Loic Choquet

On LGBTQ+ parenting in Luxembourg

Loïc Choquet champions equal rights through J.P. Morgan’s Pride network. Romain Gamba/Maison Moderne

Loïc Choquet champions equal rights through J.P. Morgan’s Pride network. Romain Gamba/Maison Moderne

J.P. Morgan executive director Loïc Choquet shares his experience of being part of the LGBTQ+ community as a married father of three, and how he is championing equal rights.

Could you describe your family situation?

I’m married, we have three kids, a dog, a hamster and a fish--it’s a big family! The composition of my family is like patchwork, in a way. It’s different from the typical story, even for a same-sex couple. I have three kids: Louis-Victor, 9, whom I got with my ex in 2012. My childhood friend helped us start our family. Eleonore and Charlotte [are] twins, age 2.5, whom I got with my current husband, Thomas, in 2019. We used a surrogacy process [in the US].

We’ve lived in Luxembourg for one year, but my eldest son knows Luxembourg very well because he was raised here for four years before moving to London with me. And the twins arrived here after [we were in] Switzerland, and they love it as well.

You talk about surrogacy in the US. Was this process fairly simple?

It was okay because the girls have American and French citizenship. When you have EU citizenship, it’s easier to move. Bear in mind, we were in Switzerland [then], and it was a little bit different there. We had to have a lawyer. In Luxembourg, it was really smooth--especially if you compare it to the time I had my firstborn in France while living in Luxembourg, then moving a family to Luxembourg. The administration, nine years ago, wasn’t used to [this]. It was quite surprising to them to have a same-sex couple with kids, whereas when I did the same exercise [returning to Luxembourg], it was so smooth. I see a real difference between nine years ago and today.

What’s working well for you as an LGBTQ+ parent in Luxembourg?

The support. Whether you have children or not, are straight or not, doesn’t make any difference in terms of administrative processes. That’s a good thing. If I take the example of France or Switzerland, it was a little more complex. The size of Luxembourg allows the country to move faster, in terms of mindset, [etc.]. The great thing about Luxembourg is also the connections between people. You can meet people very easily, from different backgrounds. It’s so international. Size is a strength for Luxembourg.

Are there any areas in which Luxembourg could improve?

Adoption is a good example. Second is also schools. The education of teachers sometimes needs to be improved. Local schools can be difficult because the teachers aren’t used to teaching same-sex couples’ kids. International schools are different... if you look at the paperwork [at some] international schools, it says parent one, parent two.

How are you involved in supporting the LGBTQ+ community in your own organisation?

I was [previously] co-chair for EMEA of Pride [a business resource network] at J.P. Morgan. Now, I’m involved at the country [level]. I engage with HR, and J.P. Morgan Switzerland supported me by offering me 12 fully paid weeks of absence (same as what a mother would have) to be with my newborns as opposed to “just” the two weeks that the firm offers to every new father. This created a precedent, as no one did it or benefitted from that before.

I’ve contributed to moving this forward, including in Luxembourg, to let same-sex parents have the same level as a straight couple when having a kid... We are aligning our policies around this. We’re not calling it parental leave, we are calling it special leave--which makes no difference, in a sense. At the end of the day, you just want to be with your kids.

This article first appeared in the Expat Guide 2021-2022.