In order to allow for rich narratives to be collected, but also to ensure a degree of comparability between the scripts, the research team used semi-structured interviews. The collection of individuals’ and couples’ narratives suited best the necessity of investigating individual and family practices as well as the symbolic meanings attached to them. This strategy complemented the quantitative and legal surveys conducted by the other teams involved in the LawsAndFamilies research project. Through network and snowball sampling, 108 self-identified gay, lesbian and bisexual people were interviewed in the four countries: France (26, including 14 with both members of the couple), Iceland (30), Italy (29, including 7 with both members of the couple) and Spain (23). These interviews were semi-structured audio-recorded conversations that lasted on average between 1 and 2 hours. The following variables were explicitly taken into consideration in order to bring diversity into our sample:
- Across the four countries we interviewed 58 cis-women and 63 cis-man, 2 trans-women and 2 trans-men.
- The sample includes respondents aged between 22 and 63 years old, 39 being the average age of the interviewed group.
- Couple status includes single people (19), couples living apart together (LAT) (13), unregistered cohabitations (54), registered cohabitations / PACS (10), married couples (32) and 1 widower. Three persons were divorced from a previous homosexual marriage.
- Parental status is the most diverse characteristic in the sample and includes 10 different categories: respondents without children (65), respondents who have children conceived in a previous heterosexual relationship (17), respondents who conceived through assisted reproduction technologies (ART) (22), through surrogacy (4), through homemade self-insemination (8), lesbian women who had heterosexual intercourse with an unknown person (2), adoptive parents (3), foster parent (1), co-parentality (4), and respondents who had children through multiple methods (3).
- Geographical locations are not representative of the myriad of local governments and geographical diversity that characterize these four countries. However, in order to gather the most diverse experiences of LGBT families in different urban/rural environments, each research group aimed at including metropolises, cities and towns/villages, as well as taking into account national geographical areas (such as North/ South).
- Due to the sampling strategy employed, the sample over-represents middle-class and upper-class respondents. The recruitment method could explain this homogeneity.
More information is included in the final appendices such as: the interview guide; the topics covered during the interviews in this survey; each country’s sample details, including the respondents’ pseudonym, sex, age, couple status, parental status and geographical location.