The counsellor understood all our worries and helped us to see that, even though Joe was conceived differently, gay parents are exactly the same as everyone else - we want to be happy and do a good job raising our family.
Jill, Melissa and Joe, Relate Family Counselling clients
Where they started
After four years together, Jill and Melissa were both very keen to have children. They paid a clinic to use an egg from Melissa, fertilise it with the help of a close male friend, and Jill carried the baby.
Joe is a lovely, happy four-year-old who is part of both of us, he understands that he's got two mums. He calls me mum and Jill, mummy.
As Joe got older, his biological father (who he calls daddy) wanted to have more contact with him than Melissa and Jill had originally envisaged.
With his first day of school coming up, the couple wanted to discuss issues around contact and responsibility in order to be united in supporting Joe as he started school.
We have always wanted Joe to have men in his life and his daddy has become more and more important to him. But sometimes, Jill finds Joe's bond with his dad a bit threatening.
A friend of Melissa's recommended Relate Family Counselling as a way of talking through their concerns. They attended weekly sessions as a family.
Our counsellor provided a calm setting where we could discuss the issues we were having and especially how we prepare Joe for possible teasing or discrimination when he goes to school. Gay parents face similar issues to those of other minority families and we don't want our little boy to suffer as a result of other children's or adults' thoughtless remarks.
The counsellor created a safe space for the couple to talk about the future with Joe. He was able to listen carefully to the conversation and make his opinion known.
Life isn't always easy for gay parents and their children. Kids can get bullied. We were worried that if that happened he might blame us.
Where they are now
Jill and Melissa found that the counsellor understood all their worries and helped them to see that, even though Joe was conceived differently, gay parents are exactly the same as everyone else.
As a result of the counselling, we now all feel like a team who are able to negotiate and work together to be good, loving parents for Joe.
How we can help
If, like Jill and Melissa you'd like some support in managing family issues, there are various ways we can help.
- Find out about more about Family Counselling
- Book a counselling session at your local Relate Centre
- Try a free Live Chat session with a trained Relate Counsellor
- Talk to us about your concerns or questions on 0300 100 1234
*This case study is loosely based on the kind of scenarios we work with, as opposed to specific clients. Relate never shares the stories of our clients without permission, even with names and details changed.