The women

101a Amina is a 30-year-old woman who identifies as Arabic. She met her cur­rent partner Josha less than two years ago and they have now been in a civil partnership for five months. Their marriage was instigated by Amina’s non – EU citizenship. Amina and Josha live together in Amina’s flat in North of England. She rarely sees her family of origin who live abroad.

101b Josha is Amina’s partner. She is a 22-year-old of Pakistani origin. On com­pletion of her studies, she is expected to marry a man. Her relationship with Amina is kept secret from her family of origin, and both she and Amina know that their marriage is temporary. Josha has never been in a relationship with a woman before.

102a Outside of the age range. Not included in the main analysis.

102b Outside of the age range. Not included in the main analysis.

103a Radinka is a 31-year-old white EU national. She moved to England where she met her current partner Kamilia. Three years into their relationship they decided to marry. Radinka and Kamilia live in a shared household in the South East of England. They want to leave the city. They have now been in a civil partnership for eight months.

103b Kamilia is Radinka’s partner. She is 29. Like Radinka, she is a white EU national. They have been in a civil partnership for eight months after a three – year relationship. Kamilia’s parents live abroad and did not make it to her wedding. Neither did Radinka’s parents.

104a Doris is a 35-year-old, white, British woman. She initially met her part­ner Maria at church, at a point when Maria had just conceived a child. She entered into a relationship with Maria some years later. A few years into their relationship they had a religious ‘blessing’ and entered into civil partnership four years ago. They live in London with their eight-year-old daughter.

104b Maria is a 33-year-old black woman of Caribbean origin. While her part­ner is middle-class, Maria is not. Maria has a daughter who was conceived through donor insemination. The biological father has never been involved in the child’s life. Maria has dealt with some serious health concerns, and this has impacted on the relationship, which has become more of a struggle recently.

105a Kathryn is a white British woman. She is 37 and has been involved with Louise for nearly eight years. They entered into civil partnership about five years ago. They wanted to have a family together and are now expecting their second child. Both children have been conceived through assisted insemina­tion. It is her partner Louise’s turn to carry their child this time. She lives in the South East of England.

105b Louise is white and British. She and Kathryn are partners. She is pregnant with their second child. Louise was 30 when they became civil partners.

Her family of origin lives in the North of England. Because of the distance from where they live, they do not have much contact. But Kathryn’s parents live closer. Louise does not like the area they live in and feels isolated.

106a Angela is a 31-year-old white EU national. She entered into civil partner­ship with Nancy a month-and-a-half ago. Before that, they had been involved for almost five years. They live in London in a shared household with two flatmates. Angela was initially very sceptical about marriage, as her parents do not have a good married relationship.

106b Nancy is a white, 29-year-old, non-EU national who lives in a shared household in London with her partner Angela. They entered into civil part­nership a month-and-a-half ago. Nancy feels she was blamed for her parents’ failed relationship. Her parents have divorced and live abroad, and this has led to a sense of estrangement from them.

107a Juliet is a 36-year-old, white, British woman. She entered into civil partner­ship with Veronica when she was 33 after a seven-year relationship. Juliet and Veronica live in the South East of England. Their relationship is an emotion­ally and sexually non-monogamous one.

107b Veronica is a 34-year-old, white, British woman. She met Juliet, her current partner, 10 years ago. They have been in a civil partnership for three years. Veronica has had a previous serious relationship, which she describes as very problematic. She feels lucky that Juliet has ‘no baggage’.

108a Hanna is 26. She is white and British. When she met Tammy, her partner, she was still living at home with her parents. Hanna and Tammy entered into civil partnership 10 months ago. They live together in the North East of England and have just applied to adopt a child. Hanna’s family of origin live locally.

108b Tammy is a 29-year-old, white, British woman. She is Hanna’s partner. Like Hanna she lived with her parents when they first met. Tammy’s family of origin, like Hanna’s, live locally. Tammy was ‘cheated’ on in her previous relationship. She initially struggled to build trust with Hanna, but over time feels they have done that.

109a Zoe is 26. She is white and British. Zoe became a mother in her teens. She had no previous experience of relationships with women before she met her partner Rebecca. They entered into civil partnership 10 months ago, after nearly five years together. Zoe, Rebecca and their three children live in the North East of England. Her family of origin live nearby.

109b Rebecca is a 34-year-old, white, British woman. She was married to a man before she entered into civil partnership with her current partner Zoe. Rebecca has two children from previous relationships with men, and together Zoe and Rebecca are raising three children. They have been together for over five years and in a civil partnership for 10 months. Rebecca’s family of origin, like Zoe’s, live locally.

110a Stacy is a white, non-EU national. She is 34 years old. Stacy first met her cur­rent partner Theresa nearly 10 years ago when Theresa travelled from the UK for a summer job. For the next six years, they lived in two separate countries. Stacy moved to the UK just before they entered into civil partnership about three years ago. Her family of origin, all devoted Christians, live abroad.

110b Theresa is a 31-year-old, white, British woman. She is in a civil partnership with Stacy. They spent the first six years of their relationship in two different countries, but have lived together for just over three years and been in a civil partnership for the same length of time. They live together in the South East of England, but want to move abroad. Theresa’s parents live locally.

111a Barbara is a 32-year-old, white, British woman. She had been involved with Nicole for just under six years when they entered into civil partnership. This was nearly one-and-a-half years ago. They live in London, but want to move to a larger property. Her family of origin live locally.

111b Nicole is a 29-year-old, white, British woman. She and Barbara are part­ners. They have been in a civil partnership for 16 months. Nicole has been involved with Barbara for over seven years. Nicole lives with Barbara in London. Her family of origin live close by.

112a Caroline is a 35-year-old, white, British woman. She met her partner Edith when she was working abroad. This was just over four years ago and for the last 17 months they have been in a civil partnership. Caroline and Edith live in London. Her family of origin live in the UK, but quite a distance away. Caroline would like to return to Edith’s home country.

112b Edith and Caroline are partners. Edith is a 35-year-old, non-EU national. She is from a mixed-race background. Edith and Caroline were flatmates before entering into a couple relationship. About three years later they entered into civil partnership, 17 months ago. Edith was 33 at the time. Unlike Caroline, Edith has had a ‘typical middle class’ upbringing. Her family of origin live abroad.

113a Fay is a 35-year-old British woman and a mother of two children. She entered into civil partnership with her partner Olivia two years ago when they had been involved with each other for nearly eight years. The children were both conceived by donor insemination and the biological father has agreed no contact. Fay, Olivia and their two children live in London with both of their families nearby.

113b Olivia is a 30-year-old, white, British woman. She carried both of her and Fay’s children. Olivia and Fay entered into civil partnership two years ago and have been involved for nearly a decade. She had no previous sexual experi­ence with women. The family live in London.

114a Ellen is a 31-year-old woman of mixed white and Asian background. She entered into civil partnership with Holly a year ago after being together for nearly three years. Ellen and Holly live in London, but neither of them likes the area they live in. Holly wants to move back to her home country, but Ellen is not convinced due to her mother’s chronic health conditions.

114b Holly is 26. She is white and a non-EU national. She met her current part­ner Ellen in the UK nearly three years ago. They have been in a civil partner­ship for a year now. Holly wants to move back to her home country where her parents still live. Her relationship with Ellen is her first relationship with a woman.

115a Cori is a 31-year-old, white, British woman. She first met Gillian when she was working overseas. She was 17. They have been together ever since, but spent many years living in separate countries. Cori and Gillian have been in a civil partnership for just over three years. They live in the North West of England. Cori has no previous relationship experiences with women.

115b Gillian is Cori’s partner. She is a 31-year-old, white, non-EU national. When she met Cori she was still living with her parents overseas. This was

Gillian’s first relationship with a woman. Cori returned to the UK and their relationship continued. When Gillian’s parents found out about it, they tried to put a stop to the relationship. Gillian eventually moved to the UK. They have been in a civil partnership for just over three years. Gillian’s parents still live overseas.

116a Isabel is white and British. She is 25 and entered into a civil partnership with her partner Samantha five months ago. They have been involved for just over two years now and are raising a child – who has regular contact with his father – together. Isabel finds it difficult to fit in with the existing family structure. Her parents live a long way away.

116b Samantha and Isabel are partners. Samantha is a 27-year-old, white, British woman. She is the birth mother of a five-year-old child. Samantha, Isabel and their son live together in the North West of England, near Samantha’s family of origin.

117a Linda is a 34-year-old, white, British woman. She met her partner Natalie around three years ago and within a year they had entered into civil partner­ship. Linda comes from a religious background and has limited experience of relationships with other women. She and Natalie live in the North West of England. Her family of origin live locally.

117b Natalie is Linda’s partner. She is 35 years old, white and British. Natalie has been ‘out’ since her early teenage years and has had a series of difficult rela­tionships with women. Within a year of meeting Linda, they entered into civil partnership, just over two years ago now. Her family of origin live nearby.

118a Andrea is a 29-year-old, white, British woman. She has been in a relation­ship with Helen for nine years. They entered into civil partnership four years ago. This is Andrea’s first and only relationship. They live together with Andrea’s parents. Neither of them calls it home but ‘the house’.

118b Helen is a 30-year-old, white, non-EU national. She and Andrea met in the UK about nine years ago and have been in a civil partnership for nearly four years. Helen comes from a religious background. She has much more experience of relationships than Andrea. They live in Wales. Helen’s family of origin live overseas.

119a Moreen is 31. She is white and British. At the age of 28, Moreen entered into civil partnership with her partner Pam. By then they had been in a relationship for nearly three years. They also had a religious blessing of their relationship. Moreen and Pam live together in Scotland, but Moreen’s family of origin live down south.

119b Pam is Moreen’s partner. She is 27, white and British. Before she met Moreen, Pam had had no previous experiences of relationships with women. They have now been together for six years and in a civil partnership for nearly three. Pam and Moreen met at church. Pam’s family of origin live around the corner.

120a Dawn is a 36-year-old, white, British woman. She met Hailee about five years ago and they have been in a civil partnership for 16 months. Dawn and Hailee have a four-month-old baby, who was conceived by anonymous sperm dona­tion. Dawn carried the child. They live in a ‘straight’ and ‘settled’ area, as they call it, in the South East of England. Dawn’s family of origin live overseas.

120b Hailee and Dawn are partners. Hailee is a 34-year-old, white, British woman, a mother of a four-month-old baby. Hailee and Dawn met through church and have been together for around five years. They entered into civil

partnership 16 months ago. Hailee’s family of origin do not live in the area that she lives in.

121a Brooklyn is 35. She is white and British. She met her partner Sara when she was working abroad. Within a year they had entered into civil partnership. This was 17 months ago. Brooklyn is 10 years older than Sara. They live in a shared household in London. Brooklyn has limited contact with her family of origin who live abroad.

121b Sara is a 25-year-old, black, non-EU national. She entered into civil part­nership with Brooklyn 17 months ago. At that point they had known each other for less than a year. Like Brooklyn, Sara has limited contact with her family of origin who live abroad.

122a Fiona is a 36-year-old, white, British woman. She and Iris have been together for nearly 10 years and entered into civil partnership close to five years ago. Fiona is both the older and more experienced of the two with a series of ‘bad’ relationships behind her. Fiona and Iris live in Scotland.

122b Iris and Fiona are partners. She is 30 years old, white and British, and has been involved with Fiona for the last 10 years. They entered into civil partner­ship about five years ago. Her family of origin live locally.

123a Jasmine is a 28-year-old, white, British woman who lives with her partner Pheobe in Scotland. They have been in a civil partnership for 18 months. Jasmine has had serious health concerns linked to chronic illness, which has placed both emotional and financial pressure on their relationship. Her fam­ily of origin live in England.

123b Pheobe is Jasmine’s partner. She is 27 years old, white and British. Pheobe and Jasmine have been in a civil partnership for 18 months. Due to Jasmine’s illness, Pheobe has been the ‘breadwinner’. They struggle financially. Her family of origin live in Scotland, but a long distance away.

124a Annabel is 29. She is white and British. She has been in a civil partnership with Kenzie for around three-and-a-half years. They have a nine-month-old baby, who was conceived by donor insemination. The donor is a friend of theirs. He is gay. They have a verbal agreement between them about his non-involvement. Annabel, Kenzie and their baby live in Scotland. Annabel’s family of origin live close by.

124b Kenzie and Annabel are partners. Kenzie is a 31-year-old, white, British woman. She is also the birth mother of their nine-month-old baby. Kenzie met Annabel about five years ago. They entered into civil partnership within two years. Kenzie described her previous relationship as an abusive one. Her family of origin live in England.

125a Emily is a 32-year-old, white, British woman. She and Gail met nearly seven years ago. They have been in a civil partnership for 21 months and are expecting their first child. The donor is a gay male friend of theirs. Emily gets frustrated when she is not recognised as a ‘mummy’ to be, like her partner. Her family of origin live locally.

125b Gail is 33. She is white and British. Gail and Emily are partners and have been in a civil partnership for 21 months. They also had a religious blessing of their relationship. Gail is pregnant and suffers from extreme tiredness. They live in Scotland but Gail’s family of origin live in England.

126a Mandy is a 26-year-old, white, British woman. She has been involved with Olga for nearly five years. They entered into civil partnership four months ago and live in the South East of England. Neither of them likes the area they live in and they describe it as ‘exclusive’ and ‘pretentious’. Her family of origin live a long way away.

126b Olga and Mandy are partners. Olga is a 32-year-old, white, non-EU national. She has lived in the UK most of her life. She met Mandy around five years ago and they have been in a civil partnership for four months. One part of Olga’s family of origin live in the UK and another part abroad.