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Co-fostering as a lesbian mother


“The woman I was in a relationship with had one child but wanted to , which came to fruition in the late eighties. My role was an unofficial one as I spent a lot of time with the household but didn’t live there but I was a key part of the children’s lives. The social workers knew very well what was going on but chose not to question it because the person that was the official foster parent was stable and adequate enough to take these children and give them a life and therefore whatever else went on, it was presented to them as friends who came to help out…to spend time with the children, including gay male friends. Most of the people that the children were in contact with were lesbian or gay but there were others who weren’t.”

“Although the social workers knew what was going on, nothing was made explicit, partly because we didn’t want to make it explicit with the children. In retrospect I regret this, because I feel that if we had been able to be more explicit with the children about our sexuality and their choices, there would have been some confusions that were less likely to happen. I’m sad that we had to function in a slightly oppressive, denying way because of our circumstances.”

“I’m still in contact with the children who are all now in their thirties, they’re all heterosexual though none of them are married and none have children – they all came from households with difficulties”.

Contributed by: Belinda, 60

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