By: Tinashe Wakapila
Advanced technological developments has successfully introduced lesbians, bisexual and single women to motherland. A slow but positive systems that has been firstly introduced in overseas countries is now invading South Africa and leave lesbian women with hope to have their own children.
UniQ Magazine has learnt from an educational research by the University of Pretoria, Faculty of Education that advances and changes in globalised culture compel psychologists to take cognisance of the wide variety of ways in which families are formed and in which children grow up. Although members of the gay community have in the past usually been associated with a childless lifestyle, gay people are increasingly opting for motherhood and fatherhood by creating families of their own or by continuing to live with their children from former heterosexual relationships. The concept of same-gendered families as an example of the changing face of families, relating it to the hetero-normativity that is embedded in Westernised societies. The dichotomies of sexuality are confronted and used to illuminate the cultural assumptions embedded in the concept ‘family’ from a postmodern perspective. An overview is given of available research from a South African perspective.
The same gendered couple as a family challenges the normative conceptions of the traditional model of the two-parent (hetero-gender) family because the latter is socially and legally constructed from a biological model of reproduction. At the start of the twenty-first century, people are choosing to live their lives and rear their children in associations that only 50 years ago would not have been regarded as families. Societal factors such as working mothers, adoption, divorce, migrant fathers, and HIV/AIDS have all played a part in influencing the ways in which non-traditional family forms have developed. Advances and changes in globalised culture compel people to take cognisance of the wide variety of ways in which families are formed and in which children grow up.
Being a lesbian mother involves different options such as self-insemination and clinically assisted donor insemination, forms of artificial insemination. As fertility technology has advanced, more females not in a heterosexual relationship have become mothers through invitro fertilization and because of different issues some lesbian women bear children in a natural way.
In celebration of Mother’s day and mother’s month celebrated in May, UniQ felt the compulsion to share some information on how you can be a mother in the gay community world. We have visited two homosexual women who were blessed with a children. Today we will be chatting with a God fearing woman Khanyisile Zulu known as mama uZulu, whom our own Tinashe Wakapila met at Church and decided to share some of her motherhood experience with our readers.
- What is being a mother for a lesbian woman?
I am very happy to be a mother of a two year old baby girl. Being a mother is an amazing gift from God and I thank Him for such a wonderful gift. What makes me happy is that my sexuality did not prevent me from being a mother and a woman who is in a relationship with another woman. I enjoy all benefits of being a woman like any other woman
- How did you conceive your child or children?
My partner and I sat down and spoke about being parents one day and we agreed that we will go for adoption. We then approached both our families, we told them about our decision of having a child to our surprise they were very delighted and they supported us
- Have you experienced any discrimination or stigma thereafter?
There was no stigma at all Child Welfare Workers were very good to us when they saw us they saw potential parents
- Adoption was your way to go, what were the challenges during the process?
There were no challenges at all, process was easy and quick with Child Welfare since we submitted all the necessary and required documents. Before approaching welfare we did a research on our first to understand adoption. We were then advised to attended classes offered around adoption to learn more.
- Birth Certificate, what was the process obtaining it?
They gave us a lot of forms about 30 pages that we had to fill in and submitted them to Child Welfare, including police clearance followed by an interview and house visit. We then took birth certificate off to apply for adoption.
- What was the society’s attitude towards you?
They did not have a problem towards us a couple, infact they were happy for us and welcomed our baby girl with gifts to celebrate with us such wonderful moment. 8.
- Message to lesbian mothers wanna-be
Being a lesbian is not a disability or sickness that can prevent you to be a mother. What is important is that is to show love and provide for your child or children regardless of how you conceived them. If you are planning to be a mother go for it, be happy with your partner and do things that makes both of you happy.
Stay connected with us and read more about lesbian motherhood on our next issue.