Lesbian couples contemplating parenthood will want to see Making Grace for positive reinforcement. Journal-like, it details the process Ann and Leslie Krsul-Sullivan, a personable pair of poster girls, went through after electing to go the turkey-baster route. While there were frustrations, especially in waiting for Ann to get pregnant, and 'an intense amount of stress' on their relationship after their daughter was born, they obviously never regretted their decision for a minute.
A male friend balked at being the donor so they went through a sperm bank to find an anonymous father, which Ann preferred to extending their family by making a man a part of it. After one ectopic pregnancy, it seemed to take forever before Ann conceived again.
Other than Ann, who looks like a cross between Ellen DeGeneres and an ex-husband of mine, describing finding out she was pregnant, the film skips over the first six months of gestation. To hear the women tell it, they skipped over them too, waiting until then to start Lamaze classes and planning a baby shower.
A few friends and family members make brief appearances but Making Grace, by Catherine Gund, focuses mostly on the two women, who address the camera separately and together and engage in ostensibly spontaneous conversations, each designed to convey certain information.
Grace Ann Emerson is born on May 3, 2001, about two-thirds of the way into the film, which continues up to her first birthday party. Everything seems to work out, from Ann, an architect, being the one who wants to get pregnant, to Leslie being willing and able to sacrifice her ( lower ) income to be a 'stay-at-home mom.' The only hint of conflict, ultimately resolved, comes when Ann's sister expresses initial hesitation about telling her own young children Grace has two mommies.
The Krsul-Sullivans say they've done everything the law allows short of second-parent adoption, which they claim is too much hassle, to establish their mutual status as Grace's parents. They acknowledge there could be a custody battle if they ever break up but they intend to stay together.
While Gund adds visual variety with ferry rides and street scenes, Making Grace tells far more than it shows. If you want to see a great film on this subject catch Nicole Conn's little man; but while it ends on an equally upbeat note, appreciated all the more for what it takes to get there, it will scare the crap out of lesbians thinking of becoming mothers. Making Grace makes it look easy.