St. John's lesbian couple among first to adopt

A couple in St. John's is joyous after legally adopting a boy and girl, becoming one of the first same-sex partners in Newfoundland and Labrador to do so.
It's a first for the province. Today lesbian couple Joy Gosse and Lisa Reid adopted two children 6:32

A couple in St. John's is joyous after legally adopting a boy and girl, becoming one of the first same-sex partners in Newfoundland and Labrador to do so.

Lisa Reid and Joy Gosse were at family court on Thursday to officially adopt a son and a daughter — children they have been fostering since last year.

While their social worker said they were the first same-sex couple to adopt in the province, there is at least one other. A Labrador couple told CBC News that they adopted a child five years ago.

Nonetheless, Reid and Gosse are proud to be at a social vanguard.

"I think we broke some new ground in some areas," Gosse said.

The couple had been dreaming about parenthood for a long time — since they first met 18 years ago.

"Actually, from the very first moment we met, it was a conversation piece," Reid said.

Bumps in the road

They started the adoption process at around the same time they got married in 2008. However, there were challenges involved since the adoption papers are not gay-friendly.

"It was very male [and] female — couples were male and female [on the forms]," Gosse said. "There was like 'him' and 'her,' so we were quite blatant in scratching things out, and saying no it's 'her,' 'her,' sorry."

The couple had to figure out what the children would call them. This caused some confusion for other people, including one health care worker.

"They asked, 'So who's the mom? Who's the mother?' We said, 'Well, Lisa's mommy and I'm mama,'" Gosse said. "And she shook her head and said, 'But which one is the mother?' We're both the mothers, we're lesbians."

Changing culture

To the children, they're just parents who are providing a safe home with lots of love.

"Things are changing, too. Kids are much more accepting, it's not as big a deal," Reid said. "There's gay people on TV shows, it's not going to be as big a deal as when we were even kids."

They are sharing their story about their positive experience with adoption because there are a lot of children who need loving homes.

"There's no harm to tell people, yes you can [adopt]," Gosse said.

However, the couple know there will be challenges along the way.

"There was that one thing, how do we teach him how to pee standing up?"