Friday, August 06, 2004

Two Moms


An extraordinary couple Posted by Hello

Meet an ordinary family of extraordinary people (plus six dogs and four cats).

The chronicling of South African gay history takes another step forward with a new documentary about a lesbian couple that took on South Africa’s adoption laws and changed the legal landscape for all same-sex couples.

Two Moms is a profile of two exceptional women and their unique family. The documentary, by one of the country’s leading makers of gay film, profiles lesbian couple Suzanne Du Toit and Anna-Marié De Vos, and their two adopted children. It charts their daily life, as well as their historic struggle to legally adopt children, be accepted and receive equal treatment under the law.

De Vos is the only female High Court judge in Pretoria, working in a conservative and male dominated realm. Not only was she the first woman to enter that august company but, at 41, is also one of the country’s youngest judges. Her life-partner of fifteen years, Du Toit, is an artist who also manages the family home near Plettenberg Bay.

The couple met via Suzanne’s sister in 1989. They had a commitment ceremony in Pretoria in 1990, which was performed by a lay preacher and friend. After approaching Cotlands Baby Sanctuary, in 1994 Anna-Marié was made the sole adoptive parent of abandoned siblings Nuschka and Reid. At the time the law would not allow the co-adoption of children by two same-sex partners.

In 2001 Suzanne made an application to the Pretoria High Court to also be recognized as a legal parent of the children. After winning the case in the High Court, in 2002 the matter was escalated to the Constitutional Court. In 2003 Suzanne was granted the right by the court to be a legal guardian of their adoptive children, changing South Africa’s adoption laws and making headlines in South Africa and around the world.

Two Moms is directed by award-winning director Luiz DeBarros and newcomer Andile Genge, and produced by Lars Schwinges and the acclaimed Underdog production team. Underdog (also the company behind Mambaonline) has previously produced Below the Belt, Flush and Metamorphis: The Remarkable Journey of Granny Lee.

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