"Mom and Aunt": how children are raised in same-sex Russian families

"Mom and Aunt": how children are raised in same-sex Russian families

Categories: Children | Society

In the West, same—sex marriages are already almost commonplace, and raising children in such families is considered quite acceptable. In Russia, representatives of the LGBT community are treated much less tolerant. By law, same-sex couples cannot officially register their relationships, much less take on the upbringing of children.

But some Russians manage to circumvent this ban. How people with non-traditional orientation build families in the Russian Federation and what difficulties they have to face, read in our material.

"Mom and Aunt": how children are raised in same-sex Russian families

Recently, the Internet was shocked by the news about the initiation of a criminal case against the employees of the guardianship authorities, who allowed the adoption of children by a same-sex couple. The family that came to the attention of the security forces are two men of non—traditional orientation. According to media reports, the couple is officially married, which they have registered in one of the European countries. And in 2010, one of the spouses adopted two orphan boys. Thus, they managed to circumvent the law banning the adoption of children by same-sex couples, adopted in Russia in 2013.

For many years, no one bothered the couple, but recently the couple turned to a pediatrician. One of the sons complained of abdominal pain, and during the session mentioned that "dad and his friend sleep in the same bed." The doctor was alerted by this statement, so he turned to the guardianship authorities, asking them to make sure of the decency of the family where the children were transferred.

The investigating authorities searched the couple's apartment, but did not notice anything suspicious. Nevertheless, the UK opened a case against social protection employees, as they, in their opinion, "did nothing to protect children from information harmful to them."

"Mom and Aunt": how children are raised in same-sex Russian families

The Human Rights Council supported the family, saying that in Russia a lot of children are raised by mothers, grandmothers and aunts, and the orientation of parents and their personal relationships cannot be a reason to initiate criminal proceedings. The parents themselves, along with their children, are currently on vacation abroad and are thinking whether they should return, because there are clearly many more troubles waiting for them in Russia.

Media representatives managed to find out how other same-sex families live. You can read the stories of some of them below.

(The photos used here are not specifically related to the heroes of the article and are illustrative!)

"Mom and Aunt": how children are raised in same-sex Russian families

Ksenia and Maria decided on artificial insemination a few years ago. The child was carried by Ksenia, and her lover supported her in every possible way throughout the pregnancy.

For many years, the LGBT family did not experience any problems: the boy grew up healthy and happy, the couple even began to think about the second child that Maria was supposed to give birth to. However, this is not possible now, because Maria is a "breadwinner" in the family — the girl works in Moscow in a prestigious position and receives a good salary. Maria sends most of the money to Berlin, where Ksenia and her son now live.

Ksenia moved for a reason. One day Maria had a big quarrel with a neighbor over a parking space, and the man, knowing about the relationship in their family, began to threaten and blackmail them. At first, the couple changed their place of residence within the city, but the vindictive neighbor continued to call and write abusive texts. The women understood that it would not be difficult for a malicious person to find out their names and surnames from their former landlord, which is why they made such a drastic decision.

Now Maria and Ksenia see each other about once every three months, but they are thinking about getting back to living together again. The couple planned to get political asylum in Germany, but this can only be done by proving persecution on the territory of their country.

"Mom and Aunt": how children are raised in same-sex Russian families

Anna and Larisa have been in a relationship for six years and are currently raising a 3-year-old daughter. The girls used the artificial insemination service, Anna took over the delivery. It was important for both of them that the sperm donor be anonymous and not make claims to paternity in the future.

When the clinic found and selected a donor, the procedure of artificial insemination began. The girls did not initiate the doctor into their personal relationships, but she herself guessed that there was more than just friendship between them and admitted that she had encountered similar situations before.

When Anna and Larisa told their parents about their decision, they were very worried.

However, the difficulties in their family were rather domestic and not related to their non-traditional orientation. The only problem was that the couple is not protected at the legislative level in any way. For example, Larisa cannot go on sick leave to care for a child, she cannot take the girl to the polyclinic. She can pick up the baby from kindergarten only if Anna warns the educators in advance. It's good that at least a passport is not required on the playground.

The girls are already thinking about emigration, because they do not see any prospects that in the future the attitude towards such families in Russia will change.

"Mom and Aunt": how children are raised in same-sex Russian families

Bulat Barantayev is the only one who agreed to talk openly with journalists. For many years, the man has been an activist of an LGBT organization, so the resident of Novosibirsk did not hide his identity and unusual family relationships.

A few years ago, Bulat's friends asked him to become a donor for their child. The man agreed. So a girl named Mira, who recently turned five, was born.

Mira grows up with her mother and her partner. She is not particularly interested in who her "aunt" is.

In addition, Mira sees her dad regularly. Bulat takes her to rides, movies, massages and to the dentist. Bulat's parents — Mira's grandparents — can take her home for the holidays. Such a big and friendly family.

Bulat says that they have not yet had to face problems from educators or doctors. Mira grows up a healthy, happy and beloved child, and this, according to the man, is the most important thing.

Do you agree with Bulat? What do you think about same-sex marriage and raising children in such families?

Keywords: Upbringing | Homosexuality | Homosexuals | Lgbt | Lesbians | Same-sex marriage | Russians | Sexual orientation | Adoption

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