The first three months were torrid. Kathleen would be sick in the morning, and I’d be sick in the afternoon

I met my partner, Kathleen, when we were both aid workers in Zimbabwe, when I was 28. I liked her politics and her blue eyes. Four years later, in 1993, my family lost a generation when my beloved niece, Lucy, was killed in a car crash. Like many lesbian couples in the 90s, Kathleen and I had discussed having children, but this crushing loss changed the conversation: I was 34 and she was 36, and it turned from something we chatted about to something we needed to do. Section 28 (a law banning the promotion of homosexuality) was still around, with its clear message that our love should be discouraged, and the hurdles seemed insurmountable. We had wombs to spare, but no sperm.

Our GP explained that while heterosexual couples have only to prove one of them is infertile to get treatment, lesbians didn’t qualify. We looked into private fertility clinics but they charged too much, so we drew up a very short shortlist of potential donors.

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