Photographer seeking rainbow families for new photobook


rainbow families mia mala macdonald rainbow families photographer same-sex couples photobook
Photo: Mia Mala Macdonald

Melbourne freelance photographer Mia Mala McDonald is seeking rainbow families from around the country who want to share their stories in a new photobook.

Mia said the book, titled Once In A Lullaby, will feature around 40 intimate portraits and interviews with LGBTIQ couples with children nationwide.

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“This is a photographic project recording and celebrating Australian rainbow families in their homes,” she told QNews.com.au.

“This project speaks to both my identification with these families and the overwhelming absence of such images in mainstream representations.”

Mia added the current generation of rainbow families have seen “rapid changes” to Australian laws around parenting rights.

“We’re the first families directly impacted by these law changes,” she said.

“The laws allow access IVF procedures, changes to passports and birth certificates, changes in adoption laws, support for fostering.

“As a result we have more parent role models in our community. We’re an important part of history and our stories should be recorded and told.”

Mia lives in Melbourne with her own rainbow family: her partner Steph and their young daughter.

She said she was “shocked and saddened to witness the negative conversations” around rainbow families and children during the marriage equality postal survey in 2017.

“[The book] is an archive and a documentation of our rapidly changing community and the lives of people who offer brave new visions of what it means to be family in Australia today,” she said.

“There is no sensationalism here.”

Mia has so far photographed 15 families from across Victoria, South Australia and New South Wales.

She also plans to meet with families in Alice Springs, Perth, Hobart, Darwin, Broken Hill, Daylesford, and elsewhere.

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If you’re interested in taking part, you can contact the photographer via her website here.

Read some of the stories from rainbow families taking part in the Once In A Lullaby project below:

 

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This is an ongoing photographic portrait project of Australia rainbow families. This is as much about family as it is about what it means to be an Australian. * no working title for project – please send suggestions! Sakari 14 months, Alex 40 Minna, 53 Sydney NSW. We chose our ivf clinic not only because they have a reputation for success, but also because many years ago, when it was perfectly legal for them to discriminate against lesbian couples, they were one of the few clinics who openly welcomed lesbians. We had a lactation consultant ask us if the non-carrying mother was considering breast feeding which was great. We did face discrimiation when registering for the early childhood clinics and parents group, Minna could only be listed as a female father, not as a second mother. Alex is Mummy, Minna is Äiti, which is Finnish for mother.

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Gavin & Tim & Finn (22m), Evan (20m) Southbank, Victoria. This is an ongoing photographic portrait project of Australia rainbow families. This is as much about family as it is about what it means to be an Australian “I am sure it is the same for others who have gone down the path of overseas gestational surrogacy, it took several years from that initial decision to became parents to the day it finally happened. You have to put a huge amount of trust in people you’ve only just met and, with everything happening so far away from you, you feel like you have very little control over all the things that have to happen to bring your child into this world. Each milestone you reach, whether it is the creation of the embryos, being matched with a surrogate, the embryo transfer, or the confirmation of pregnancy, is an emotionally charged event and all you can do is sit at home and wait for the (hopefully good) news to arrive via email. I won’t lie, it was an extremely tough ride and it certainly tested our resolve, our patience, our desire to be parents, our finances, our relationship, and many other things too. However, as soon as they place that little bundle in your arms, you immediately forget about all the difficulties you went through and are overcome with feelings of love, joy, and a little bit of panic too!” We are proud of our family and want Finn and Evan be proud of their family too. Although their story is unique to them, the fact that they have two dads is not and they should never be made to feel ashamed or awkward because of that.

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Nicole 38, Serafin 9, Spencer 8 Coogee, NSW . “Over The Down Under Rainbow” is an ongoing photographic portrait project of Australia rainbow families. This is as much about family as it is about what it means to be an Australian . “Having a child is an amazing experience and is a rollercoaster of emotions. My ex-partner and I had our daughter together and after we separated I had my son on my own. They share the same donor. Having had children in a relationship and on my own, and also being a non-birth mother and a birth mother, I have gone through two very different journeys, but the end result has been 2 beautiful children who are my world. My daughter calls me Mummy when it’s just me and when my ex-partner is also there, she will refer to me as “Mummy Nic” and her other mum as “Mummy – and then her first name. My son has 1 Mum and refers to me as Mum.”

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Over The Down Under Rainbow” is an ongoing photographic portrait project of Australia rainbow families. This is as much about family as it is about what it means to be an Australian. Jessie French (31) Daughter of Lin, 71, Michelle, 59, Amanda, 46. “Despite growing up in North Fitzroy, where LGBTIQ+ families are mostly welcomed and celebrated today, in the 90s there weren’t many of us, and I often encountered homophobic adults directly or played out through their kids’ behaviour towards me at school. To make things more complicated, use of ‘gay’ as a derogatory term rose to prominence around the time I began school. In situations like those, I felt deep responsibility to defend my family as well as the wider queer community, which often landed me in trouble or isolation. Personally, the plebiscite brought back memories that I hadn’t revisited as an adult which helped me to appreciate how strong I’d been to tirelessly defend my family through childhood. It gave me access to insight on how much I’d internalised lots of the impact growing up and acknowledge how traumatic it had been, which I wasn’t properly prepared for and made the time following it all very tough.” #mamiya645 #rainbowfamilies

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