#Instababy: Queer Mississippi Couple Uses Instagram To Adopt A Baby

November 12, 2015  |  

Newly launched media company The Front has debuted its series New Deep South which will explore how millennials navigate their sexual identity in the 21st century American South. To expose how complex romantic relationships can be below the Mason-Dixon, The Front followed Toni and Keeta, an interracial lesbian couple living in Jackson, Mississippi.

Like most modern couples, they initially met on Instagram when Toni sent Keeta a flirtatious DM. After trading messages, the two decided to physically meet one another at a local club. They’ve been exclusive since meeting each other and have been together for a total of seven months; the pair is now engaged and living together. Keeta works as a cashier and Toni serves as a Mississippi police officer who has lived on her own since she was 15 when her family kicked her out because she didn’t adhere to their religious lifestyle. After their engagement, the couple decided to expand their family; however in the state of Mississippi same-sex couples can’t adopt children through any agency.

Toni’s pregnant friend had a solution: she asked Toni if she and her fiancée would be interested in adopting her baby since the baby’s father didn’t want to raise another child. The couple said yes, but the friend eventually backed out and they had to find another means of becoming parents. That’s when the pair began receiving pitches on Facebook and Instagram from prospective birth parents who were willing to give up or conceive a child for Toni and Keeta’s family to be complete.

As Toni and Ketta prepare for their plus-one, various mishaps occur to rock their faith and the soon-to-be mothers become more aware of how unsafe Jackson is becoming. At the time of filming Instababy, there were daily homicides in the city and on one occasion Ketta was chased home by a strange man. Despite this, their journey depicts how marginalized people find alternatives to attain their natural birthrights by any means possible.

Watch how their story unfolds below.

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