Lesbian and gay families are everywhere. Family-friendly public events reveal a host of same-sex mums and dads sporting baby harnesses and navigating obstacles with baby buggies.

With that reality very much in mind, local filmmaker Miranda Wills set out to document the story of creating such families. The end result is 2 Mums and a Dad programmed to screen on SBS this month.

With the likelihood of recent political action to resolve some of the legal issues confronting same-sex parents, Wills’s film couldn’t come at a better time. In many ways the story is universal: first time parents that face the many emotional and physical challenges of conceiving, carrying and raising a child.

In 2 Mums and a Dad the primary couple are lesbian women, Fiona and Kellie, and dad Darren is a gay sperm donor. Critics of gay families (many of which speak with a heterosexual prejudice) highlight inherent physical challenges of such arrangements. Wills’s film sets out to paint an emotional portrait of the various stakeholders.

Contrary to myth, the father in this scenario seeks to be completely involved the raising of the child. Wills says this was an important factor that attracted her to the story.

“It’s not just an uncle role. He’s really in there making decisions and having very, very regular access and I just found that story fascinating and wanted to follow that journey right through,” she said.

The idea for the documentary came about from a visit to support groups Maybe Baby and Lesbian Prospective Parenting. Along the way, Wills met Darren and knew immediately he’d be excellent talent for the film.

“He’s so vivacious and he’s very passionate – he was the convenor of Gay Dads Victoria of a long time,” she said.

Darren introduced Wills to Fiona and Kellie and the filming began.

By all accounts it was an emotional journey for everyone involved. From the humour of the sperm delivery (it happens in two separate rooms and involves a sample jar and syringe) through to the joy of a positive pregnancy test and the rather blurry ultrasound, it’s all in the film.

There are also serious issues canvassed, many around parental access. Wills says her objective was to educate prospective same-sex parents along with the broader community.

“Parenting is very complicated and there are many heartfelt issues at stake,” she says. “I hope that this film will not only educate the wider community that our families are real and they are happening but also our own community and maybe help people who are going to enter this process to think through some of the issues.”

2 Mums and a Dad screens Tuesday 22 January at 7.30pm on SBS TV.

From bnews – www.bnews.net.au

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