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!