For lesbian couples, the craving for a child can be fulfilled quite easily. At least in a tiny country like Luxembourg. If it remains possible technically, society seems also receptive to the idea of these new families.
It can be very difficult for homosexual couples to have a children in some countries, but in Luxembourg it went smoothly for Sandrine and Deborah, a couple I met a few days ago. They live together in Luxembourg and have been inseperable and madly in love for 4 years now. A beautiful love story that they wanted to extend by starting a family, an idea that was in the background since the start of their relationship. even if a number of questions popped in their mind.
It’s when they experienced a baby boom amongst their friends that Sandrine and Deborah starting to talk seriously aboyt having a child: “We thought about having a family from the start but I always thought it would be very complicated, that we would have to travel to Belgium and that we would need loads of documents to achieve that”, Sandrine says. “Everybody around us started to have children all of a sudden and of course they asked when it would be our turn”, Deborah adds.
Even though the idea remained in their heads for quite a while, it’s almost by chance that they realised their desire for a child could become true: “We know a straight couple who had to go through IVF. They put us in touch with another lesbian couple who used a sperm bank in Denmark. We had no idea it existed! We browsed on their website a couple of days later and it became clear that having a child was possible from now on”, Sandrine continues.
The sperm bank website is like any other online shopping site. To begin with, you select the 3 main criteria that you’re looking for as a donor: race, eye and hair colour, the choice is yours. “The hardest part was to pick the donor really, it seemed so easy! We actually learn a lot about them, what they do, what they like, their medical history, their height, their shoe size, some of them even put pictures of them when they were toddlers. We picked a donor who has the same eye and hair colour as Sandrine, even if it’s more like a symbol than anything else”, Deborah explains.
A result after three inseminations
She will be the one carrying the child, a decision the couple made after deep thinking. “I’m 15 years older than Deborah, I’m turning 40 this year and Deborah is only 25, says Sandrine. We initially thought I would be the one to start and that we would both carry a child, but we realised that Deborah being younger it would be easier for her to get pregnant”.
It took three inseminations for Deborah to get pregnant, a long process that seemed to last forever for the couple. They had to go to the obstetrician every two days because he had to measure the peak of ovulation in order to inseminate Deborah. Then, they had to wait for 15 days: “Waiting was the most horrible part, minutes were hours, it was the longest 15 days of our lives”, states the couple.
But then it’s pure joy when they learn that Deborah is pregnant. Since they have announced the pregnancy, it’s nothing but happiness for them. In a few days, the ultrasound will determine the gender of the baby: “We are so looking forward to knowing, we want to buy things, to decorate the baby’s room”, says Deborah cheerfully.
They will be married by the time of the birth, but it won’t change much regarding the filiation. During the first weeks of the baby’s life, Deborah will be the only legal parent of this child. Sandrine is going to seek adoption for the baby, once he or she is three months old. Even if, for those two future mums, there is no doubt, it is going to be their child. This bureaucratic burden will be a hassle for the couple though, they even had to contact a specialised lawyer to make things right.
But in any case, the two women really enjoy the openness of Luxembourg in regards their situation: “We can hold hands without any problem in the street, we got smiles and winks in the waiting room of the gynecologist, the team who took care of the insemination for us was great, they were very enthusiastic”, says Sandrine. “I am really happy to know that my country is so open, it is a really good image that Luxembourg gives allowing us to have our family”, concludes Deborah.