mon 26/10/2020

Our Baby: A Modern Miracle, Channel 4 review - trailblazing couple's amazing journey | reviews, news & interviews

Our Baby: A Modern Miracle, Channel 4 review - trailblazing couple's amazing journey

Our Baby: A Modern Miracle, Channel 4 review - trailblazing couple's amazing journey

Jake and Hannah Graf are Britain's first parents who are both transgender

Jake and Hannah Graf with their baby daughter Milly

On one level this documentary could be summed up as “parents have baby”, but since the parents in question are “Britain’s most prominent transgender couple”, it was a lot more complicated than that.

On one level this documentary could be summed up as “parents have baby”, but since the parents in question are “Britain’s most prominent transgender couple”, it was a lot more complicated than that. Jake Graf used to be a woman and his wife Hannah was previously a man, and the path to having their first child caused them considerable soul-searching.

You might ask why they would want to have a Channel 4 film crew pursuing them during a stressful year in which they searched for a surrogate mother and tracked down a suitable sperm donor. Perhaps they considered it a way of demonstrating to a broad audience that their emotions and ambitions are the same as anyone else’s. Or, as they seem to spend an enormous amount of time being interviewed on Lorraine and various other TV shows, perhaps they just couldn’t resist the publicity.

They’ve had to overcome difficulties in their personal and professional lives, and hateful comments on social media are par for the course. But they’ve seized the initiative, and strive to accentuate the positive. Jake is an actor and film director who seeks to highlight trans issues, while Hannah, formerly an Army Captain, became the Army’s Transgender Representative and won an MBE for services to the military’s LGBT community. Now, "My wife and I are a heterosexual couple but we're both transgender,"

Once they’d met, they were unanimous that they wanted children, though while Jake had presciently harvested some of his female eggs years earlier, pre-transitioning Hannah hadn’t saved any sperm, not imagining that the day would ever come when she could have offspring. She was painfully conscious of being a woman who couldn’t give birth, and even Jake’s constant nervous babble of encouragement couldn’t entirely put at her at ease.

The slightly sluggish narrative got a welcome surge of acceleration from the Covid-19 lockdown, which threw them into a panic because they had to get to Belfast where Laura, their surrogate, was about to give birth. A fraught trip by car and ferry got them across the water, though they weren’t able to witness the birth. Eventually parents and baby made it safely back to London, though it was difficult to believe that their family life is going to be a drama-free experience.

It was difficult to believe that their family life is going to be a drama-free experience

rating

Editor Rating: 
3
Average: 3 (1 vote)

Share this article

Add comment

newsletter

Get a weekly digest of our critical highlights in your inbox each Thursday!

Simply enter your email address in the box below

View previous newsletters