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Shepparton News – "Keen to Secure Equal Standing" by Kim Stephens

March 14, 2008 Leave a comment

Rowena Allen and Kaye Bradshaw siad the birth of their daughter Alexandra hammered home the inequality gay and lesbian couples face. Victorian Government MPs are expect to pass a new Bill that will create a relationships register for gay and lsbian couples to officially recognise them as partners.

Part of the new legislation would enable a same sex partner to discuss medical treatment with doctors, something Ms Bradshaw was legally unable to do when Ms Allen underwent an emergency caesarean.

“At this point we have no rights”, Ms Allen said.

“Kaye is not formally recognised as here (Alexandra’s) parent.” The couple were forced to undergo home insemination to conceive Alexandra with access to IVF services only permitted for medical reasons.

“Women are denied access to IVF if the are scoially infertile, i.e. if they don’t want to have sex with a man”, Ms Bradshaw said.

Ms Bradshaw and Ms Allen said though it needed an “accelerator”, there were confident society was steadily progressing and gay couples would on day be recognised as equal to heterosexual couples.

“We hope that by the time Alexandra’s at school we will be formally married, ” Ms Allen said.

Shepparton News – "A Rainbow Family" by Kim Stephens

March 14, 2008 1 comment


Lesbian Mums Welcome Little Bundle of Joy with Open Arms

Violet town couple Rowena Allen and Kaye Bradshaw joke their baby daughter Alexandra will probably one day nervously come to them to say she likes boys.

“Statistically, the odds are she will be heterosexual,” Ms Allen said yesterday.

“But we’ll still love her anyway,” Ms Bradshaw finished.

The Lesbian couple’s leap-day baby is a special bundle of joy for more than just her February 29 birth date.

While gay families such as theirs are increasingly common and readily accepted in urban settings, in more conservative country settings the concept remains relatively rare.

“We knew we were going to be trailblazers,” Ms Allen, who gave birth to ALexandra, said.

“We thought about doing it in Melbourne but we really wanted to have here in our community.”

Alexandra was born at Goulburn valley Base Hospital, capping off what Ms Allen jokingly described as “a bizarre rainbow family”.

Ms Bradshaw has two sons, aged 19 and 20, while Alexandra’s father – the couple’s gay Melbourne friend Ian Seal – also has two sons of similar ages, all of whom have been thrilled by the latest addition to their families.

“They have all said she will be very well protected if anything should happen when she gets to school,” Ms Bradshaw said.

Ms Bradshaw, 46, and Ms Allen, 35, also agreed Mr Seal would continue to play a pivotal role in his daughter’s life and would always be “dad” to her.

They both said they were fully aware fo the reaction bringing Alexandra into their family could evoke in their rural setting.

“It’s not so much out-right hostility we face, it’s the invisibility,” Ms Allen said.

“People don’t assume we’re partners and we fight a constant battle to explain it.

“It’s a constant reminder you don’t fit the system”.

But they said they had been overwhelmed by the support of neighbours and friends, both throughout the pregnacy and since Alexandra was born.

“Violet Town is pretty progressive and the community have embraced us and really accepted us,” Ms Allen said.

As for the future impact on Alexandra, the couple firmly believed the very much planned for baby girl would be as well adjusted as any child from a loving home.

“There are such a diverse range of families now, society really needs to start fully accepting that,” Ms Allen said.

“There is absolutely no accident here, she’s been brought into a large family who all really love her.

“I think she’ll be extremely open to diversity”.