deciding who would carry was an easy decision! Millie has always wanted to be pregnant and Jessi has never wanted to be pregnant so it made it pretty simple.

In terms of our donor we are also using one of Jessi’s relatives, so again that made it easy to determine that Millie would of course use her eggs.

Update: on the 15th of November 2021, their kid Tide Koha Opus Poutama was born.

Best thing about being a family

We were a family from the day we met, we really believe that a family unit is valid with or without children in the home.

The best thing about being a family is having someone you can love who loves you back and being able to spend time with someone and never get bored by their company.

Shittiest thing about being a queer/lesbian family

The hardest time for us was when gay marriage wasn’t legal here and we were not able to get married straight away when we got engaged.

The other thing that’s difficult is constantly correcting people when they assume we have a male partner.

Best advice for queer & lesbian people/couples wanting to start a family

Your family is valid whether you have children or not… but also consider fostering teens, it will change your life!

Follow Jessi & Millie on Instagram @jessi_and_millie

  1. Sarah and Gloria

Pronouns: she/her
LGBTQ+ identity: lesbian
Dating since: 2007
Started planning parenthood: 2012
Became parents: January 2015

Sarah Kee @itssaraheek photo by Carlie Statsky @carliestatsky
Photo by Carlie Statsky @carliestatsky

Journey to parenthood

We became parents to our twins via IUI.

When choosing a donor, our top priority was an excellent health history. We also required that the donor’s family and extended family had great health. We then looked for a donor that had similar goals and aspirations/personality traits to Gloria.

Their written answers were key for us and told us a great deal about their personality; if they wrote something that we didn’t find enlightening, we passed. A good solid written answer told us so much.

I always felt this longing and desire to carry child(ren), whereas Gloria did not, so it was a straightforward answer on who would carry.

Best thing about being a family

Aside from always having someone around to make you laugh and keep you on your toes, the whole learning process of being together as a family is the best part.

We both come from different cultural and racial backgrounds, and we both knew going into parenthood that we wanted to share those aspects of our lives with our children.

Being able to share our different cultural traditions, foods, and religions, in our opinion, is the best part about being a family.

Shittiest thing about being a queer/lesbian family

The worst part about being a lesbian family is explaining to your child(ren) why there isn’t more representation of their family in society.

You, as parents, have to go out of your way to explain to them why they don’t see it in books, movies, media, in schools, workplace settings, etc. We are constantly educating our children and showing them that we do persist and belong in this world.

Best advice for queer & lesbian people/couples wanting to start a family

Don’t give up. There were days where I dreamt of the life we live now. After many years of trying to get pregnant, with very limited resources and information on the how-tos, we made it happen. What is for you, will come to you.

Follow Sarah on Instagram @itssaraheek

Love Makes a Family

These heart-warming lesbian stories from lesbian families show how beautifully diverse journeys to parenthood are, how much love there is. But also, how many struggles there are.

LGBTQ families are still not ‘normal’. There are so many stigmas around families, around parents. About the journeys, about pregnancy. There are childless parents too. We see you.

Thank you for reading this article. Feel free to share it with your friends who might find these stories interesting. Representation matters. Visibility matters.

To cat parents, dog parents, plant parents, and other parents & families

We see you too. It’s about time we normalize other forms of families! But that’s for another time!

We’d love to hear more inspiring lesbian family stories! Share yours in the comments below!

Want to reach out? Find us on Instagram and Facebook.



Queer Lesbian Family Stories
Once Upon a Journey