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Same-sex couple welcome baby

Northern Rivers parents Jo and Tara McAnally are overjoyed at the birth of their son Elijah.
Northern Rivers parents Jo and Tara McAnally are overjoyed at the birth of their son Elijah. Cathy Adams

JO and Tara McAnally became the proud mothers of baby Elijah last weekend in Lismore.

The question went around the Star's newsroom: Two women having a child, is that news?

It is great news, we thought.

Despite a 42-hour long delivery, a week of sleep deprivation and family visits, both women looked happy and fresh.

Asked about the trials and tribulations of becoming a parent Tara said: "Oh, his birth has given me a new strength."

Tara and Jo McAnally live a very regular life. Jo is a youth worker and Tara works for Telstra in Lismore.

But their lives were disrupted in the best possible way last weekend with the arrival of Elijah to the world.

With same-sex couples increasingly choosing to have children, Jo mentioned that "not once" had they experienced any administrative or personal issues during the process.

"We had not one bit of negativity. We had so much support. I don't think it is unusual anymore," added Tara.

It was at the beginning of 2011 when they started gathering information about ways to make the pregnancy happen.

The McAnallys decided to look for a male donor and found one who suited them in Canada.

They tried the insemination twice with no results, but the third attempt worked.

Jo's pregnancy test was positive on the first week of November and after that, "everything went by the book".

Baby Elijah will be able to access the details of the sperm donor when he turns 18.

In the meantime, Jo and Tara have received his pictures, an essay and his family history.

During this time they decided not to update their families and friends about the process they went through.

"Our parents knew we were going to do it, but they didn't know when we started it, because (the process of getting pregnant) was the most emotional ride", remembers Tara.

"It can be quite consuming, and even if out of love and concern, having people checking on you can be even more consuming," added Jo.

"We couldn't just say let's try again next month, said Tara.

"We put in this amount of money, we travelled this number of kilometres, we had taken time off work. We needed this to happen."

Jo cannot stop getting emotional when remembering the whole process while holding her son in her arms.

When we left their house, we had the feeling we have witnessed something precious and so normal.

ASSISTED PREGNANCY:

Set a day of the week when you don't talk about the process.

Check in with your partner regularly.

Have a personal support network.

Ensure you are comfortable with the amount of information disclosed to family and friends.

Same-sex parents just as healthy for Children

The scientific and psychological consensus is that two mothers or two fathers is just as healthy as a mother and a father. Children are in no way disadvantaged by having same-sex parents.

Topics:  lismore, parenting, same-sex


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