Inclusion in perinatal care, not always easy! - TheFirstMoments
Inclusion in perinatal care, not always easy!

Inclusion in perinatal care, not always easy!

Inclusion in perinatal care, not always easy!

In the world of perinatal care, we too often speak of the dyad of parents such as the pregnant woman and her spouse. This portrait of a heterosexual, cisgender couple indeed represents a large part of parents in the context of perinatal birth, but not all of them. Whether it is a homosexual couple, one or more transgender parents, that the pregnant person does not identify as a cis woman, the reality of families in Quebec has changed portrait in recent decades. . It would be logical to see a follow-up of places of birth and perinatal environments in relation to the reality of families, but we notice that unfortunately, this is not totally the case. I met 3 parents by videoconference so that they could tell me about their experiences, their opinions and their hopes regarding the perinatal system in Quebec.


A few weeks ago, I dig a little on Instagram, then I find a page that immediately attracts me: the.two-dads . It is about David and Julien, who share an account on which we see them preparing for the arrival of their first child: Béa, their daughter, who will be born in the coming weeks. They accept with pleasure to tell me about their journey, which is not as simple as it seems. The couple have been entertaining the idea of ​​having a child for a few years now. Julien was fortunate to have a work colleague who wanted to be a surrogate mother for a second time, and who decided to give them this wonderful gift that is parenthood. I say here "luck", because David and Julien told me that it is not easy for a homosexual couple to have a child. 

Given the nature of their relationship, the option of international adoption is practically impossible. Despite the fact that we are in 2021, the rights of LGBTQ + communities are unfortunately not acquired everywhere. Indeed, most countries that have intercountry adoption agreements with Canada require heterosexual marriage. For Quebec, it takes several years and the adoption procedures are more complex.. THEYou have to go through the Youth Centers, and it is difficult to guarantee a final adoption as the majority of newborns are placed in foster care first. It was not what David and Julien wanted for a journey. 

On the other hand, there are agencies that offer surrogate mothers and manage everything that includes this procedure (including twinning, in vitro fertilization, embryo transfer, etc.), but for sums that exceed the financial capacity of this procedure. young couple in their twenties. “Without having known our surrogate directly, it would have taken us years [to accumulate the money] to have a child! »Explains Julien, who feels an injustice in having to pay $ 80 to $ 000 to be able to become a dad. They also used a "homemade" method for fertilization, since an embryo insemination (without going through an agency) costs nearly $ 90. Another injustice that the duo deplores, since for a heterosexual couple who have difficulty conceiving, the first insemination is free (the following ones are however paying), but this privilege does not apply to couples like David and Julien . Why would you tell me? That's a great question to ask fertility clinics and the provincial government, which offered this grant in 000.

Also, in Quebec, for David and Julien to be legally considered as Bea's parents, a whole administrative procedure is needed, including going to court, where the case is treated as an adoption like any other. For them, the idea of ​​this course was complicated, while the subject was simple! They therefore decided to go through Ontario, where the system recognizes their paternity to both of them, as soon as they enter the hospital. They also have the chance to be able to both be present at childbirth (covid measurements oblige in the red zone in our province to limit support during childbirth to one person, which is not the case. in Ontario).

Fortunately, despite their journey which was not easy to establish at the base, the two men are confident and more than anxious to meet their daughter.

On May 22, 2021, David & Julien welcome Béa with great joy!


A few days later, back on social networks, I contact Marie-Danièle (she / iel) from the Instagram page feminist_nonbinairy_mom. Marie-Danièle, a non-binary parent who bore her two children, agreed to tell me about her career in hospitals and birthing centers in Quebec. He explains to me that they experienced a follow-up with a gynecologist for Sasha his eldest in 2018, then in a birth center for Mika in 2020. He and his partner decided to offer their children a free education in the genres, so that they themselves can express themselves on the subject when the time comes.

Marie-Danièle considers herself lucky (for certain situations): she is cispassing. She uses the name "mother" with her two children, which is useful in emergency cases, for example where no question is asked about "who is the mother / biological carrier parent" so often asked during appointments. you medical or emergencies for example. On the other hand, this has its share of heaviness: Marie-Danièle has to “outer1” herself each time. It is very rare, especially in the context of an appointment for a pregnancy, where professionals will ask the question (which according to Marie-Danièle, should be mandatory): "What are your pronouns?" »Indeed, in the majority (if not 

not all) places of birth in Quebec, the word "woman" is used to designate the pregnant person (by professionals, but also in posters, in bathrooms, even in medical documents). Even if the perinatal environment wants to be a feminist environment where the emphasis is on the power of the human body to give birth, for Marie-Danièle, "feminism is also to realize that there is no not just women [who carry their children and use these places of birth] ”.

He tells me that they would like these pregnancy clinics and birthing places not to wait for someone to make a request to make changes in the use of terms: that is also inclusiveness. The visibility of LGBTQ + families would also make the birthing environment more suitable to meet their needs at this important moment in their lives.

La LGBT Families Coalition precisely offers training on sexual diversity and gender plurality, which can really shed light on the changes to be made in different environments, recommends Marie-Danièle, who herself works with them. Working myself in different birthing places, I intend to raise the subject and discuss these issues during the next team meetings! I invite you to do the same in your own workplace, even if raising the topic can spark a discussion about inclusiveness in your workplace!

With Les Premiers Moments, it is part of our mission and social involvement to provide an inclusive service, whether in support at birth, post-natal or by our specialists. Meet our team to find someone who can support you according to your needs!


Dalia Seguin
Doula and midwife student

1 Outer: coming out, therefore revealing your gender identity or sexual attraction to a person who is not aware of it. In this case, Marie-Danièle says she has to reveal that she is non-binary to every professional she meets.