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[Australia] – Two Dads: Gay Male Parenting and its Politicisation — A Cooperative Inquiry Action Research Study – by Jason Tuazon-McCheyne – Volume 31 Issue 4

December 31, 2010 Leave a comment
Jason Tuazon-McCheyne, who is one of the best known Surro-Dads in Australia, has just had his paper “Two Dads: Gay Male Parenting and its Politicisation — A Cooperative Inquiry Action Research Study” published in the  Australian and New Zealand Journal of Family Therapy (ANZJFT).  The abstract follows and a copy of the paper is attached.  This is a very interesting read and represents one of the very few pieces of academic studies done in Australia in to gay male parents (via surrogacy).  Well done Jason, I know what an amazing amount of work went into this paper.
Australian gay men have only recently become parents through surrogacy arrangements. They have had to overcome a discriminatory legal, social, political, cultural and financial environment. A cooperative inquiry action research group was formed, with seven two-father families conceived via surrogacy, to explore their journey to parenthood and their consequent politicisation as gay fathers. This article reveals how that experience of the cooperative inquiry process strengthened their resolve to be intentionally ‘out’ in their communities to overcome discriminatory and conservative social attitudes. They embraced the political reality of their parenting and were stimulated to create improved support structures for themselves and future parents. This transformed the legal, social, political and cultural environment for their families.
Categories: surrogacy

[United Kingdom] – The Telegraph – “Britain’s first gay surrogate parents to open surrogacy centre for same-sex couples” by Laura Roberts

December 29, 2010 Leave a comment
Britain’s first gay surrogate parents are planning to set up a surrogacy centre that caters to the needs of same-sex couples.

Tony and Barrie Drewitt-Barlow, from Danbury in Essex will open The British Surrogacy Centre in February 2011.

Describing it as “a centre for all things surrogacy” which provides information for same-sex parents it will be based in Essex but have an office in California. The couple will help match surrogates and egg donors in the US with couples from the UK and Europe.
The Drewitt-Barlow’s have five children which were all conceived using surrogates. In 1999 they made history when they travelled to the US and used donated eggs and a surrogate mother to become fathers to twins Aspen and Saffron, now ten. Since then they have added Orlando, seven, and Dallas and Jasper, ten month-old twins, to the family. Barrie Drewitt-Barlow said Elton John and David Furnish’s decision to use a surrogate would “help the gay parenting cause greatly”.
Categories: surrogacy

[United Kingdom] – Huffington Post – “Elton John, David Furnish Have Son Via Surrogate”

December 28, 2010 Leave a comment

Finally, Elton John can call himself a father.

The pop rock superstar and his long-time husband, David Furnish, announced to Us Weekly that they have had a child via a surrogate mother in California. Their son, named Zachary Jackson Levon Furnish-John, was born on Christmas day, and weighed seven pounds and 15 ounces.

“We are overwhelmed with happiness and joy at this very special moment,” the new fathers told the magazine. “Zachary is healthy and doing really well, and we are very proud and happy parents.”

It’s been a long road for John and Furnish in their quest to be fathers; in 2009, they were denied the right to adopt an HIV-positive toddler from the Ukraine, due to John’s age and the country’s lack of recognition of civil unions rendering him single by their laws.

John said that he still planned to support the child and his brother financially, and now has a son of his own, too. And one with the name Levon, one of John’s many well-known songs.

[Source: Original Article]

Categories: surrogacy

[South Africa] IOL News – “Triumph for gay couple” By Omphitlehtse Mooki

December 23, 2010 Leave a comment

 

IOL news pic ST p1mainSurrogacy


After a seven-year battle, a Johannesburg gay couple can finally look forward to holding their own child in their arms. 

In a judgment in the Johannesburg High Court, Judge Seun Moshidi granted Harry and Kevin Johnson (not their real names) an order confirming a surrogacy agreement between them and a 32-year-old woman who has undertaken to carry a child for them.

He also granted an order that the mother-of-five from Roodepoort relinquish her parental rights and responsibilities once the child is born.

This is in line with the new Children’s Act that came into effect in April 2010. The order has to be granted before embryos are transferred to the surrogate.

Now that the court order has been granted, the couple hopes to have at least one child by this time in 2011.

For more than seven years, the Johnsons battled homophobia while looking for a woman to carry their child.

The couple, who live in an upmarket Johannesburg northern suburb, wanted a child that was biologically theirs and this ruled out adoption. They opted for surrogacy.

Harry said: “It has been quite hard. We first tried in 2003 and went to a fertility clinic, but they did not like the fact that we were gay.”

While waiting in the clinic’s reception area, the couple was made to feel uncomfortable as staff members took turns to peek at them.

“We were probably the first gay couple there. Every single member of staff came and peeked,” said Harry, adding that a friend who had been willing to carry the child for them had since relocated.

Now the Johnsons are close to realising their dream of starting a family,

“What we are hoping for is triplets – then we don’t have to go through this all over again,” said Harry.

Read more…

Categories: surrogacy

[South Africa] IOL News – “Triumph for gay couple” By Omphitlehtse Mooki

December 23, 2010 Leave a comment

 

IOL news pic ST p1mainSurrogacy


After a seven-year battle, a Johannesburg gay couple can finally look forward to holding their own child in their arms. 

In a judgment in the Johannesburg High Court, Judge Seun Moshidi granted Harry and Kevin Johnson (not their real names) an order confirming a surrogacy agreement between them and a 32-year-old woman who has undertaken to carry a child for them.

He also granted an order that the mother-of-five from Roodepoort relinquish her parental rights and responsibilities once the child is born.

This is in line with the new Children’s Act that came into effect in April 2010. The order has to be granted before embryos are transferred to the surrogate.

Now that the court order has been granted, the couple hopes to have at least one child by this time in 2011.

For more than seven years, the Johnsons battled homophobia while looking for a woman to carry their child.

The couple, who live in an upmarket Johannesburg northern suburb, wanted a child that was biologically theirs and this ruled out adoption. They opted for surrogacy.

Harry said: “It has been quite hard. We first tried in 2003 and went to a fertility clinic, but they did not like the fact that we were gay.”

While waiting in the clinic’s reception area, the couple was made to feel uncomfortable as staff members took turns to peek at them.

“We were probably the first gay couple there. Every single member of staff came and peeked,” said Harry, adding that a friend who had been willing to carry the child for them had since relocated.

Now the Johnsons are close to realising their dream of starting a family,

“What we are hoping for is triplets – then we don’t have to go through this all over again,” said Harry.

Read more…

Categories: surrogacy

Rainbow Families Council – Federal Election Statement

The Rainbow Families Council have issued their Federal Election Statement.  There are still many areas of the law that discriminate against our relationships and our children.  Make time to see you local member/candidate or at least write them a letter.  The points in this statement are very helpful in raising the matters that affect us all.

In April 2010, a national network of advocates, community members, researchers and service providers identified the following three priorities for reform and resources at a federal level:

• Marriage equality

• Removal of discrimination in adoption law, and

• Ensuring that federally-funded services are inclusive of children with same-sex parents and their families.

Rainbow Families Council is the Victorian community organisation representing same-sex parented children and their families. We urge all parties and independents running in the federal election to consider these issues.

Read the full Statement Here.

 

Categories: marriage, surrogacy

ABC Far North Queensland – “Two Dads are Better Than One” by Sam Davis

A wonderful story from Far North Queensland.  Two proud Dads, one beautiful son and an incredible story.  Read about it and download the MP3 below.

Becoming parents was hard work for gay couple, Pete and Mark but they’d do it all over again if they had to.

Proud Cairns dads Pete (left) and Mark (right), had their son Drake by surrogacy in Russia.

A shiny child’s bike lies on its side on the front lawn of an immaculate garden.

Around the back gay dads Pete and Mark chase their son’s pet chickens around, trying to catch them.

Drake, 5, exclaims that the little birds are too fast for him.

It’s a happy, relaxed family scene. But it wasn’t an easy road to get there. After many hurdles Drake was born by surrogacy in Russia.

"We decided that we would have a child, that it was time for us to have a family. We wanted to experience the joys of fatherhood and we started our surrogacy over in the United States back in 2002," Pete said.

At the time, Pete and Mark were living and working in the US.

"Surrogacy rules and laws are much easier in the United States," Mark said.

While not everybody was comfortable with the idea of surrogacy, Mark said the couple felt their options were limited.

"We knew that there were certainly plenty of women willing to do it so if it OK with them, then I guess it was OK with us," he said.

Mark and Pete used the internet to find prospective mothers for the child they longed to have. Apart from the woman’s health, Pete said one of the big concerns was how genuine the candidates were.

"We have heard about a lot of scams and certain people who represent themselves as so-called surrogate mothers who are really out there just to make money," he said.

Pete said the couple also wanted to make sure that any woman they employed as a surrogate fully understood the commitment she was making.

There was also the issue of whether the mother would actually give up her baby, Mark added.

After many failed attempts in the US, the cost was becoming prohibitive. The pair decided to try Russia as cheaper alternative.

That decision presented its own problems. Language was the main one. The couple took on a private Russian tutor and Pete gave up his job in Australia to oversee the process.

"We were very dedicated to making this work….we decided that at some point we didn’t have a budget. Our budget was anything that we had earned, anything that we had saved, anything that we could borrow to make this happen," Pete said.

In the end Pete said they found a woman who they ‘clicked with personality-wise’.

"She was very quiet. She didn’t have a lot of demands or conditions that some of the other woman that we had met had. She seemed like somebody we could work with," he said.

At the first attempt, Drake was conceived via artificial insemination using Mark’s sperm.

When asked why it was Mark’s sperm and not Pete’s, Mark laughed.

"A flip of the coin I think," he said.

During the pregnancy the couple stayed in limited contact with the mother via a translator. Mostly they were in touch just when there were practical things to care of such as visiting a doctor or getting an ultrasound.

"We made it clear to her that we wanted her to take vitamins, that we wanted her to eat well. We provided the money to do that and we just had to hope that she would do it," Mark said.

Neither man was at Drake’s birth because they felt it was important to protect the mother’s privacy.

When their son was five days old, Mark and Pete were handed their child. To their surprise, Drake’s mother gave them the baby and walked away.

"I think she had resigned herself to this much earlier on and was trying not to let emotions get in the way," Mark said.

In fact, it wasn’t the mother who got in the way of Drake coming back to Australia with his two Dads. What followed was two and a half years of bureaucracy before the child received permanent Australian residency and another year before he got citizenship.

On arrival in Australia customs quizzed Mark and Pete for hours. Police were also sent around to their house on a Sunday morning to investigate.

"When people see two guys together, you know it’s like, ‘Where’s his mother?’ We’ve had a lot of people ask that," Pete said.

"I think that even if one of us was a woman, we wouldn’t have had the same suspicions and problems that we went through."

Thinking back to the police visit, Pete said the police seemed to want reassurance that the situation was ‘right’.

They checked if the couple had equipment to raise a child like a bed, clothes and bottles.

Mark said he’s sure that they were under suspicion of paedophilia. But despite the difficulties, he said the couple would do it again with no hesitation.

"We’re a family just like any other family," he said with pride.

[Source: Original Article]

[Source: Original MP3]

Categories: surrogacy