Justice for All Means LGBT Families Too, Says Attorney Anthony Brown

Ask Anthony Brown, and he will tell you that in many ways, he’s had a maverick life. As an actor, as a lawyer, as a husband and a father.

Today, Anthony Brown’s work as an attorney helps LGBT clients navigate the tricky nuances of estate planning, wills and other legalities that keep worried families up at night. But the path to his current career was anything but straight.best interests of the child

Being gay is the least of it. When he arrived in New York in 1984, it was to attend Julliard to study acting. Just as he was about to graduate, Brown met the man who would one day become his husband, Gary Spino.

And, while he met with enough success to work as an actor, he had both bills to pay and time on his hands between jobs. On the road with a touring production of Romeo and Juliet, Brown discovered a massage table stashed behind a Coke machine and decided to make it — and massage — his next passion.

Serendipity struck once again when one of his massage clients turned out to be Tom Stoddard, one of the founders and guiding lights behind Lambda Legal, an organization doing much of the heavy legal lifting during the peak years of the AIDS crisis. “I was lucky enough to work with him during the last seven years of his life,” Brown says now. “He wrote New York’s anti-discrimination law protecting gays and lesbians, and he was a huge influence on me.”

Metrosource.com, By Kevin Phinney – January 12, 2018

Click here to read the entire article.

Contact Time For Families

Contact Form
* indicates required field

A surrogacy fairy tale

Anthony Brown and his husband Gary Spino’s neighbor in their West Village apartment building in New York City wore all black, only went out at night and had a frequent cough.

She was, “the type of woman you’d see coming down the street and you might cross the street,” Brown says. Now and then the couple would see her coming home at night from grocery shopping and would help carry her groceries upstairs. One day after falling in her apartment the woman, named Janet, called the couple to help. The result was a seven-year friendship and the gift of Brown and Spino’s son, Nicholas.

Brown and Spino came to learn she suffered from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, had lived all over the world and that she was also wealthy from family money. When she died, they discovered she had been so touched by their kindness that she left them half her estate. Because of her, the couple were able to afford surrogacy with Spino as their son’s biological father in what Brown calls, “a New York fairytale.”adoption new york,new york adoption,new york state adoption, stepparent adoption process,adopting step children,co parent adoption,2nd parent adoption,second parent adoptions,gay adoption new york,gay couple adoption, gay couples adopting

“It was a gift from God, truly. Or at least a gift from Janet,” Brown says. “We still have her picture and a heart-shaped urn that has some of her ashes. We sprinkled her ashes all over the world. We took her ashes to all the places where she had lived and tried to do her justice.”

As they embarked on their surrogacy journey, the couple went to a Men Having Babies meeting at the Gay and Lesbian Center and began gathering information. Brown, an attorney, would eventually go on to become chairman on the board for the organization.

While working with Men Having Babies, the group became a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and started a grant. The grant used money from events the organization produced to help with its gay parenting assistance program.

The program now offers qualifying individuals and couples discounted services, donated free services and cash grants. So far the organization is in its fourth class of recipients and 13 babies have been born to parents who have utilized the gay parenting assistance program.

“It’s one of the greatest things in the world to be able to talk to the recipients and see myself in them and to know I would never have been able to have afforded the surrogacy route had it not been for the grace of a kind woman who lived in my building. So it’s a full circle moment for me personally,” Brown says.

Brown is also no stranger to the other side of surrogacy. Before having their son, Brown worked for a marriage equality organization in the early ‘00s. Brown and Spino met a lesbian couple through the organization who wanted to have a family with a known donor. Brown and Spino agreed to help and the partner Brown was working with became pregnant first. Through her, Brown has an 11-year-old biological daughter. The experience led Brown and Spino not only on their own journey to welcome their son into their family, but for Brown to embark on a passion project to help other gay couples expand their families.

In 2012 Brown went deeper on his mission to help others and started TimeforFamilies.com, a website filled with information for LGBT families to learn how to start families.

Brown covers topics such as surrogacy, estate planning, co-parenting and specific topics like having a known donor versus an anonymous donor. While Brown notes the majority of website visitors are from the New York area, people from Africa, Asia and Europe have also accessed the site. Gay families can also send in their personal stories and photos to be featured on the website.

By Mariah Cooper, 10/6/2016, WashingtonBlade.com

Click here to read the entire article.

2016 Impact Award Honors Anthony M. Brown

Gay City News announced this week that they would be honoring a select group New Yorkers to receive their first ever Impact Award for 2016.  Among those honored is Anthony M. Brown, founder of Time For Families.

 

Anthony, recipient of the 2016 Impact Award, currently is an associate with the law firm of Albert W. Chianese & Associates heading their Family and Estates Law division serving unmarried individuals, couples and families in Manhattan and on Long Island.  Anthony is the Executive Director of The Wedding Party and has been a Board member since its inception in 1999.   The Wedding Party is a non-profit educational organization that educates the public about marriage and its importance to all citizens through outreach programs and strategic media placement.  Anthony is the Board Chairman of Men Having Babies, a non-profit organization created to assist gay men looking to create families through surrogacy with educational and financial assistance. Anthony is also a legal consultant for Family By Design, a co-parenting information and matching website.

anthony brown

Anthony & Family

Anthony worked as a legal intern for Lambda Legal in the summer of 2002. While there he helped to prepare briefing for the landmark case of Lawrence v. Texas and his research was quoted specifically in Justice Sandra Day O’Connor’s concurring opinion. Anthony also worked as a law guardian at The Children’s Law Center, representing the legal needs of children in Brooklyn Family Court.   Anthony graduated from Brooklyn Law School, where he served as research assistant to Nan Hunter, the founder of The Gay and Lesbian Project at the ACLU. Anthony is a member of The Family Law Institute of the National Gay and Lesbian Bar Association, the New York State Bar Association, the New York County Lawyers Association and the committee for assisted reproduction of the American Bar Association.  Anthony and his husband were the subjects of CNN’s, “In America, Gary and Tony Have a Baby,” a 2010 documentary about their journey of having a child through surrogacy.

“I am grateful to be honored with this award, especially considering the other honorees.  Thanks to Gay City news and The Point Foundation for the hard work they do for our community everyday,” said Anthony.