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Courier Mail – “Grandmother says she was ‘passed over’ as foster parent for her grandchildren in favour of gay couple” by Des Houghton

November 23, 2010 Leave a comment

THE decision that same-sex couples are allowed to foster children in Queensland has infuriated a 63-year-old grandmother who said she was passed over as a foster parent while two of her grandchildren were placed with gay men.

She said one of the men “walks around the streets in a dress as if he was a woman.”

“It’s not right,” she said.

The case was raised in State Parliament on Monday when Rob Messenger (Independent, Burnett) asked Child Safety Minister Phil Reeves if he was aware the state had entrusted children to a transvestite.

The grandmother, who can not be named for legal reasons, said the decision to place children with homosexuals ran counter to her strong Christian values.

She said her grandson aged four and a granddaughter, 12, were taken from their mother in July and placed with the gay couple without considering the family’s feelings.

“I can’t understand it at all,” she said.

“I was really upset. It has split our family even further.”

She won the support of a long-time social worker who said he knew of three cases where homosexual couples had been allowed to foster children in a Queensland regional city.

When the grandmother complained, she eventually won custody of the four-year-old, while the granddaughter was returned to her natural mother.

The grandmother admitted there had been drinking and gambling problems in the family.

She said the children were suddenly seized one morning while their mother was at bingo.

Mr Messenger asked Mr Reeves to explain why the government failed to ask the parents and grandparents whether they agree to same-sex couples or transvestites being allowed to provide foster care to their children and their grandchildren.

Mr Reeves did not answer the question directly.

He said: “It is a sad fact that in Queensland 7800 children are not able to live at home because they would not be safe there. The reality is that in Queensland we need more foster carers.

“We need more people to put up their hands to offer care to children. I would like to thank each and every one of our foster and kinship carers who have gone the extra mile to help our children.”

[Source: Original Article]

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Courier Mail – “Gay couple first in Queensland to have child under altruistic surrogacy laws” by Sophie Elsworth

November 19, 2010 Leave a comment

Bentley & Matt Harris with Connor

LITTLE Connor Harris doesn’t yet realise he’s a history-making baby.

The bubbly six-month-old is the first child in Queensland to be born under new surrogacy laws which grant his gay parents legal parentage.

And there’s no wiping the smiles off Connor’s proud parents, Brisbane couple Bentley and Matt Harris. "We are just so excited, it’s been pretty amazing," Matt said.

"When we held Connor for the first time there was a bond instantly, we just started crying. It was very emotional and life changing."

Altruistic surrogacy was decriminalised in Queensland on June 1, after a rare State Parliament conscience vote.

MPs voted 45 to 36 to support surrogacy and allow the legal parentage of the child to be transferred from the birth mother to the intending parents.

Last-minute Opposition amendments to confine surrogacy to married and heterosexual couples failed, although commercial surrogacy remains illegal.

A friend of the couple agreed to be the surrogate mother to Connor.

The married mother-of-two, who does not want to be identified, underwent artificial insemination using Bentley’s sperm last year and gave birth to Connor on May 11.

Despite no written agreement being made between Connor’s birth mother and his parents until he was born, Brisbane Children’s Court Judge Marshall Irwin transferred parentage to Matt and Bentley in September.

While the couple admits there have been sleepless nights, plenty of bottle feeding and lots of nappy changing, they’re quick to quash any sceptics who criticise gay parenting.

"I think if you want to be a parent, go for it," Matt said. "I just know there are people out there who aren’t going to accept it, but they’ll be people out there who will just love it."

The pair wed in a civil ceremony in New Zealand in 2008.

"I think we’re (gay couples) slowly getting more rights," Matt said.

"Just when it comes to our superannuation for example, we don’t have to worry because we know everything will be left to the other person."

Solicitor Kate Cherry from Colville Johnstone Lawyers, who helped the pair gain full custody and guardianship of Connor, said it was a landmark legal decision for Queensland.

"Because this had never been done before it was literally starting from square one because there was no precedent to follow."

On Connor’s birth certificate, Bentley is listed as Connor’s father and Matt is listed as his parent.

Matt has taken 12 months leave to look after Connor, while Bentley works full-time.

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The West Australian – “Perth man pays $50,000 to Indian Surrogate” by Cathy O’Leary

November 13, 2010 Leave a comment

A Perth man has paid $50,000 for a woman in India to be a surrogate mother and have his twin boys.

Perth man pays $50,000 to Indian surrogate The single man, aged in his 30s, was desperate to have children. He travelled to a Mumbai clinic last month to pick up the twins, several days after their birth at Hiranandani Hospital. He returned to Perth this week with the four-week-old babies. It was his third attempt at surrogacy in India after a woman chosen to be a surrogate failed to fall pregnant last year. The two unsuccessful attempts cost him another $24,000. In the last attempt, twins were conceived using the man’s sperm and donor eggs from an Indian woman. A different woman acted as surrogate. Read more…

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