Wedding Belles in Hanoi

One of the reasons I started this blog (before I became stuck in the thick of ttc) was to hopefully provide some useful information to other lesbian couples in Bangkok, who might, like us, be starting to feel frustrated about the Kingdom’s lack of rights and respect for gay couples. The good news is, that it IS possible for two girls or guys to get preggers, and we have also discovered that it IS possible for two girls or guys to get married.

If you already follow the blog, you might be aware that A and I have *just* found out that actually it IS possible for us to get married (become UK Civil Parnters) out here in Asia. That’s great news for us, and we can’t believe how well hidden it is.

We know it can’t be done here in Bangkok. I will detail why, if I can find out. It isn’t because same-sex unions are not recognised by Thailand, because, they also aren’t in Vietnam, which is where we are planning to go. All I know at present, is that consular services provided by British Embassies abroad are at the discretion of the Ambassador. Our hypothseis is that given the MASSIVE number of expats here, the embassy has had to prioritise certain services and remove others (although is would seem that many services are outsourced to a company, so noone knows exactly what the UK Embassy spends its time doing – again, I will see if I can find out).

We have known for a good year or so that we have a very good shot at a long life together and want a lot of the same things – obviously we wouldn’t have gone ahead with out pregnancy attempts otherwise (I won’t bore you with how much A is the best in the world), and we confirmed our decision to marry after a lovely family holiday over Christmas. We wrongly assumed, however that we would need to go on an inconveniently timed and expensive holiday to the UK to do it, which wasn’t an option until after the pregnancy really. So we had kind of resigned ourself to the slightly awkward truth that our child would not be officially our child anywhere in the world. I wasn’t particularly happy about it but saw an adoption by A from the UK at a later date as the answer; the “best fit”. It’s important to me that our child’s relationship with A is recognised and protected by UK law, if not by Thai.

So, we are now in the process of planning and checking the small print… we need to:

  • hear back from the embassy in vietnam
  • book flights for two visits to vietnam
  • Arrange visas
  • Arrange A’s Thai (translated) document officiating her availablity to marry me
  • stay in Vietnam for 7 whole days and register our intent with all relevant docs
  • go back after the registration has been public for 14 days and GET MARRIED!

The extra bonus to doing this now and not later in the UK is that after the CP, we can register the birth according to UK law with both our names as the two parents (and that apparently can be done in Bangkok!). So as we understand it, even though it will be my name alone on the Thai birth certificate, our family will be registered properly from its inception.

To do this we need to take our baby’s Thai birth cert, my birth cert, A’s passport/ birth cert and our CP certificate. Then we can get our ‘Consular birth registration’.

A lot of this needs confirming, but it’s pretty awesome if it works, right! In my school summer holiday we plan to make both the necessary trips to Hanoi in Vietnam. We are very lucky to have a pair of friends going through the CP in Hanoi a few months ahead of us who will be able to confirm any fuzzy bits (they already gave us the email of the person we need to contact 🙂 ). We are also friends with a British lesbian couple who have had a baby here and registered the baby under both their names – I am waiting to hear back from them too for all the deets!

I know it may be jumping the gun a little as I am currently only 5 weeks pregnant. However, given our particular circumstances it’s important to plan ahead. And I am thinking positive. I have not told so many people about this pregnancy, so this online channel is still incredibly important to me. I have always, always found the writing things down helps me stay calm, order my thoughts etc…

Thanks for reading!

R

 

 

 

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23 comments

  1. so great that you can get married there and get all the correct documents from the get-go! Are you going to do a big wedding, or just a quiet one?

    1. very very quiet. I think it is very short notice to organise anything big, especially in another country. We will celebrate, but probably back in Bangkok.

  2. That is quite the process! But being married at the end will make it all worth it. What a happy time in your life this must be 🙂

    1. it is very exciting! 🙂

  3. double congratulations then! When my partner E. got pregnant in 2010 we decided to get married in Spain even though we live in Ireland (at the time there was no CP in Eire) and even though same sex marriage is legal in Spain it was quite difficult to get all the paperwork in order , I’m italian, she’s spanish, we live in Ireland…but we did it and it was very important for me especially when my daughter was born!

    1. We thought about Spain but it’s just too much from here. Anywhere in Europe still requires very stressful Visa applications for A, contrasted with a routine tourist Visa for me into Vietnam. Very excited, and if we wanted, we could also do it in the Philippines.

  4. I’m glad that you’re able to have your partnership recognised by the UK gov’t. Unfortunately, the US federal gov’t still does not recognise same-sex marriages performed in the six states that allow it, so despite being married, the US gov’t doesn’t recognise us as married for immigration, tax, and other purposes… Oh, progress is a slow thing.

    1. It must be agonisingly frustrating if you are a US citizen in a binational same-sex relationship. I have a friend in the same situation and they don’t want to stay here forever. I really hope for you guys that Obama’s recent words will help put things lin mothin so that eventually you guys will have the same choices as a heterosexual binational couple.

      1. Yeah, you would expect the US to be slightly more advanced in its treatment of same-sex couples. Maybe within the next few years that will improve… Meanwhile, we’ll celebrate the fact that you and A can celebrate your nuptials!

      2. Thanks!! Fingers crossed for your side of the Atlantic too. 🙂

  5. This is WONDERFUL news!! I’m really happy for you guys. Isn’t amazing how you stress for so long and then everything just kinda falls into place ?

    1. Hello, I think it is actually falling into place, or beginning to – long way to go yet! 🙂

  6. So many good things happening! Congratulations!

    1. Yes, it seems so. Keep pinching ourselves. The bloating like a balloon is helping me believe! Thanks for your kind words 🙂

  7. So very happy for you!!!!! Just wonderful

    1. 🙂 🙂 🙂

  8. Hi. My partner and I are planning to get a civil partnership in Vietnam as well. I have been reading the websites regarding the requirements and things like that but Im still in the dark. She’s British and I’m from the Philippines. I would really appreciate it if you could give us all the details, the documents needed and things to be done before we book a flight to Vietnam. Looking forward to hearing from you

    C & M

    1. Oh, and what type of visa do we need to come to Vietnam?

    2. Hey, apparently the UK embassies in the Philippines also provided this service. If you can’t find the info online (my heart is sinking writing this), I’m fearful that the evil Tories may have pulled the service since the new year. I saw something about the cessation of UK embassies depositing docs with the GRO, which was a part of what they did for us, and the vice consul who married us told us that the govt already had plans then to ensure everyone had to travel to the UK to obtain a CP. I will try to find out for you (I will send an email to the lovely vice consul there too). The documents are exactly the same as you would need if you were doing it in the UK, and you’d need either one 8 day to give notice) stay and another over 14 days later to actually register, OR you’d just stay there for 8 days plus 15 days. I’ll find out what has changed, as the info I used at the time has moved/ gone. Keeping my fingers crossed for you.

      1. Thanks. We want to do it in Vietnam as we are both living in Bkk. Do we both have to provide CNI? I can request for a Certificate of No Marriage from the Philippines – is the British embassy in Vietnam going to accept it? Also, what kind of visa do we need to enter Vietnam? I read online that Filipinos can enter Vietnam without visa for 21 days. Is that OK then or do we need to apply for a different visa?

        Thanks so much for helping 😉

      2. You don’t need a CNI, but non-Brit does. I guess it would be the Philippines to provide that, as my partner got hers from some officious government office in Bkk. The embassy has to accept it, it is what they request. You just need to go to the embassy in wireless Rd Bkk to get a visa, and it takes about 4 days (or one day if you pay extra). I think it is the tourist visa. Have you contacted the UK consul in Hanoi? That is how I found out all the details- they were really helpful.

        Let me know how you get on 🙂

      3. Did you find any more out?

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