He’s Having a Baby! Men Having Babies Conference in NYC Offers Practical Assistance to Gay Men Dreaming of Parenting

Huffington Post, September 26, 2013

Sebastian, a 24-year-old New Yorker from Puerto Rico, adores his little nephew, loves playing with him and teaching him Bob Marley songs, and hopes one day to have a child or children of his own.  But as a gay man who is newly diagnosed with HIV, he isn’t sure whether he can have biological children of his own or when he might be in a solid-enough relationship to share parenting responsibilities, or even when he might have a stable-enough career and finances to afford raising a kid.

“It’s not so much about being gay for me,” he says. “Fatherhood is about becoming a man. I grew up without a father, and I think becoming one will help me understand my own masculinity. The HIV is something that is now in the way, you know? I’m just looking to see how that obstacle can be gotten out of the way. Are there prudent, realistic solutions for such a problem?”

Help for Sebastian might be at hand at the Men Having Babies conference, which returns to New York City on Oct. 6 to offer workshops and panels for gay men thinking about becoming parents. In addition to advice from experts, parents, and surrogates; 24 breakout sessions; and an exhibit with more than 30 service providers, the conference will hold a new panel specifically for men with HIV that it debuted in May at the Los Angeles version of the conference.

Woman ordered to pay $1.7 million to victims of Modesto-based surrogacy scam

The Modesto Bee, September 10, 2013

A woman who pleaded guilty earlier this year to defrauding clients of her Modesto surrogacy business was ordered Monday to pay them more than $1.7 million, U.S. Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced.

Court documents show that from November 2006 through March 2009, Tonya Ann Collins, 37, carried out a scheme to defraud prospective parents, surrogates and banks through her company, SurroGenesis, and the associated Michael Charles Independent Financial Holding Group.

Victims from as far as Germany lost money, some of them their life savings. Many went into debt to finance their dream of having children.

Collins used the business accounts for personal purchases including automobiles, homes, jewelry, clothing and vacations for herself and others without the clients’ knowledge or consent. Collins used client trust funds that were supposed to be held in escrow accounts to directly pay for her personal purchases.

Read more here: http://www.modbee.com/2013/09/10/2912209/woman-ordered-to-pay-17-million.html#storylink=cpy

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Russia drafts bill to remove children from gay parents

GayStarNews.com, September 5, 2013

A Russia lawmaker has proposed a bill to remove children from gay parents.

Alekei Zhuravlev, the deputy of the Russian State Duma, has proposed amendments to the Family Code.

Under the new bill, having a ‘non-traditional sexual orientation’ will be a basis for denying custody to gay people.

Other grounds include alcoholism, drug use, a history of violence, insanity and abuse.

Zhuravlev, the author of the child custody bill, has said homosexual ‘propaganda’ must be banned not only in public spaces ‘but also in the family’.

In June, the State Duma voted unanimously in favor of the ‘gay propaganda’ federal law, ensuring no child learns gay people should be equal to heterosexuals.

Another law passed was a ban on the adoption of children by people – gay or straight – in countries allowing same-sex marriages.

– See more at: http://www.gaystarnews.com/article/russia-plans-bill-remove-children-gay-parents050913#sthash.SWxE0nsB.G7vmz0gO.dpuf

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