The West Australian
17 December 2007Dawn Gibson
Page 3 (with pic of Sam, Kelly and nanny)
This Christmas promises to be the most memorable in the lives of Perth gay couple Sam and Kelly Pilgrim-Byrne – the first they will share with their baby daughter Charlotte Kathleen.
Charlotte’s arrival three months ago marked the end of an emotional three-year wait, during which both women had fertility treatment in a bid to realize their dream of having a family. To their joy, Sam eventually became pregnant through IVF using sperm donated by a friend from interstate.
While the couple acknowledged that many people did not agree with the idea of a child being raised by two mums, they said they had done a lot of soul-searching before their decision and were determined to be the best parents they could.
Charlotte’s biological father will also play a big role in her life. He visited Charlotte shortly after her birth, gets photographs of her emailed to him every day and will see her again early next year when the family visit him.
"The main thing that happy families have in common is love and we have got that in abundance," Kelly said."From a child’s point of view, I would much rather be raised in a family where I knew I was loved and had been wanted for many years, rather than as a result of an unwanted pregnancy.
"Kelly’s mother Karen Sumner said she was not bothered her first grandchild would be brought up without a father in the house. "I don’t even think of it as an issue," she said. "She will have a great upbringing.
"The couple, who have been together for almost 16 years and legally use the same surname, were surprised by the support they have received since a story about Sam’s pregnancy was published in The West Australian this year.
I couldn't have been more thrilled for two women to have a little girl than if they were my own daughters. They will make wonderful mothers and I support them in every way. By the time little Charlotte grows up, same-sex marriage will be such a part of everyday life in every day suburbs that no one will consider it not to be a normal arrangement.
For short time lurkers who don't know my background, I am a straight grandmother who decided to do something about the gay teens who thought suicide was a better alternative to living in a world that considered them as sick, perverted and sinful. I joined the Victorian Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby to work towards the same rights as heterosexual couples enjoy but are denied to same sex couples.
This was a lifestyle choice for me, being gay is not and prejudice because of who you fall in love with has no place in a civilised society.
Kelly and Sam, have a wonderful first Christmas morning with Charlotte. I still intend to dance at your wedding.