Tuesday, October 11, 2016

[Australia] Stephen Page "Why I believe that usually there is little point getting a parenting order for those undertaking surrogacy overseas"

Here is a new blog post from Surrogacy Lawyer Stephen Page.  I agree with it whole-heartedly.  

"Why I believe that usually there is little point getting a parenting order for those undertaking surrogacy overseas
Recently a number of clients and an overseas colleague have raised with me about why there is a difference in viewpoints amongst Australian lawyers about whether or not it is advisable to obtain a parenting order in the Family Court after undertaking surrogacy overseas."

Continue Reading at the Australian Surrogacy and Adoption Blog

Friday, September 9, 2016

[Global] Gay Dads Book Call For Submissions

Hogan Hilling, nationally recognized author and creator of the DADLY Book Series and Henry Amador-Batten Founder of DADsquared, a blog community for Gay Fathers and Families www.dadsquared.org is inviting gay dads to submit a story for their book DADS Behaving DADLY: Truths, Tears and Triumphs of Gay Dads.
Hilling featured several gay dads in his first two Dads Behaving DADLY books and it inspired him to invite Amador-Batten to co-author a book just for gay dads to share their personal stories.

As of today Hilling and Amador-Batten have collected 50 stories and only need 20 more stories to complete the book. If you’d like to submit a story, visit DADSquared and click on the book image at the bottom right hand corner for instructions on how and where to submit or contact Henry Amador-Batten at info@dadsquared.org.

Your story will help make a strong case for the new kind of manhood today’s moern dads demonstrate every day and more importantly that Fatherhood Is Alive and Well!

Deadline for submission is 31 October 2016

About The Co-Authors

Hogan Hilling is an Oprah approved author of eight published parenting books and the Dads Behaving DADLY book series. Hilling has appeared on Oprah and ABC’s The Story of Fathers and Son. He is also the Founder of United We Parentwww.unitedweparent.com. Hilling is the father of three adult boys and lives in southern California.

Henry Amador-Batten lives in Durham, North Carolina and is a strong advocate for the LGBTQ community. Henry is also a contributor to Dads Behaving Dadly II. He lives with his husband and their three-year-old son. He and his husband were the first same-sex couple to jointly adopt a child in Broward County Florida —setting legal precedence for other same-sex families.  He is a certified Holistic Life Coach and specializes in teaching advanced life skills. He is the founding mind behind the parenting blog, DADsquared and hs developed it into an amazing resource and support destination for gay dads and dads to be. www.dadsquared.org

Thursday, September 8, 2016

[Australia] R U OK, Gay Dads?

Today is R U OK Day - It is a day to check in on the mental health of your friends, family, co-workers and people you don't know - by asking them "R U OK?".

As Gay Dads and Dads To Be, we often neglect our own mental health - focusing solely on our children or on the process to create our families.

We may be fabulous - but we are not super human.  The stress and struggles of parenting or the anxiety of trying to create your own family can be overwhelming.  It can be hard on us - it can be hard on our partner - it can be hard on our children.

Make today the day you ask your partner, your kids, your friends "R U OK?".  Let us all collectively look after the mental health of our extended community.

Our families are constantly under attack in the media for being "wrong", "un-natural" or for "denying our children".  If a plebiscite goes ahead - we can expect the rhetoric to increase.  It may be easy to rationalise and say "I don't care, I know it is rubbish" and think it doesn't affect you or your families mental well being.  The truth is that it does affect our health - even the strongest in our community suffer from this constant barrage of hate.  We need to be there for each other.

So today - and every day - I ask you to ask those around you, and especially your partner and your children:


And if you are having issues, if you are feeling overwhelmed.  If you don't have anywhere to turn or need to speak to someone - you can reach out to me (rodneycruise@gmail.com or 0412 120 161).

There are also a number of organisations that can and will help you.  Please reach out to them if you need.

Monday, September 5, 2016

[Australia] Family Matters - Podcast "Interview: Rodney from Gay Dads Australia"

The interview from Family Matters on JOY 94.9 is now up as a podcast and you can listen to it here.

How do two men make a baby? Probably not by accident in the back of a Barina!
The Family Matters team chat to Rodney Chiang-Cruise, the convener of Gay Dads Australia about parenting options open to gay men.
Papa Adrian gives tips on how to deal with the excess ‘art’ (macaroni on paper) that comes home daily from childcare.
And the team discuss book week in schools and how to whip up a costume for your kids when given no notice.  Wonder Woman comics are books, aren’t they?

[Australia] Rainbow Families Victoria, ACT and NSW Head to Canberra to say "NO PLEBISCITE" - How You Can Help

Hi All

I received this message from our good friends at Rainbow Families.  Please consider helping.


Hey friends,
I am, once again, writing with a request for support for an advocacy campaign!
In partnership with Rainbow Families NSW, Rainbow Families Council are heading up to Canberra on Tuesday 13 September to say, for the kids' sake, please no plebiscite. Sarah and I are taking the kids with us as are about 4 other Melbourne families. We really believe it will make a difference and I have made several key appointments with crossbenchers and the ALP so fingers crossed.
Today we have launched our GoFundMe campaign to raise funds to support families to get to Canberra as well as our new campaign FB page "Rainbow Families say No Plebiscite" complete with a profile picture we'd love you all to use for the next two weeks. Please LIKE and SHARE it!


All the campaign details can be found here - including a request for you to take family photos with one of the four signs listed:


A direct link to our GoFundMe campaign is here: https://www.gofundme.com/2mqvx3m3 
and of course if any of you want to come along, or can take family photos for our booklet, or can help with politician contacts or know someone who knows someone in media in Canberra...please call or text me !

Thank you all as always - I really believe that if we can all work together, we will stop the plebiscite. 

[Australia] Gay Dads Australia Celebrations 2016

Hi all

Yesterday was Father's Day and Gay Dads and their kids celebrated right around the country.  Here are some pictures.

Gay Dads Australia - Victoria - Botanical Gardens 2016

Gay Dads Australia - Western Australia - Zoo - 2016


Friday, September 2, 2016

[Australia] Children Of Same-Sex Parents To Ask MPs To Stop The Plebiscite

Children of same-sex parents and their families will travel to Canberra in mid-September to ask politicians to stop the marriage equality plebiscite.

The NSW and Victorian branches of the Rainbow Families group have approached a number of new MPs for meetings on September 13, as well as seasoned politicians they feel would benefit from hearing from the kids.

“The PM’s office has said he is unable to meet us, but we plan to keep asking,” said Rainbow Families Victoria convener Felicity Marlowe.

Ten-year-old Sadie told BuzzFeed News she is worried her family will be hurt by the “no” campaign.
“The ‘no’ campaign could say bad things on TV and on posters, like our family is not right and should have a dad,” she said.

“It makes me feel sad. Because we’re a normal family. We should be respected the same way as others.”

Continue Reading at BuzzFeed

[Australia] Launch of FIRST LGBTI+ History Month - October 2016

This is exciting news.  I have just heard that there is a going to be a LGBTI+ History Month in October 2016.  Such excellent news!

Find our more at the Facebook Page here.

Join us at the launch of LGBTI+ History Month to hear a selection of the stories that make LGBTI+ Australian history and feature in our new resources. 

Posters and toolkits will be available on the night! 

Book your free place here - https://goo.gl/forms/VfAXruKUHWp0HRsu2

[USA] "My Brother’s Pregnancy and the Making of a New American Family" by Jesse Hempel

What a wonderful piece about Evan and creating a rainbow family.  Absolutely lovely!

"My brother Evan was born female. He came out as transgender 16 years ago but never stopped wanting to have a baby. This spring he gave birth to his first child

When the call came, my brother was at work in the open office in Cambridge, Mass., he shares with seven colleagues who, like him, help run clinical trials for a drug developer. The phone number came up blocked, so he knew it must be the doctor. He stood up, unsteady on his feet. Was he a little nauseous? Or was that just adrenaline? He ducked into the hallway in search of quiet.

Pregnancies like Evan’s—and the many that are likely to follow—will stretch our cultural perceptions of gender norms even further. 

My brother Evan, 35, is a stocky guy of medium height with a trimmed, fuzzy blond beard and two gem studs in each earlobe. He usually wears a Red Sox hat, and when he’s nervous, he’ll remove it and obsessively bend the rim. But on that September afternoon, both of his hands were clutching his phone, the right one cupping the left for privacy. “Hello?”

Continue Reading at Time.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

[Australia] Adoption on The Informer on JOY 94.9

Just a short note to let you know that you can tune into JOY 94.9 tonight from 6.30 to 7pm to listen to The Informer.  They are going to cover the new Adoption Reform from about 6.30 onwards and I will be calling in to have a chat about the law changes and what they mean to the LGBTI community.  Tune in if you can. - Cheers Rodney Chiang-Cruise

[Australia] International Surrogacy and Adoption in Victoria - An Update

Hi All

Many of you will be aware that Adoption Equality laws came into force in Victoria today.  Those following this will also be now aware that the pathway for kids born via international surrogacy is less than clear.  Can you use Victorian Adoption to ensure your children have legal protection and that you are recognised as the Legal Parents?  The short answer is: Maybe. Possibly.

The long answer is complicated.  I have contacted the IAV (International Adoptions Victoria) department who have been given responsibility for the "surrogacy" cases to discuss how this is envisaged to work.

I am going to put together something material over the next couple of days and post it here. I am not a legal expert in this area, but hopefully I can provide you with enough information to assist you in making any decisions going forward.

Watch this space......

Rodney Chiang-Cruise

[Australia] Want to Publish Your LGBTI Parenting Story or News on the Gay Dads Australia Website?

Hi All

Just a reminder that if you have an article or news that you want to share with the Gay Dads Australia community please contact us and let us know.  There are some rules. For instance, we generally won't promote commercial services such as surrogacy agencies. 

However you may have a LGBTI parenting story book that you are about to release. That would be great. We are happy to share that news.

You may have a piece of news that you note from around the world in relation to our families and you want to share it.  Get in contact.

You may just want to share a picture and short story about your family - if so we will definitely want to include it on the site.

Feel free to contact me on rodneycruise@gmail.com.

[Australia] Victoria Adoption Reforms for Same-Sex & Gender Diverse Couples Commences Today 1 September 2016 [Good & Bad]

There is some good news today in the State of Victoria (plus some very average news!).  The Adoption Amendment Act 2015 comes into force today which allows in most cases the same rights afforded to heterosexual couples in respect of Adoption.  

Whilst it is wonderful news - it is not necessarily good news for Gay Dads who did surrogacy overseas or their Children.

I am reproducing the Media Release from Rainbow Families Council below.  It is a good summary of the general effects and worth a read.  You can read the release here also.

Media Release (Rainbow Families Council)

The Adoption Equality campaign, led by Rainbow Families Council and the Victorian Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby, welcomes the commencement today of the Adoption Amendment (Adoption by Same-Sex Couples) Act.

“The commencement of the Adoption Amendment Act today is testament to the advocacy, patience and hard work of many Victorian rainbow families. Adoption equality will mean hundreds of Victorian children will be afforded the rights and legal protections they deserve.” said Felicity Marlowe, Co-Convenor of the Rainbow Families Council.

“We wholeheartedly thank the Andrews Government for their commitment to equality for rainbow families. Just like us, the Premier and his Government understand that it is love that makes a family.”

The Rainbow Families Council and the Victorian Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby expressed their disappointment that the Government’s proposal to remove religious exemptions did not pass the Parliament, and called on the Government to take action to address the religious exemptions in the Equal Opportunity Act.

“We are very disappointed that faith-based services remain able to discriminate against same sex couples who apply to adopt. We firmly believe that children’s rights should never be trumped by the religious beliefs of a state-funded service provider,“ said Sean Mulcahy, Co-Convenor of the Victorian Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby.

“This reform marks the end to the last Victorian law to discriminate against same-sex couples. We will not stop until all LGBTI Victorians are treated equally in both law and policies.”

Whilst the Government has committed to providing support and guidance for parents seeking to adopt a child born through an international surrogacy arrangement, the Adoption Act still does not provide legal certainty for children living in Victoria born through overseas surrogacy or a clear pathway forward for their parents.

“Whilst the Government has developed a process, it is untested, potentially leaving many children in a legal limbo. It is imperative that both the State and Federal Governments act immediately to rectify this situation,” said Felicity Marlowe, Co-Convenor of the Rainbow Families Council.

“We will continue to strongly advocate to the Government for a better solution for these children and their families.”

What the reforms could mean for children and families

Here’s what some Victorian LGBTI parents and carers say about the reforms:

“Being able to adopt means that my partner and child will be able to have their relationship bound by law and all the protections and rights that we couldn’t take for granted before. It’s a momentous step for us emotionally too; what adoption symbolises as well as what it means on paper,” said Anna Viola, part of a same-sex couple with a daughter in a stepparent family.

“Our young children don’t yet understand the impact for them of this week’s adoption reform. We are bursting with excitement – this means our children may now be eligible for permanent care conversions to adoption. This will give them the assurance that we are both their parents because we love them and want them, not as a function of being in state care and not only until they turn 18. Soon they will be legally bound to us forever, just the same as our biological children, and we couldn’t be happier,” said a mum of four children on permanent care orders.

“Whilst we are excited about the changes to adoption laws in Victoria as they affect LGBTI people, we are very disappointed that the children of gay dads who were born via surrogacy overseas may continue to be denied the right to legal parents in Victoria. We hope that the Victorian Government continue to work with our community to ensure that their mantra of equality is not negotiable is one that includes our children,” said Rodney Chiang-Cruise, a gay dad through surrogacy.


The thing that is very telling for Gay Men who did Surrogacy overseas is that these reforms are unlikely to be of any use to you.  In order to avail ourselves of the benefits of Adoption in Victoria you are most likely going to have to go through a costly Federal and/or State court case - and the result of which is highly uncertain.  Unfortunately, whilst the Victorian Government has committed to help Gay Dads via Surrogacy, the reality is that you will mostly likely be one your own as you challenge the laws and fight for legal recognition through the courts.  I am hopeful that the IAV department will be able to assist and facilitate any such "test case" - but the jury is out on that one at the moment.

The Government have released a FAQ sheet which underscores the mess that applies to one of the largest and growing groups of gay parent groups in Victoria.  See also Department Website here.


International surrogacy and adoption

Can I apply to adopt a child born through an international surrogacy arrangement?

Yes, you can apply.

However, it is not clear whether the Adoption Act 1984 permits adoption of children born through international surrogacy arrangements by their intended parents. Adoption applications in these circumstances have not been tested in Victorian courts.

Prospective applicants may wish to seek legal advice on options for resolving uncertainty.
Intercountry Adoption Victoria (IAV) will handle queries in relation to adoption in the context of overseas surrogacy and is providing extra resources to handle these queries, including providing initial, specific advice and guidance for parents applying to adopt in this situation.

Contact Intercountry Adoption Victoria on iav@dhhs.vic.gov.au or (03) 8608 5700.

[Australia] Family Matters on JOY 94.9 - Discussing Adoption Law Reform in Victoria Tonight

Everyone should tune into the Family Matters show JOY 94.9 tonight to hear Felicity Marlowe from Rainbow Families Victoria talk all things Adoption in Victoria from 8pm.

She will be discussing what is good, what is not so good - with the new legislation.

Remember you can be part of the show as well.  Tune in and text or email them to add your voice and questions.