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Here’s how to start a family as an LGBTIQ+ person living in Nigeria

Being gay in Nigeria is hard enough, however, some people are still eager to start a family in the country.

If you are an LGBTIQ+ person who is considering starting a family with your partner here in Nigeria, then you will definitely find the information below very helpful.

  1. Ensure you and your partner is on the same page on this topic. Ask them about their fears, concerns, and expectations about starting a family in an unconventional society like Nigeria.
  2. Do not assume anything with your partner. Ensure you have conversations about every aspect of what you both expect from the kind of family you both want and build a navigating process for every part of the lives that you both intend to build.
  3. When choosing a place to raise your family, endeavor to consider the urban areas as they can be somewhat safer for queer families as people tend to mind their businesses more in the cities than in rural areas. It also allows for more privacy and security. This might also mean that you and your partner might have to work for a while to save and prepare for the lives in view.
  4. Before choosing a school for your wards, be sure to homeschool them about the uniqueness of your family types and values (as appropriate for their age) and follow up on school topics and skills to be able to correct notions and ideals as soon as they arise.
  5. Have an open conversation with your children about the uniqueness of your queer family while pointing out the cool parts of your uniqueness. This makes them not feel odd and builds their confidence.
  6. Schedule play dates with other queer parents who share the same values and morals as you and your partner to help your children build a sense of belonging as other parents may not be comfortable with their kids mingling with yours (This is Nigeria after all)
  7. Sort for services from within the community if possible, like babysitters, pediatrics, lesson teachers, and handy services. This will further ensure the safety of your family and in cases where these services are not available within the community, endeavor to use trusted individuals well-vetted and recommended by trusted friends and families.
  8. You and your partner should have a well-detailed will stating who gets the kids in case of eventualities and which of your family members are entitled to what to ensure some level of financial securities for your family in case of anything. If you have a trusted member of your family who is not homophobic, let them know the status of your relationship with your partner. But in the absence of such a family member, do well to engage a lawyer.

This information was put together and first shared on Instagram by Women’s Health & Equal Rights Initiative (WHER).

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