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Archive for March, 2010

The Guardian – UK – “New surrogacy law eases the way for gay men to become legal parents” by Robin McKie

March 28, 2010 Leave a comment

This is not a specifically Australian related story relating to same-sex parenting, but it is relevant for surrogacy dads with a UK background.  Read on….

Changes to legislation will recognise growing trend for same-sex couples to become parents, say campaigners:

Gay male couples will be able to use a fast-track route to become the legal parents of surrogate children from next week. On 6 April, changes to the law will permit two men to be named as parents on a child’s birth certificate for the first time in British history.

The transition will take effect following the implementation of the final piece of the 2008 Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act. This last section is aimed at helping same-sex and unmarried couples who seek to have surrogate children and will allow them to secure legal parenthood in a new, simplified manner. At present, only married, heterosexual couples can use this route.

"These changes bring the law up to date with the realities of modern 21st-century life and recognise that increasing numbers of same-sex and unmarried couples are having children together," said Natalie Gamble, of the fertility law firm Gamble and Ghevaert.

Surrogacy has become increasingly common and offers couples an alternative route to parenthood if all other methods, including IVF treatments, fail. Current legislation allows heterosexual, married couples to get a parental order to give them a birth certificate for a child born to a mother with whom they have entered into a surrogacy agreement. But gay, lesbian and unmarried couples cannot do this. The surrogate mother has to be named on the birth certificate. If she is married, her husband is legally considered to be the father.

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The Age – “Beyond the straight and narrow” by Jacqueline Tomlins

March 28, 2010 Leave a comment

Jacqui Tomlins and Sarah Nichols with their three kids Cully, Corin and Scout.

I HAD been expecting it – it would have been naive of me not to – but when it happened, it sent me reeling.

I was reading a bedtime story to Corin, my seven-year-old son, when he came out with it, no warning, no context, just a bald statement: ”When I say I have two mums at school, some kids tease me.”

It came like a blow to the stomach and it took my breath away. Corin, and his two younger sisters, were conceived using an anonymous, identity-release donor through IVF, a path we took because it provided clear legal certainty in relation to parentage: we are the parents, the donor is not. But it also ensured that, when the time came, we would be able to provide information to our kids about their genetic background, something we knew from the experience of adopted children was important.

As it turned out, we met our donor, David, fairly early on when Corin was still a baby; a remarkable meeting that was warm and generous and positive. David is happy to provide information – medical or otherwise – that we might need over time, and is comfortable with the kids knowing who he is. But he is clear, too: he is not their father, he is their donor.

Our kids have two parents who I believe are capable of meeting all their needs, but that doesn’t mean we don’t want men in their lives. Quite the contrary. Our kids have granddads, uncles, cousins and male family friends and we are fortunate to have many great dads in our social circle with whom the kids spend a lot of time. Pretty much every same-sex family I know goes to great lengths to involve men in the lives of their children.

But none of this, of course, changes Corin having two mums and, in that, he is different from many of his peers.

”Hey, that’s not good, sweetheart,” I say. ”That happen today?”

Today and a couple of other times, it turns out. He is specific: ”Not my friends, not kids who know me. Other kids,” and he mentions one by name and grade.

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