Meet South Korea’s first lesbian couple to have a child


lesbian couple
Image: Twitter (X)

Kim Kyu Jin has become the first openly gay woman in South Korea to give birth. She and her wife, Kim Sae Yeon, are now the first lesbian couple in the country to step into parenthood with the birth of their daughter Rani

The couple first made headlines in 2019 when they married in New York, but becoming parents came with addition challenges.

According to Asia News, their options in Korea were limited since sperm banks are only accessible to heterosexual married couples with fertility issues. On the other hand, France, was experiencing a shortage of donor sperm. So, the couple turned to Belgium.

“I wanted to get (IVF treatment) in France, where I was working at the time,” Kim Kyu Jin said.

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“But as France legalised fertility treatments for lesbian and single women, there was a sperm shortage. They said I would have to wait for more than a year and half. I was just stunned.”

Even though Kim and her wife have welcomed their first child into the world, there are still complications ahead. Kim Sae Yeon will have no legal parental rights to the child and is not eligible for any parental leave or rights to act as a legal guardian of the child in case of medical emergencies.

While legal adoption is an option,  the couple anticipate they will face difficulties as their marriage is not acknowledged by South Korean law.

The couple now want to “make cracks” in the uniformity of Korean society and highlight parenting outside the conventional system.

“There are so many types of parents in Korea who are marginalised from the majority,” Kyu Jin said.

“Not just lesbians, but low-income parents, parents with physical disabilities, multicultural families, divorced families and single parents. Should we all be banned from raising children? Discrimination against specific groups makes a society discriminatory as a whole.”

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Sarah Davison
Sarah Davison

After working in print and radio, Sarah has joined the team at QNews to expand their coverage into South Australia. Sarah has a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology, and a Masters in Journalism, Media, and Communications. Get in touch: sarah@qnews.com.au

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