Friday, September 18, 2020

Gay couple share emotional journey to become foster parents | Kidspot | Madeline Cox

 "In honour of Foster Care Week 2020, the NSW couple open up about the highs and lows of the foster care system"

After a lifetime of dreaming and 12 months careful preparation, *Steve and *Paul finally got the call they had been waiting for.
For years the NSW couple had wanted to become foster parents, but were convinced that they wouldn’t be accepted.

But two and a half years ago, they decided to give it a try anyway and registered their interest with The Benevolent Society.

To their great surprise they were immediately accepted and placed in a program to become officially registered as foster parents – receiving their first placement a short time later.

“My biggest fear was how he would react to us,” Steve tells Kidspot.

I was so nervous I felt sick. I had so many thoughts about how we would get on, would we click?”

Monday, March 18, 2019

Australian | Researcher | Gay Dad Participants Required

Hi All.

I have been approached by Emma Abeyaratne, a researchers at the Cairnmillar Institute.  She is conducting research on the impact of work and family responsibilities on fathers' confidence and satisfaction with parenting.  She is after some gay dads to participate in the online survey.

Read on! 

You are invited to participate in a research study being conducted by the Cairnmillar Institute in partial fulfilment of a Master of Psychology (Clinical).  The study is investigating the impact of competing work and family responsibilities on parenting confidence and satisfaction in fathers with young children.

The researchers are recruiting fathers to complete a short online survey. Fathers must be:
• over the age of 18 years; and 
• living in Australia; and
• caring for child/children under the age of 5 years; and
• employed either full-time, part-time or casually. 

The survey is completely anonymous and should take no longer than 15 minutes.

If you are interested in participating and meet the recruitment criteria
, please follow the link for more information and to begin the survey.  

If you have any questions about the study or about participation, please contact Dr Mandy Kienhuis ( or Emma Abeyaratne (

Please feel welcome to share this post with anybody you know who may be interested in participating


Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Australia | Sperm Donor | "Sperm donor is a parent, Attorney-General argues Federal Attorney-General"

An interesting and possibly alarming intervention by the Attorney General in a High Court Case.

"Christian Porter has intervened in a High Court case, arguing the term “parent’’ should be expanded to include sperm donors in certain cases who are not married or in a de facto relationship with the mother at the time a child is conceived, a move that could have far-reaching implications for thousands of donors and their children.

If his argument is accepted, single women who use known sperm donors may find it impossible to exclude donors from having a role as parents in their children’s lives.

The High Court appeal has been launched by a Newcastle man, given the pseudonym Robert Masson, who has been trying to stop the mother of his biological daughter from moving with the child, now 12, to New Zealand.

Mr Masson and the mother, “Susan Parsons”, had been friends for 25 years when Mr Masson provided his sperm to Ms Parsons to conceive a child via an “informal artificial insemination procedure”. The pair agreed he would have a parenting role.

However, the full Family Court ruled last year that Mr Masson was not a legal parent — despite him being listed on the girl’s birth certificate, actively involved in her life and known to her as “dad”. This was because under NSW legislation, there is an “irrebuttable presumption” a sperm donor is not a parent unless married or in a de facto relationship with the mother at the time of conception. The full Family Court said it was a “constitutional heresy” to treat Mr Masson as the legal father; the state law applied, because the federal law did not provide “otherwise”.

The ruling has significance for the exercise of the court’s discretion to make parenting orders. Under the Family Law Act, there is a presumption it is in a child’s best interest for their parents to have equal shared parental responsibility.

In written submissions filed ahead of the High Court hearing on April 16, Mr Masson’s lawyers have argued the full Family Court was wrong to find he was not a parent. The submissions argue the word “parent” is “a question of fact”, in which biological and social factors could be relevant, as well as the parents’ conduct. They have argued because the federal law “otherwise provides”, the state legislation does not apply.

The Attorney-General has intervened and used slightly different reasoning about when state laws apply in a federal context to reach the same conclusion — that the state law did not apply in the case.
He has also argued the word “parent” should be given its “natural and ordinary meaning”.

The Attorney-General’s submissions argue that where the Family Law Act picks up state legislation it does so expressly and subject to careful limitations, providing a complete framework that does not leave room for the state law to apply more generally to decide who is a parent.

Mr Porter said the case raised “important questions of constitutional principle about the application of state laws in cases arising under commonwealth legislation”. He was “intervening to assist the court about the meaning of the word ‘parent’ in the Family Law Act, rather than in support of one party or another”.

Israel | Surrogacy | "Jewish Agency policy will help its gay employees pay for surrogate services overseas"

This appears to be some wonderful news for Gay Israelis wanting to create a family via surrogacy.

"The Jewish Agency for Israel became the first Israeli public institution to grant loans to its employees to pay for surrogacy services abroad.

While the grants are available to all employees, its biggest boon is to gay men, who are barred by law from using surrogates in Israel.

It also will be helpful to some of the 450 Jewish Agency employees, such as Israel emissaries, who spend several years living in a Jewish community abroad.

The grant is valued at about $11,000, which is a small portion of the actual cost of surrogacy abroad. Some Israelis who qualify for surrogacy in Israel also turn to services abroad to speed the process, though Israeli health services do not pay for surrogacy services outside of the country.

The Jewish Agency’s Chairman of the Executive, Isaac Herzog, said that the organization is “making a symbolic statement, because it reflects the egalitarian stance of a large organization that is recognizing the right of every man or woman to actualize their wish to be parents and to raise a family, regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation. The Jewish Agency is one big family, and all its members are equal.”

Several Israeli high-tech firms already offer this service.

In November, Israel’s Knesset rejected a bill that would have allowed same-sex couples to have children by surrogacy".

Read More

Australia | Northern Territory | "We want to pay you to carry our baby, say Darwin couple"

ONE Darwin couple is so desperate to have a baby they are willing to pay someone up to $30,000 to carry their child.

The gay couple need the help of a surrogate to have a biological child of their own and want the NT Government to allow them to freely advertise for and pay their future surrogate.

The NT is the only jurisdiction in Australia with no surrogacy laws, which means Territorians can’t — legally — carry a baby for someone in the NT.

“I don’t see why it would be an issue to compensate them for their services,” one partner said. “We know it’s a large sacrifice to offer to become a surrogate for someone and the demands on her body, and her mental state and her ability to work.

“We’re looking for the best outcome for the baby, the surrogate mother and the intending parents.”
They’re prepared to pay $30,000 to the woman who will carry their baby, and cover her accommodation, food and medical bills. The couple fear unless they can advertise for and pay a surrogate, they won’t be able to start a family of their own.

To access IVF surrogacy, people have to move interstate or travel overseas. This year, Australian Surrogacy president Sam Everingham hopes the NT Government will introduce surrogacy laws.
Mr Everingham said it would be “ideal” to pay surrogates for their generosity but he didn’t see commercial surrogacy as something which would be supported in Australia. “Surrogates should be entitled to generous expense payments,” he said.

Health Minister and NT Attorney-General Natasha Fyles confirmed the government was considering introducing surrogacy legislation, but didn’t say if she’d consider allowing families to advertise for and pay surrogates. Earlier this year, Ms Fyles said the government would wait until SA introduced its new laws before the NT followed.

Read More

Monday, February 18, 2019

Australia | WA | Surrogacy | "Liberal MP Nick Goiran accuses the government of hiding surrogacy report"

Another anti-gay Liberal (there are so many!).
"Liberal MP Nick Goiran has accused the government of hiding a report it commissioned into surrogacy and reproductive technology.
In early 2018 the McGowan government commissioned Associate Professor Sonia Allen from Deakin University to conduct a review of the state’s laws surrounding in vitro fertilisation (IVF) and surrogacy. Professor Allen had previously completed a similar review for the South Australian government.
Nick Goiran MLC says that report is being hidden from the public because it has not been tabled in parliament. The MP made the claim has debate to change the surrogacy laws commenced in the upper house".

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Australia | Surrogacy Seminars | "US Surrogacy & Donor Eggs - Best Practice Seminars in Melbourne & Sydney"

HI All - there are some Surrogacy seminars coming up in Melbourne and Sydney. I received the following information from Sam Everingham which I am passing on in case some of you are interested:

"As you well know, US states which allow foreigners to engage continue to be the most reliable avenue for surrogacy & egg donor arrangements. However the many moving parts and conflicting laws can be a nerve-wracking process.
To address this, next month FTS is hosting a best practice seminar in Melbourne (26 March) & Sydney (28 March) to help those considering US surrogacy or donor eggs . A handful of California’s top experts including Karen Synesiou, Andy Vorzimer & Dr David Smotrich will be speaking along with Australian parents and myself".
Tickets are limited, but can be accessed via
Further details will soon be available on our website event page:

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

USA | News | Children raised by same-sex couples do better in school, new study finds

"Children of same-sex couples perform better in school than kids raised by a mom and a dad, according to new research from several European economists.

The researchers found that children raised by same-sex couples had higher test scores in elementary and secondary school and were about 7 percent more likely to graduate from high school than children raised by different-sex couples.

The study by economists Deni Mazrekaj, Kristof de Witte and Sofie Cabus of Belgian university KU Leuven used government data tracking all children born in the Netherlands since 1995. The Netherlands was the first country in the world to legalize same-sex marriage in 2001 and has generally been one of the most supportive nations for same-sex couples".

Read More

Canada | News | Gay dads make great dads: UQAM study

"Researcher hopes his work helps dispel stereotypes about gay fathers, and contributes to opening up adoption possibilities for gay parents". 

Read More

United Kingdom | Thesis | Gay Men and Surrogacy: Navigating Boundaries in the Procreative Realm

Gay Men and Surrogacy: Navigating Boundaries in the Procreative Realm - Thesis submitted in partial fulfilment for the award of Doctor of Philosophy by Wendy Jane Norton, De Montfort University July 2018
"Desire and motivation to parent has often been conceptualised as a women’s reproductive concern whilst relatively little is known about men’s reproductive desires, reproductive decision making and reproductive experiences. Gay men have specifically been represented as uninterested in children and parenting, yet an increasingly number of same-sex male couples are exploring the possibility of surrogacy as a means of creating a family. To date, no studies have explicitly explored men’s use of surrogacy within the UK context where gamete donation is highly regulated and commercial surrogacy is illegal. This study employed a qualitative, intrepretivist epistemology to explore the factors that influence UK resident men’s desire and motivation for parenthood, why men choose surrogacy over other family building options and their experiences as they navigate the surrogacy journey. Data were collected using semi-structured interviews with 21 gay men and 15 key stakeholders and analysed using thematic analysis informed by theoretical concepts of procreative consciousness and procreative responsibility (Marsiglio, 1991), micro-aggressions (Sue, 2010), and Critical Kinship Studies (Krolokke et al, 2016; Riggs & Peel, 2016). The findings reveal that a variety of interrelated factors, including learning of different parenting options, spending time with children, and the visibility of “role-models” enabled men’s procreative consciousness to emerge, and served as triggers to motivate them to act on this desire. Participants’ accounts depicted surrogacy as a complex and challenging route to parenthood, but one which offered men the possibility of a genetically-related child who could live with them permanently in their own family unit. Surrogacy required careful planning, decision-making, and a great deal of forethought as men considered and negotiated third-party input to help them create their families. Many of the challenges men faced in their pursuit of surrogacy were associated with healthcare professionals’ lack of familiarity and experience with surrogacy and its legal position within the UK. Central to the findings in this study is the importance of the socio-cultural context. This thesis argues that gay men’s motivation to parent and their experiences of surrogacy are shaped by the changing landscape of social, legal and technological possibilities within a society that privileges heterosexual parenting. This study presents the original concept of procreative boundaries to examine the broader multi-layered structural parameters within which gay men are able to realise their procreative consciousness and enact procreative responsibility in order to achieve parenthood and be recognised as legitimate parents."
Read More

USA | News | Rise in LGBT parents expected in US, says survey

"A new survey has found that more LGBT+ young people than ever before are planning on having children in the US."

New Zealand | News | Labour MP Tāmati Coffey and partner Tim Smith's baby just the first

"Labour MP Tāmati Coffey and partner Tim Smith hope to raise more than one child if they "work out how to do it the first time".

The MP for Waiariki, confirmed this afternoon that Smith was the biological father of the baby due in July, and their surrogate mother was "a friend of a friend".

Coffey announced the news at the Big Gay Out in Auckland yesterday and was met with applause and screams of excitement."

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

[Australia] Rainbow Families Victoria AGM and DISCO | 18 November 2018

Come on down to the Rainbow Families Victoria ANNUAL DISCO with added annual general meeting! SAVE THE DATE NOW (18 November 2018)!

Arrive at 1.45pm to sign up, the AGM kicks off at 2pm start with the disco from 2.30 to 4.30pm.

Sign up to the AGM at 1.45pm and check if you are actually a financial members so you can vote. There will be games and dress-ups for the kids pre-disco while we get on with the AGM business followed 2 hours of awesome tunes by the fabulous DJ Oily Shoes. 

Boogie with the babies and do the limbo with the kids. Dance to all the best disco hits and memories - this disco will go off!

Click GOING and pop the date in your diary. We will send more details about the AGM, checking your membership status and the papers you need to read before hand.  

VENUE The Edinburgh Gardens Community Room -Brunswick St, Fitzroy.

Accessible venue with toilets and a great fenced playground nearby for children who need a break. Surrounded by lots of shady trees so maybe bring a post-disco dinner picnic to enjoy afterwards. 

REFRESHMENTS: Water and fruit provided.

More details

[Australia] Victorian Premier Announces Public Funded IVF

Today, the Australian Labor Party (ALP) in Victoria via Premier Daniel Andrews have announced that if re-elected they will "fund public IVF services to help families afford it". 

Daniel Andrews said "IVF has always been expensive, because it's provided through the private system.
That's why a re-elected Labor Government will make it public, bulk-billed and subsidised.
Because every family should have the chance to try for kids – not just those who can afford it."
You know these changes don't come out of nowhere. Rainbow Families, among others, have been advocating against the high and increasing costs of IVF for a long time. They have long argued that publicly funded IVF would make access more inclusive. Thank Daniel Andrews today - but also thank Rainbow Familes for all their hard work over many, many years".
This is a game changer for many LGBTIQ+ people wanting to create their families. I love news like this.

UPDATE: Story in The Age

Thursday, July 19, 2018

[Israel] Hundreds Protest in Tel Aviv After Netanyahu Flip-flops on Surrogacy Bill

Disappointing outcome in Israel for queer people hoping to create families.

Protesters block roads over bill excluding same-sex couples. Organizer of demonstration: 'The prime minister's smiling face shows his huge disconnect from the people'

Hundreds of demonstrators gathered in Tel Aviv on Wednesday to protest after the Knesset voted down legislation that would have permitted same-sex couples to be surrogate parents.

Source: Haaretz

See also here and here and here.