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LGBT Parenting Roundup

LGBT Parenting Roundup

Mombian – January 4, 2011

I’m still recovering from the holidays, so let’s be different and start with some celebrity news before diving into politics:

Celebrity News

  • Elton John and his partner David Furnish are now proud parents. “Elton John and David Furnish became first-time fathers on Christmas after welcoming a baby boy via a surrogate,” says the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Just once, though, I want to see a newspaper headline say, “[Male celebrity] and [Female celebrity] welcomed their new baby via sexual intercourse.”Much coverage of the new dads has also mentioned that John is listed as “Father” and Furnish as “Mother” on the child’s birth certificate, as if that somehow explained their parental roles. Fact is, of course, it may or may not coincide with their roles—but they might just have filled them out at random, as the forms clearly haven’t caught up with the reality of families today. “Parent” and “Parent” really isn’t that hard, folks.
  • Meanwhile, Neil Patrick Harris and David Burtka spoke with People about raising their twins (and After Elton has a copy of the adorable photo spread).
  • Jane Lynch, lesbian mom and Glee actor, and Dan Savage, gay dad and “It Gets Better” campaign founder, talk with Newsweek about gay rights and being parents.

International News

  • Eleven-year-old Aspen Drewitt-Barlow, son of the first gay couple in Britain to have a baby via surrogate, has a sweet piece in the Mirror about life with his two dads. In a separate story, his parents are planning to set up a surrogacy center focused on same-sex couples.
  • The U.K.’s Guardian newspaper profiles four lesbian couples with children.
  • Since the U.K. changed its law requiring fertility clinics to consider a child’s “need for a father” before providing services, the number of lesbian couples seeking in vitro fertilization (IVF) has doubled, and the number of single women has tripled. The number using donor insemination at registered clinics has stayed about the same.
  • In Argentina, a baby girl was registered with the last names of both her biological and non-biological mothers, as the first child of a legally married lesbian couple in the country.
  • A gay couple in Johannesburg, South Africa gay has won a seven-year-battle for permission to have a child via a surrogate.
  • On a similar note, the Jerusalem Family Court ruled that a baby born to a surrogate may be adopted by the biological father’s partner.
  • Volker Kauder, the parliamentary leader of Germany’s ruling Christian Democrats, said same-sex couples have no right to have children.

U.S. Politics and Law

  • I’ve done an in-depth piece for Keen News Service on the recent awful North Carolina Supreme Court ruling that has jeopardized all existing second-parent adoptions in the state.
  • From the Dallas Voice, via Pam’s House Blend, comes the tragic news of lesbian mom Debie Hackett who died by suicide after losing a custody lawsuit with her former partner. As Pam points out, “It’s hard to pinpoint any one cause other than a person in crisis didn’t get the help she needed in time,” but the stress of the custody battle likely did not help her emotional state. I’ll take a cue from the Dallas Voice and provide a link here to the LGBT-friendly American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s Warning Signs for Suicide.

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