Following my dreams - and becoming a mum

In this personal blog for LGBTQ+ History Month, our Healthwatch CEO, Sandie Smith, reflects on the road to parenthood – and the joy of being a mum.
young man and woman smiling at camera

LGBTQ+ History Month is the time for us to reflect on the experiences of being gay and where we have been, what we have been through and how those experiences have brought us to where we are today. 

For me, as a lesbian, remembering the experience of becoming a mother in the 90s is always poignant.

Of course, it wasn’t easy, being in a lesbian relationship and wanting to start a family at that time had its challenges! But none that could not be overcome.

Starting out

Finding a clinic that offered donor insemination was the first step on the journey. And amazingly it was not that difficult.

The clinic we found was understanding and incredibly sympathetic to our situation. They talked us through the options and after the obligatory tests and counselling sessions we were given the green light to go ahead.

Staying hopeful

It took a fair few months; learning about ovulation, negotiating time off with my fabulously understanding employer (thank you Lewisham Council), and hopping back and forth to London on trains, before it actually worked!

It's positive!

I will never forget the joy of that positive pregnancy test just before Christmas 1993. But nowhere near the joy of giving birth to our gorgeous son nine months later. Nor the joy that he has brought for the past 26 years and continues to bring to my life.

I was very lucky, I know. And the experience has taught me so many things. Primarily, if you want something badly enough – take your opportunities. Anything is possible.

Tell us about your journey

We would love to hear from other LGBTQ+ people about your experiences of becoming a parent, so please do get in touch.

The road to parenthood can be long and complex.  Do share your journey with us and tell us about the health and care services you used along the way.

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Today's options for starting a family

Wonderfully, time has moved on, and it gives me so much happiness to know that the option for lesbian couples to have children is much easier.

Donor insemination is pretty simple and there are many more clinics around these days.

Different families, like ours, are everywhere with much-loved children.

There are so many more options now for LGBTQ+ people to become parents; fostering, adoption, surrogacy. I would like to think that our family has been an inspiration for those that have followed.

My advice?

Follow your heart, face your challenges and dreams can become reality.

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Rights of Women

Non profit organisation offering free, confidential legal advice from specialist women solicitors and barristers.


A charity campaigning for the equality of lesbian, gay, bi and trans people across Britain and abroad.

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Access to healthcare should be a right for all. Please share your experiences and tell us about using services - such as HIV testing, sexual health clinics, hospitals, GPs, dentists and more. Giving feedback, both good and bad, can help improve services. #BecauseWeAllCare 

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