Wednesday, November 12, 2014

[USA] "Transgender Men Who Experienced Pregnancy After Female-to-Male Gender Transitioning" Obsetetrics & Gynecology

OBJECTIVE: To conduct a cross-sectional study of transgender men who had been pregnant and delivered after transitioning from female-to-male gender to help guide practice and further investigation.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: We administered a web-based survey from March to December 2013 to inquire about demographics, hormone use, fertility, pregnancy experience, and birth outcomes. Participants were not required to have been on hormone therapy to be eligible. We used a mixed-methods approach to evaluate the quantitative and qualitative data.

RESULTS: Forty-one self-described transgender men completed the survey. Before pregnancy, 61% (n=25) had used testosterone. Mean age at conception was 28 years with a standard deviation of 6.8 years. Eighty-eight percent of oocytes (n=36) came from participants' own ovaries. Half of the participants received prenatal care from a physician and 78% delivered in a hospital. Qualitative themes included low levels of health care provider awareness and knowledge about the unique needs of pregnant transgender men as well as a desire for resources to support transgender men through their pregnancy.

CONCLUSION: Transgender men are achieving pregnancy after having socially, medically, or both transitioned. Themes from this study can be used to develop transgender-appropriate services and interventions that may improve the health and health care experiences of transgender men.

Available at Obstetrics & Gynecology

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

[USA] "Analysis: PolitiFact Is Wrong; Social Science Does Show Children Do Best With a Mom and a Dad"

OK.....I don't normally promote this rubbish, but have a look at how so-called "christians" fail to understand what Science is (hardly surprising, is it!).  This embarrassing rubbish was posted on "Christian Post".  

The only consolidation is that hardly anyone believes this rubbish any more.  The sounds of the desperate, last stand by people who think the earth is 6000 years old!

Despite a wealth of social science research showing that children do best when raised by their biological, married mother and father, PolitiFact rated this claim "false" after Tony Perkins, president of Family Research Council, stated it on Fox News Sunday.

"We know from the social science that children do best with a mom and a dad," Perkins said on the Oct. 12 Sunday morning news show.

Later that afternoon, PolitiFact posted an article rating the statement "false."
A 2013 report by Child Trends summarizing social science research on the topic stated, however, that, "on average, children in single-parent families are more likely to have problems than are children who live in intact families headed by two biological parents."

Children raised in homes that experience a divorce are more likely to have "academic and behavior problems" such as "depression, antisocial behavior, impulsive/hyperactive behavior, and school behavior problems."

And, children raised by stepparents "have lower levels of well-being than children growing up with biological parents." Which means "it is not simply the presence of two parents, as some have assumed, but the presence of two biological parents that seems to support children's development." (Emphasis in original.)

Continue Reading (if you can be bothered) at the UnChristian Post.

[Ireland] "Government to address surrogacy law by end of year" by Fiona Gartland

Minister for Justice says State ‘had to appeal case as it would have overturned existing law’

A memo on an Assisted Reproduction Bill to deal with surrogacy will be brought to Government by the end of the year, Minister for Health Leo Varadkar has said.

Speaking following a landmark decision from the Supreme Court that the birth mother of twins born by surrogacy is their legal mother, Mr Varadkar said legislation on assisted human reproduction, surrogacy and gamete donation is long overdue.

He said he would consult with Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald, Government colleagues and others on the preparation of this Bill, which is “likely to deal with the issues of legal parentage, surrogacy, egg and sperm donation, and other related issues”.

“Our prime concern here is that any law protects, promotes and ensures the health and safety of parents, others involved in the process such as donors and surrogate mothers, and most importantly, the children who will be born as a result of assisted reproduction,” the Minister said.

The Supreme Court ruled, by a majority of six to one that under current law the surrogate mother, as the birth mother of the twins at the centre of the case, should be registered as their legal mother.

Continue Reading at Irish Times

[Australia] "Victoria clinic sperm demand prompts calls to use overseas donors" by Beau Donelly

Victoria's donor sperm supply has plunged in the past year as fertility clinics struggle to recruit enough men to meet demand, strengthening a push for donor sperm to be imported from overseas.

The Victorian Assisted Reproductive Treatment Authority said demand for donor sperm from single women and same-sex couples was outstripping supply, with the number of people accessing donor insemination more than tripling in the past four years.

Its annual report shows the number of donors whose sperm was available on July 1 dropped by 23 per cent compared to the previous year, from 445 to 343, while the number of men signing up to become sperm donors dropped from 64 to 61. 

"Everyone's having problems," chief executive Louise Johnson said. "Except for one small clinic, everyone was reporting that their supplies of donor sperm had dropped."

While donor sperm rates dropped sharply last year, they are still at their second highest rate in a decade, which the industry says is due to donor recruitment campaigns.

Ms Johnson said there has been a surge in demand for donor sperm in the four years since legislative changes made it possible for fertile women to access treatment. VARTA reports the number of women using donor insemination increased from 92 in 2009-10 to 311 this year.

Continue Reading at The Age

[Ireland] "‘Real hope but another reality’: Surrogacy and same-sex parenting in Ireland" The Journal IE.

There are some important and interesting things happening in Ireland with respect to surrogacy.

A LANDMARK CASE in the Supreme Court this week saw the status quo remain in place – that the genetic mother of a child born to a surrogate could not appear on its birth certificate.

According to Ireland’s current laws, genetics only counts when it comes to fatherhood, not motherhood.

To be a legal mother, the child must be born out of your body.

It seems like an unbelievable position for the court to take but the Chief Justice underlined that she had no other option. It was not the job of the courts to create a “golden rule” for motherhood. It was up to the lawmakers of the country. She basically told the big wigs in Leinster House to pull the finger out on this one and come up with some legislation on surrogacy.

As a solicitor for one of the sisters involved in the case said outside the court, “Surrogacy is happening… These aren’t the only family involved in this particular kind of case.”

And there are potentially hundreds more who will need legal clarity in the near future.

As a visiting fertility specialist told an audience at a same-sex parenting seminar held in Dublin’s city centre this week, “there is a global revolution happening and Ireland is just entering it”.

Dr Brandon Bankowski of Oregon Reproductive Medicine was one of a number of experts to speak 
to more than 50 same-sex couples on Wednesday evening in the Westbury Hotel.

He was addressing those couples as ones who had “made the first step… to dream of becoming parents”.

Continue Reading at The Journal. 

[UK] "Gay couple to become fathers to three babies in just seven months after meeting three different surrogate mothers online" by Lucy Crossley

This is published in the Daily Mail Australia so of course who knows how true the story is, but here it is....

A gay couple are to become parents to three children by three women they met via surrogacy websites.

For the past 15 years, Daryl Lee, 41, and Luke Harris, 50, had longed to have children and joined a number of online forums in an attempt to find a suitable surrogate.

They made contact with one of the women, Becky Harris, 27, and through her met Bex Harris, 32, and Viktoria Ellis, 32.

The couple had always dreamed of having a large family, but were shocked to find that this would happen sooner then they expected when all three women, who live in Suffolk, became pregnant.

Mr Lee, 41, is the biological father of two of the children, while Mr Harris, 50, gave his sperm for the third. All three babies will be born within seven months of each other, between January and July next year. 

Continue Reading at Daily Mail

Saturday, November 8, 2014

[USA] "Mourning his husband, devoted gay dad still wanted his babies to enjoy their first Halloween " by David Hudson

This is a powerful piece, reminding us what family is.  

‘I am widower. My husband loved Halloween but unfortunately he passed away last May and never got to enjoy the babies first Halloween, so in his memory I'm trying to enjoy as much as we can.’ 

Jorge Goytizolo and his partner Philip Parrish always loved dressing up at Halloween.

The two met in 1998 and got married in New York in 2013.

They became parents to twins Santiago and Ella in February of this year, through the use of a surrogate mom in Guatemala.

Overjoyed with their children, the Fort Lauderdale couple looked forward to enjoying their first Halloween as a family.

However, it was not to be. Tragically, Philip passed away suddenly in May following a battle against brain cancer. It hadn’t been until their surrogate mom was six months pregnant that they realized how seriously ill Philip had become.

His death, aged just 48, was a devastating blow for Jorge [pictured right with Philip], who not only had to deal with the grief of losing his beloved husband, but also had to cope with the challenge of suddenly becoming a single parent to twin babies.

Continue Reading at Gay Star News

[Daylesford] Unofficial & Informal Rainbow Families Weekend at ChillOut 2015 (6-9 March)

Attention: Gay Dads & Rainbow Families

For many years groups of GLBTI families have spent the weekend or just a day at Daylesford for ChillOut.

Once again a group of gay dads are heading up on the weekend of ChillOut and it would be awesome if we can get as many other Rainbow Families to ChillOut as possible.

The weekend is fun and very rainbow family friendly.  If you come up for a day, then make it the Carnival Day on Sunday.  If you come up for the weekend, why not rent a house or caravan - either just your family or split the costs with another.

Each year we go with a group of other gay dads and kids.  Each year we meet lots of new Rainbow Families and their kids (and lots who are keen to become parents).

Organising big weekend events are always challenging but if you are thinking of a weekend away with Rainbow Families, why not make it ChillOut 2015.

The Rainbow Families have heaps of opportunities to connect at the parade and carnival, as well as other events over the weekend.  Closer to the date I will try and organise a contact list of those families going if people are interested.

ChillOut is on from 6-9 March 2015 (Labour Day Long Weekend) in Daylesford - See the website

There are at quite a few Rainbow Families already going - hope to see you there.

Rodney Chiang-Cruise
Co-Moderator Gay Dads Australia

[Australia] Free USA Surrogacy Event: Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane

Gay Dads Australia have just received notification that Growing Generations together with The Fertility Center of Las Vegas will be holding 3 seminars in Australia in mid December.  The Flyer is attached.

Monday, 15 December 2014 6:00-8:00pm
Uniting Church Hall 52 Merthyr Road, New Farm, QLD  4005

Wednesday, 17 December 2014 6:00-8:00pm
Seminar Room One State Library ofVictoria 328 Swanston Street
MelbourneVictoria 3000 Tel +613 86647291

Saturday, 20 December 2014 3:00-5:00pm
Sydney Mechanics’ School ofArts MitchellTheatre 280 Pitt Street

The Speakers include:

Stephen Page - Surrogacy Lawyer from Harrington Family Lawyers in Brisbane

Dr Kim Bergman, Psychologist and Co-Owner of Surrogacy Agency, Growing Generations, Los Angeles

Said T Daneshmand MD, the Practice Director at The Fertility Center of Las Vegas.

If you wish to attend, please see details on the flyer.  This is a free event.

IMPORTANT NOTE:  The moderators of Gay Dads Australia have a strict policy to not endorse any agency, lawyers, clinics etc with respect to Surrogacy.  We will however promote free seminar events by Agencies (etc) when they come to Australia.  They happen rarely and so they are an opportunity to meet relevant people in the industry without having to venture overseas first.

Take advantage of these opportunities, even if you are planning to use a different agency or IVF clinic.  Many of the issues they cover will be similar.

As always, if people are aware of other free surrogacy related events coming to Australia, please let us know.

Friday, November 7, 2014

[USA] Children born via surrogacy to gay dads share their stories - Part 1

This is just all sorts of wonderful.

The 10th Annual NY Men Having Babies Surrogacy Seminar & Gay Parenting Expo, 02 November 2014. 

Teen panel/ PART 1: Children born via surrogacy to gay dads share their stories. In cooperation with Family Equality Council’s Outspoken Generation program.

Watch the Wonderful at YouTube !

Thursday, November 6, 2014

[USA] "The Kids Are All Right: LGBT Families With Kids" by Shane Jordan

"Tradition and existing conditions are not satisfactory evidence for discrimination"

I grew-up in a home with both a mother and a father. By all intents and purposes, it was a typical looking family. And in the 1970s and 1980s, that was not unusual.Typical was, well, typical. Families were defined as a mother, father and their children. It of course, included grandparents and extended families, but the nucleus was almost always the same. Children from single parent families were relatively unusual and were somewhat of an oddity in those days. Everyone knew who they were and secretly felt sorry for those unfortunate "latch key" kids.

Today, families are no longer quite so cookie cutter similar. Some families are comprised of a mother and her children and a father who is no longer an active member of the family or never has been. Other families consist of two absent parents, leaving the parental role to be fulfilled by grandparents or foster families. And there are, for the first time in history, a fair amount of same sex parents who are raising children. These types of family are a few million strong.

Despite studies proving otherwise, some people still insist that children are being ruined by this type of family dynamic. They deem homosexual couples as "unfit"parents, but don't seem to have concrete or legitimate evidence to substantiate their claims. They fight against same-sex adoption with the fervor of a quarterback at the Super Bowl.

So, what do opponents argue?

Read More at Huffington Post

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

[AU] "Two dads, four babies: Ballarat couple find success in surrogacy program" by Nicholas Payne

TO SAY Chris and Michael have their hands full is an understatement.

Almost overnight the couple has gone from being childless to having four babies under the age of 12 weeks.

“It’s nice to have a big family right away,” Michael said.

Chris and Michael recently brought their four bundles of joy back from Thailand after two simultaneous surrogate pregnancies.

The district couple, who spent $76,000 on the surrogacy process, was one of the last to leave Thailand with their children before the Thai military government closed the doors on the surrogacy program. 

This followed a series of international media scandals, including the heartbreaking story of WA couple David and Wendy Farnell, who left baby Gammy with his Thai surrogate because he had Down syndrome.

Chris and Michael’s journey into parenthood started after watching a TV commercial featuring parents playing with their children.

Michael turned to Chris and said: “That’s one thing we’re never going to experience. I wonder if it’s all that it’s cracked up to be?”

Six weeks later and the couple was at an IVF centre in Bangkok.

Now their living room is taken up by four cots – one each for babies Melanie, Megan, Jake and Logan. The twin boys are 11 weeks old and the twin girls are two weeks younger.

The couple had never intended to have this many children.

“Four was a bit of an accident,” Michael admitted.

“But that feeling when we got the first email about the boys and it said two heartbeats was just amazing – I was literally jumping up and down.”

Continue Reading at The Advocate

[US] "A Guide To Starting Your Family Via Surrogate" by Winnie McCroy

An interesting and informative article on creating your family via surrogacy. Great to see Dr Guy Ringler quoted in here.  A great pioneer and leader in surrogacy for gay men.

The move to secure marriage equality in the United States has brought with it a gay baby boom, with many couples ready to start a family. While this is a relatively uncomplicated process for lesbian couples, gay male couples who want to have a biological child of their own must often engage in a long and expensive process involving a gestational surrogate. In New York and Washington, DC, this process is complicated by the fact that these states ban surrogates. 

"People from New York and even further, like Australia, come to California for these services, because they are illegal where they live," said Los Angeles-based fertility specialist Guy Ringler, MD. "The world's best doctors are here, and while other places also allow surrogacy, they may have adoption or child's rights issues, while California has no issues with intended parents."

The state's laws are very protective of the rights of intended parents, putting on the birth certificate the names of the people whose intent it was to create the child, rather than the gestational surrogate, which Ringler calls, "cleaner, simpler and after. It can be established in the beginning that they are the legal parents."

Continue Reading at Edge Boston

[UK] "Gay Birthright Campaign Gathers Momentum" by Samantha Scott (@gaybirthrightuk)

A new UK based internet campaign has started related to the restrictive UK laws relating to surrogacy for gay men.  Read more in Samantha Scott's article on Fertility Road.

A couple frustrated by restrictive UK laws regarding gay surrogacy have commenced an internet campaign that aims to start a conversation about inequalities in the way the family unit is created for same-sex partners.

Brits Rory O’Connell and Nick Mills are hoping to become parents to biological offspring through an overseas gestational surrogate, but told us: “As a gay couple we have the same potential and intention to parent as any other couple, but in the UK the state does not support us in terms of treatment and law so we have found a route to follow that will circumvent these injustices and inequalities.”

Their Gay Birthright UK campaign aims to raise awareness and open a debate regarding the laws surrounding surrogacy to better protect both intended parents and surrogates, and bring parity in terms of availability of IVF and fertility treatment for male intended parents in relation to what is currently offered to straight and lesbian couples.

The couple explain that “society is not static, and gay rights have come a long way with many injustices and inequalities disappearing.”

They recognise that same sex couples have been able to bring children into their lives via the route of gestational surrogacy in various countries, however the couple are seeking to promote ethical and legitimate surrogacy and are opting for the favourable legal climate in developed nations like the USA where all concerned are protected and appropriately compensated for their part in the process.

Follow Gay Birthright UK on Twitter.

Visit Gay Birthright UK on Facebook

Continue Reading at Fertility Road

Sunday, November 2, 2014

[Australia] Victoria - Opinion: Rodney Chiang-Cruise & Story: "Restriction on adoption fosters sadness for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and intersex parents" by Miki Perkins

Victoria has a State Election around the corner and the adoption rights (or lack thereof!) are again an issue that is just simply becoming embarrassing in this State.  

In Victoria, same sex couples are prevented from accessing adoption.  Both the LNP and the ALP have had ample opportunities to address this over the years and have completely failed to do so. 

Of the two major parties, the LNP have started making muted sounds for reform via Clem Newton-Brown (Member for Prahran) but he is after all, a member of the LNP - the traditional enemy of same sex families.  The ALP on the other hand continue (yet again) to make the right noises on this issue - but they have completely failed to deliver on this in the past when they were in power.  Would they really be any different this time?

Now Gay Dads Australia takes no view on politics (and rightly so!) but this writer does.  I am a gay dad.  I am heavily vested in all issues relating to same-sex relationships and parental rights.

When it comes to voting day, neither the LNP or the ALP will secure my 1st, 2nd or even 3rd preference vote.   I plan to vote for a group of candidates/parties that are completely progressive on GLBTI issues, especially including same-sex adoption rights.  

When you go out to vote, I ask that you consider who is really serious about the URGENT reform in this area and vote accordingly.  

Again - I stress this is a personal view and not one of GDA.

Rodney Chiang-Cruise
Gay, Married (not legally recognised here), Father to 3 boys and tired of waiting in 2014 for equality.

In Essential Baby today there was a story entitled "Restriction on adoption fosters sadness for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and intersex parents".  Please read and share widely.

At every Midsumma festival or Pride March there are stalls dedicated to promoting foster care to gay and lesbian families.

Welfare agency Berry Street – which gets funding from the state government – is just one organisation that pitches a tent to hand out brochures and encourage gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and intersex (GLBTI) people to consider becoming foster parents.

Yet unlike heterosexual people, GLBTI foster parents are not allowed to adopt their foster children, even if they have legally become their permanent carers and looked after them for many years.

In fact, gay Victorians are not able to adopt at all, something that sets them apart from other jurisdictions such as NSW, ACT, Tasmania and Western Australia.

In the lead-up to the state election all parties have been quick to spruik their queer credentials to hold on to valuable marginal seats, such as Prahran.

Labor and the Greens have policies that support same-sex adoption. But there is no clear sign that the Coalition is ready to declare its position, despite vigorous support for GLBTI issues from Prahran MP Clem Newton-Brown, who has been part of the push to remove discrimination against people with HIV and expunge historical gay sex convictions.

At a doorstop interview in May, Premier Denis Napthine said he was "philosophically not against it" but was looking to get the best information available rather than making a decision "off the top of the head".

Advocates such as Carmen Parsons, from the Rainbow Families committee, say this issue should have been resolved in 2002, when the ALP first referred adoption law reform to the Victorian Law Reform Commission.

Continue Reading at Essential Baby