Tag Archives: Lesbian Parenting

This Lesbian Couple Just Won A Major Legal Battle After Being Told To ‘Pay More Than A Straight Couple’ To Have IVF Treatment

Laura Hineson and Rachel Morgan were told by their local NHS Clinical Commissioning Group they would have to spend £6,000 on six rounds of intrauterine insemination due to unexplained infertility.

However, under Barnsley CCG’s policy, a heterosexual couple with similarly unexplained infertility would not need to undergo the same procedure before being granted access to IVF treatment.

The couple enlisted law firm Leigh Day to look into claims of unlawful direct discrimination under the Equality Act 2010 on the grounds of their sexuality.

The couple’s lawyers had threatened to seek a judicial review if the CCG did not agree to change its policy.

In response, Barnsley CCG conducted a review of the couple’s case – and conceded that it had relied too heavily upon the policy rather than looking at the specific circumstances of Rachel and Laura’s case.

Rosa Curling, solicitor at law firm Leigh Day, said: “It was clear to us that Laura and Rachel had faced direct discrimination due to their sexuality.

We are pleased that the CCG finally recognised this and agreed to review their policy so that other same-sex couples will not face an unfair disadvantage over heterosexual couples in the same situation.”

The couple had attempted to conceive using artificial insemination at home between November 2014 and January 2016. When this proved unsuccessful they were referred to Sheffield Fertility Centre in May 2016.

They underwent three self-funded cycles of IUI treatments at the fertility centre.

This was unsuccessful so they made an Individual Funding Request (IFR), via their consultant, to the CCG to fund the IVF treatment.

This was rejected by the CCG which stated that the couple were required to undergo a further three cycles of self-funded insemination before being eligible for funding for IVF treatment.

Laura and Rachel said:

For us, this is about fighting for LGBT equality. We should have equal access to IVF treatment and a family, irrespective of the gender of the person we fall in love with.”

‘Ned’s Project’, About a Butch Lesbian Trying for a Baby, Wins Big at CineFilipino Awards

The CineFilipino Film Festival “aims to support and develop new cinematic, audience-friendly works of artistic merit by up-and-coming and established filmmakers to help define the human experience through a Filipino perspective.”

As well as being a fantastic chance to showcase Filipino filmmaking talent, awards are also given out to the best of the best fictional and documentary films about Filipino people and this year, a film about a lesbian took home the top prize.

Called Ned’s Project, the film, which stars international renowned actress Angeli Bayani as the titular “Ned”, follows a butch lesbian tattoo artist who decides to have a baby.

Ned’s decision to have a child follows a breakup with her longtime girlfriend Gladys (Dionne Monsanto) as well as the passing of her lesbian friend Max (Lui Manansala) and not wanting to die alone, she makes the choice to become a mother.


The film, which is based on the life of a real person, took home the CineFilipino awards for Best Picture, Best Screenplay, Best Supporting Actress (Max Eigenmann), Best Cinematography and Best Production Design. Bayani also won an award for Best Actress.

Speaking to INQUIRER.net, the actress also says that Ned’s Project is “more than just another LGBT movie”.


Bayani tells the publication that “it has a lot to do with searching for yourself and your place in life. Sometimes people do a lot of crazy things just to be able to get to who they are supposed to be. It’s about Ned’s journey.”

Moreover, Bayani reveals that the real-life Ned had a “hard time” in finding acceptance from her family.

The actress explains that “eventually she will realize she could never learn from  that kind of relationship with someone else if she herself couldn’t reconcile with her own ghosts, her unresolved family issues, her personal struggles.”

For information on screenings of Ned’s Project, you can visit the film’s official Facebook page here.

Butches And Babies

I am the type of woman who loves seeing pictures of happy families. Everyone complains when one of their Facebook friends shares 30 million updates of their little ones, but I eat it up. Hey, just because I’m not ready to start a family of my own doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy the cuteness of someone else’s.

But one thing that’s seriously lacking from my Facebook feed is pictures of butch women and their little bundles of joy.

Even though many women are beginning to brace their butch identities, not as many are actively showing their families – there’s this social stigma surrounding being “stereotypically gay” and dealing with kids. It’s one of the lingering examples of self-perpetuated homophobia.

(Admittedly, when I was working in childcare, I felt the need to dress “less gay” while I was working with my kids, and I know I’m not the only one.)

But for those of you looking for your daily dose of lesbian cuteness, Butches and Babies may be just the ticket.

How can you resist this?!

“Jess + Jailen | Jess and her nephew Jailen on his first birthday! Time flies.”


Robyn + Billie + Alysa // “At a friend’s wedding, their photographer captured an amazing family portrait! My wife, Alysa and myself, holding our baby daughter, Billie. It was a beautiful day!”
”Jane + Brady”
”Davina + Novaleigh | My wife wearing our youngest daughter Novaleigh.”


Trevin + Shamae // “We wore the same thing to Thanksgiving dinner. First time meeting my new nephew.” tumblr_nvi1bfr7bI1qms4kto1_1280


Pat + Izzy / “2 year old Izzy and me, post rice-Krispie treat extravaganza.”


Givonna + Tristan // “Can you tell that I forced him to wear this costume?”

While not all of the pictures on the site are butch women with their own children (many are pictures with nieces and nephews) this is a big step in removing the stigmas of being gay and dealing with children. And not only that – they’re insanely cute, too.

Why this is so important

For those of us who are deeply immersed in the lesbian community, we may wonder, “Why is this such a big deal?” But think about this: Outside of your own social circle, how many butch lesbians can you think of who have public family lives? Most likely, the answer is very few or none.

Butch women have long been the subject of social scrutiny. They come with their own set of first impressions before they’ve even said anything, and it often extends to other gay women as well – not just the most naïve of our straight allies.

Even in the gay community, butch lesbian women are treated as cultural stereotypes. It’s assumed that they like sports, and working on cars, and flannel. It’s assumed that they prefer to “give” in the bedroom. It’s assumed that they’re abusive toward their partners. It’s assumed that they really want to be a man.

Why is any of this a fair assessment?

In short, it’s not.

But in order to break free of the stereotypes, we must be willing to show that they’re only stereotypes. Everyone deserves to be treated as an individual, but the ease of latching onto the narrowest of descriptions is hard to break. It’s going to be a long road to true visibility, but luckily Butches and Babies has started to pave the way.

The Complexities Of Being Step Parent In Same-Sex Relationship

When dealing with children from a past relationship, it can be especially tough when the new step-parent is the same gender as their partner.

Nowadays, it’s becoming more and more difficult to find a family that consists of a single household.

The statistics point to divorce increasing, marriage longevity decreasing, and of course the wider spread acceptance of homosexuality and bisexuality – these all lead to an increase in multiple-household families, those in which the parents are no longer connected except through the children.

I myself was a child of step-parents. My mother and father weren’t together for very long due to “irreconcilable differences” (for lack of better terminology) and both were married to other partners by the time I was six.

I never really thought anything of it, and in fact I felt that I was better off with the two households than I would have been if my parents had tried to stay together “for my sake”.

That being said, I have a very limited amount of information surrounding same-sex step-parent situations, but it’s always been a subject that interested me.

I have a number of bisexual friends who have children from former relationships, and generally speaking these children seem happy as long as their parents are happy – and isn’t that what matters?

With that being said, there are a number of differences when lesbians and bisexual women have children from a previous relationship.

Sometimes, the parent of the child is bisexual, or recently out of the closet.

In these cases, the parent (and step-parent) will have to decide whether to let the child know about their sexuality. There may be some confusion when the child finds out that their new step-parent is not the same gender as the parent’s past partner.

For especially young children, they can grow accustomed to the idea faster – but some may not choose to share this detail if they feel the child is “too young” to understand.

For older kids, they may be able to figure it out on their own. This can be a good thing or a bad thing – it all depends on how you handle the situation.

If you are honest with your child, the entire process can be made easier. Of course, your decision to come out to your kids (or step-kids) is entirely your decision.

Some people have preferences to not date people with children – and you can’t force them to accept it.

This can be true regardless of sexuality, but many lesbians have a specific preference against dating bisexual women, and they may see your biological child as “proof” that you’re not “really gay”.

It’s not really fair, as bisexuality isn’t an automatic indicator of unfaithfulness. But the fact is you may face women who won’t date you simply because you have a biological child.

This can make it difficult for the single parent, but once they find someone who accepts their child as their own, it’s a magical experience.

Some single parents choose to instead leave their child out of the equation. Again, this is your decision, but it’s sort of unfair to your child.

If you refuse to acknowledge that you have a child, imagine how the child is going to feel when they find out about it (and it’s always a possibility that you have to consider).

In some cases, their other biological parent may stir up drama.

Of course, we hope this isn’t the case. Break-ups are already nasty enough without mudslinging. If your ex happens to get into your child’s head about your sexuality and how it’s “wrong”, the only thing you can do to address this is to live your life in such a way that your ex’s quips have no effect.

Thankfully, these days, your sexuality is unlikely to interfere with your ability to get fair custody of your child. Just keep in mind that a jaded partner can say some pretty hurtful things – and you shouldn’t let these things get to you.

If your ex-partner is the same sex as you, and you are not biologically related to the child, you could face extra problems.

Please don’t take this to mean that you should stay with a partner who is not good to you – we at KitschMix never recommend that.

However, unless you have already signed adoption papers, it can be incredibly difficult for you to prove that you have been a “parent” to the child.

If your ex decides to drag her feet through the adoption process, or changes their mind about your daughter being “your child” together, it’s entirely possible that you will have a long fight ahead of you.

Occasionally, the parent may blame their child when they can’t find a partner.

This is a completely different issue, and it’s definitely not fair to the child. I have known a few people who take it very personally when a partner leaves or rejects them because they have a child.

It’s important to remember that none of this is your child’s fault. It’s not his fault that you and his other parent separated, and it’s not his fault that your new partner doesn’t want kids.

Placing the blame on him is a form of emotional child abuse that is likely to lead to resentment later in your child’s life.

What can you do if you are a single parent looking for a same sex partner?

There are a number of people who specifically look for “RMF’s” (Ready Made Families). While the term itself has somewhat of a negative connotation, it doesn’t have to.

Some people are incapable of having children or they have a preference to adopt, rather than conceive. (I happen to fall in the second group.) For these people, your kids may be a godsend – as long as the timing is right.

Other people aren’t exactly looking to become a step-parent, but they don’t mind the idea. These people may not be specifically looking for what you have to offer, but they are open to the idea of having a child who isn’t related to them.

Wouldn’t you rather be with the person who would accept your child, anyway?

My advice to our readers is that you are open and honest with your children and your partners – and this can be especially true when it comes to their knowledge of each other.

Obviously your child doesn’t need to know every detail of your life, but they should know enough to not be blindsided if it comes up in the future.

Major Study Concludes Children Benefit More From Having Same-Sex Parents

According to a major new study, same-sex parents invest more time in their children.

The research, conducted by the Population Research Centre at the University of Texas, was carried out to confront prejudices against LGBT families.

In the study, researches analysed the time 40,000 parents spent with children while engaged in tasks including reading, playing and bath time, and found that same-sex parents spend significantly more time engaged in activities than mixed sex parents.

The difference is most pronounced in families with two mothers, where parents spend on average 40% more time on child-focused activities than straight couples.

The extra time comes largely because both mothers typically offer as much child-focused activity as mothers in heterosexual partnerships. Fathers with female partners spent only about half as much time with their children.

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The report’s author Kate Prickett explained:

Our study suggests that children with two parents of the same-sex received more focused time from their parents – 3.5 hours a day, compared with 2.5 hours by children with different-sex parents.

Our findings support the argument that parental investment in children is at least as great – and possibly greater in same-sex couples as for different-sex couples.”

Although it’s unclear why this difference exists, Dr Prickett thinks the answer may lie in how families are created.

First, it’s possible that selection plays a large part. That is, the ways that same-sex families come about, such as partnering with someone who already has a child, going through insemination or surrogacy, or adoption, suggest a strong desire to be a parent.

Second, parenting remains a gendered process. Fathers coupled with women still tend to be the main breadwinners, and their partners take on more domestic responsibility.”

Read more about the findings here.

Lesbian Couple Wins Right To Have Both Names On Their Childs Birth Certificate

A Utah court has ended a lawsuit filed by a lesbian couple to get the mothers’ names on their child’s birth certificate.

According to a local affiliate:

In a joint agreement filed with in U.S. District Court and obtained by FOX 13 on Sunday, the ACLU of Utah and the Utah Attorney General’s Office acknowledged that Kami and Angie Roe had received a birth certificate that included Angie Roe’s name as a parent of their child, Lucy. Lawyers for the two sides also agreed to make the judge’s injunction permanent, effectively ending the case.”

The ruling opens up the doors for other gay couples to place both parents’ names on birth certificates.

The lesbian couple, sued the state after the health department wouldn’t allow the couple to both be on the birth certificate, only the biological mother, even though the two were legally wed in Utah.

Madrid Offers Assisted Reproduction To All Lesbian Couple After Court Ruling

Only days after a court handed down a decision in Spain against government restrictions on assisted reproduction treatments, Madrid regional premier Cristina Cifuentes said her government would immediately open the publicly funded services to all women regardless of their sexual preference or marital status.

Cristina Cifuentes

The announcement came after a Madrid court ordered regional government health officials and the Fundación Jiménez Díaz hospital to pay compensation to a lesbian woman who was cut off from the program following an order from the Health Ministry to deny services to unwed mothers and gay women.

After the couple filed numerous complaints and a lawsuit in May, the hospital said that it would re-evaluate all the cases and the woman is once again back under the assisted reproduction program.

The hospital’s decision to remove her from the program was based on a 2013 order by then-Health Minister Ana Mato, who excluded unwed mothers and lesbians from receiving artificial insemination and other fertility therapies paid for by the public health system.

Mato had issued the order based on a government decree to cut some €7 billion from the public health budget. Both Cifuentes and Mato are from the ruling Popular Party (PP).

But the court opined that the order went against legislation passed in 2006 on assisted reproduction, which clearly states that such treatment is available to women over the age of 18, “regardless of their civil status or sexual orientation.”

It ordered both the regional government and hospital to pay €4,875 in compensation to the women.

Cifuentes said that neither the government nor the hospital will appeal the decision and confirmed that the patient is back in the program.

All women “have the same rights” when it comes to reproduction assistance, she said.

Bringing Baby Home: Important Adoption Tips For Lesbian Couples

You and your partner have taken that big step… you’ve decided to adopt a child. While congratulations are in order, you also have to do your research and find out what roadblocks you may encounter along the way.

While adoption among the LBGT crowd is becoming more widely accepted, there are still some places that either don’t allow gay couples to adopt, or may make it harder for them.

Adoption can already be an arduous process for any couple, but the more you know, the easier navigating that tricky world will become.

Here’s a look at some great tips for you and your partner as you embark on your future adoption….

Consider All Adoption Options

There are a variety of options out there when it comes to adoptions, so be sure to choose the best fit for you. Are you looking for a public domestic adoption or a private domestic option? Are you looking to adopt an infant or would you be open to adopting an older child? Will race and ethnic background play a part in your decision? These are all important questions to consider and play into the type of adoption best suited for you and your partner.

Know Local Adoption Laws

Laws will vary depending upon the country you live in, and from there the state, region, or province. Some areas may not even allow same-sex couples to adopt, so be sure you are educated on your local adoption laws and understand them before going any further.

Be Honest and Up Front

Don’t hide your sexuality. Not only is that not being true to yourself, it could end up backfiring if the truth were to come out that you’re not a heterosexual couple. Be open and honest with the adoption agency and the birth mother (if birth mother will be known). That way you’ll be building a trusting relationship with all parties involved. And why would you want to be involved with someone who is against same-sex rights to begin with?

Search Out Gay-Friendly Adoption Agencies

Not all agencies are going to be gay-friendly, and you have the right to have your adoption process no matter what your sexuality is. This might take a bit of research, but it will be well worth it. Check out the history of various agencies and whether or not they have anti-discrimination clauses listed on their website or brochures. Taking the time to ensure you’ll be treated fairly in regards to your adoption is a must.

Find a Support System

The process of adopting a child can be lengthy and exhausting. And once you’ve finally brought your child home, raising him or her will also bring challenges as you and your partner embark on the new journey of motherhood. That’s why it’s helpful to have a support group of others who have already gone through the adoption process or are still are still going through it.

It’s important to be able to share your fears and concerns as well as your joy and happiness with others going through the same thing. Having a support system will definitely help you transition into your new roles as mothers as well.

In “Seeking Dolly Parton” Two Women Ask an Ex-Boyfriend to Help Get Pregnant

The most famous film (and perhaps one of the only ones) about lesbians and sperm donors is The Kids Are All Right, the Oscar-nominated film starring Annette Bening and Julianne Moore as a couple whose children go looking for their donor. In that film, Moore’s character cheats on her wife and sleeps with the sperm donor, making the film incredibly divisive amongst gay and bisexual women.

Seeking Dolly Parton, is only marginally better in terms of how divisive it may be. The film, which gets its name from the type of rose rather than the famed country singer, features queer couple Celina and Charlie who make the decision to have a child together after two years of dating.

Seeking Dolly Parton 05

While Charlie is unsure about the whole baby-having idea, the two ask their gay male friend Jon to be a donor but after he backs out they turn to Josh, who is Celina’s ex-boyfriend and the man she was in a relationship with before she began dating Charlie.

Seeking Dolly Parton 02

Seeking Dolly Parton 03

If that sounds like a bit of a mess already then consider this: Josh is also still in love with Celina and sees his status as sperm donor as his way to win his ex-girlfriend back.

While his flirting is sure to grate, this is where Seeking Dolly Parton and The Kids Are All Right differ greatly; Celina and Josh don’t sleep together (despite his best efforts) as she puts her foot down and makes him know that her and Charlie’s relationship is the real deal. She also points out that he wouldn’t be trying it on if Charlie was a man.

Seeking Dolly Parton 04

That’s certainly a positive takeaway and a nice fork from the usual trope-y path and Seeking Dolly Parton does do Charlie and Celina’s relationship justice in many ways (many critics have called the pairing believable, romantic, and cute), but queer female viewers may take issue with the Josh focus that the film gradually begins to take.

In the latter section of the film, Seeking Dolly Parton becomes as much about Josh’s place in the story as much as it is Charlie and Celina’s. That could be a dealbreaker but at least all three characters are fleshed out enough for it to work well.

Seeking Dolly Parton 01

Seeking Dolly Parton will be available from Vimeo On Demand from September 25, 2015.

Same-Sex Adoptive Parents Are Increasing Across America

While same-sex couples have long been able to adopt from private, gay-friendly adoption agencies, adopting children from the foster care system in America has proved more difficult in some states.

Some states have even taken up legislation that would allow taxpayer-funded contractors – that oversee state adoptions – to refuse gay or lesbian individuals from adopting children if it conflicts with the organization’s religious beliefs.

Some also have policies that do not allow gay and lesbian couples to adopt foster children jointly, according to the Human Rights Campaign. In Alabama, where a federal court overruled the state’s ban on gay marriage, gay couples were also not allowed to adopt jointly.

But many of those states are changing their policies in the aftermath of the Supreme Court decision on same-sex marriage.

That’s the case in North Dakota, where the law allows single people to adopt but specifies that adopting couples must be “husband and wife.”


Julie Hoffman, adoptions administrator for the state Department of Human Services, said:

It’s simple. Now that gay couples are allowed to marry, they’ll be treated like any other married couple who’s adopting.”

Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, Ohio and South Dakota also are changing their practices to allow married gay couples to go through the adoption process together. Some of them said they’re starting to update their forms to make them gender neutral.

In Alabama, married gay couples will be allowed to adopt a foster child, but they’ll have to wait longer than most – the state requires married couples interested in adopting to have been married for a year before beginning the adoption process.

Mississippi is the only state that has a law that specifically bars gay couples from adopting foster children, and Julia Bryan, spokeswoman for the state Department of Human Services, said the law will be followed unless the legislature makes any changes when it reconvenes in January. However, the ban is being challenged in the courts.

The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services also will wait on the legislature before changing how it operates, according to spokeswoman Julie Moody.

Gay couples in the state will have to continue to have one member of the couple formally adopt the child, and then the other member has to come back later to do a second parent adoption – a similar process to a step parent adopting a stepchild.

Nebraska policy prevented unmarried couples, gay or straight, from fostering or adopting state wards until 2012, when the state started allowing same-sex couples to become foster parents, ultimately placing foster children with 15 same-sex couples.

A county judge recently struck down the unmarried couple ban. But the state is planning to challenge that, saying that the broad scope of the order would require its Department of Health and Human Services to treat “unrelated, unmarried adults residing together” the same as it treats individuals and married couples.

statement from the Attorney General’s Office said that would make it more difficult to make placements in the best interest of the child.


Five-Year Study in Australia Finds Parents in Same-Sex Relationships Are Among Happiest Families

A new five-year study of family life satisfaction in Australia has concluded same-sex parents are some of the happiest and most supported family set-ups in the country.

Dr Bronwyn Harman, a researcher from Edith Cowan University, Perth, studied hundreds of parents, aiming to discover how resilience, social support and self-esteem contribute to a family’s overall happiness levels.

Despite a positive shift in attitudes to equal marriage and LGBTI parenting in Australia, the study found same-sex parents were less concerned about public perceptions after battling stigma and discrimination in the past.


As a result, same-sex parents were found to be the most resilient of family set ups, which also included straight couples, older first-time parents, single parents, step-parents, parents of children with a disability, parents living in rural areas, parents of large families and teenage parents.

Talking to the Sydney Morning Herald, Dr Harman said

They have to go to a lot of effort to get these children, so these children are very, very much desired. Often when same-sex parents do have a child they feel like they’ve hit the jackpot because they didn’t think it was going to be possible because of their sexuality.”

Big families, she found, are the happiest, with parents of four or more children coming out on top for their overall satisfaction levels.

Despite dealing with comments including ‘do they all have the same father’, and ‘are they all yours’, the larger families benefitted from increased levels of support, with the older children taking on some of the responsibility for the younger children.

Single fathers were found to be the least satisfied with their lot, due to negative societal perceptions.

The study revealed they believed themselves to be the ‘lesser parent’, with many being mistakenly blamed for the break up of the two-parent family unit, and others struggling to take time off work to look after their children.

Dr Harman said government services need to account for the fact that not all families are the same.

We need to remember that different groups of parents have different needs to contribute to their life satisfaction. It would be much better if we were able to separate the needs of different families and tailor services towards those individual cohorts.”

Nebraska Judge Strikes Down Ban on Same-Sex Foster Parents

A Nebraska judge has struck down a policy that prevented same-sex couples from serving as foster parents or adopting state wards.

Judge John Colborn of the Lancaster County District, declared the rules unconstitutional, citing the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision that allowed same-sex marriage.

A spokeswoman for Nebraska Attorney General Doug Peterson said Thursday that the office was still reviewing the decision.

The administrative policy was put in place in 1995, but the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services quietly stopped enforcing the ban in 2012.

According to the ruling, the lack of enforcement created confusion within the department and among state contractors who work with state wards.

Same-sex couples were also forced to undergo a rigorous five-tier review from a DHHS caseworker, supervisor, two administrators and the director of the state’s Children and Family Services Division. Opposite-sex couples only required approval from a caseworker and supervisor.

Danielle Conrad, executive director of the ACLU of Nebraska, and one of three groups that sued the state on behalf of three same-sex couples, said

This is a special victory for thousands of children in Nebraska who now have more options to find loving and stable homes,”

The judge wrote

State officials have not argued, nor have they identified, any legitimate government interest to justify treating gay and lesbian individuals and gay and lesbian couples differently than heterosexual individuals and heterosexual couples in this review process.”

New Children’s Book Simply Normalize Same-Sex Relationships For Children – ‘Rumplepimple’

Rumplepimple is a new book for children, which weaves in same-sex relationships into the storyline in a very subtle way.

Written by Suzanne DeWitt Hall and illustrated by Kevin Scott Gierman, this book is the story of a dog named Rumplepimple who runs out of a car and into a grocery store to help a little girl who is being teased by an older boy.

Like much of Hall’s work, Rumplepimple tells the story of being misunderstood by those who love you most when you’re trying to do the right thing.

The queer element comes from Rumplepimple’s caretakers – who are a same-sex couple. The story also mirrors the reality of Hall’s own life.

Rumplepimple-01 Rumplepimple-02

Hall told The Huffington Post.

I think the time has arrived when there is less need for books that explain same-sex parents and more need for books which simply feature characters who happen to have them. That’s the way things get normalized in literature over time. After all, we no longer need a book titled Teacher, Teacher: Why is Sammy’s Skin That Color?”


Scientific Community Agrees Kids Turn Out Just the Same Whether There Are Raised by Same-Sex or Heterosexual Couples

new study from the University of Colorado Denver finds that there has scientific consensus on same-sex parenting for decades.

By assessing a number if studies that examined same-sex parenting, and studying the trends and shifts between them, the researchers were able to determine that the scientific community agrees there were no differences in children raised by same-sex couples and different-sex couples.

Despite arguments made to the contrary just this year in Supreme Court amicus briefs, the consensus is not new.

According to the study, there was already a developing consensus affirming same-sex parenting among social scientists by 1990. By 2000 and henceforth, that consensus has been “overwhelming.”

Lead researcher Jimi Adams, associate professor in the Department of Health and Behavioural Studies at CU Denver College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, told Think Progress that even though there is still the occasional dissent…

… even those dissenters seem to agree that consensus exists. They’re forced instead to claim that they think that the existing consensus is pre-mature.”

Adams, along with co-author Ryan Light of the University of Oregon, found that studies conducted before 1990 “disproportionately focused on same-sex parenthood that occurred following dissolved heterosexual partnerships.”

Pam Yorksmith, Nicole Yorksmith, Grayden Yorksmith, Orion Yorksmith

These studies thus couldn’t isolate the effect of having same-sex parents on children from the effects of divorce and separation. As researchers began to focus on same-sex couples who adopted or used in vitro fertilisation — thus raising their children from birth in a stable household — the differences disappeared and consensus began to lock in.

Even when differences are still found among children of same-sex couples, it’s not necessarily because of the sexual orientation of the parents.

As Adams explained.

.. [relationships] have had a tendency to be more unstable [and] parental relationship instability is associated with negative outcomes for kids.”

But cultural stigma and legal inequality could contribute to that instability, so the progress of marriage equality could likely “lead to beneficial changes for these other sources of potential negative impacts on kids.”

It’s these other factors that contemporary dissenters like Mark Regnerus and Loren Marks fail to account for. Regnerus’ study, which purported that the children of same-sex couples fare worse, conflated children whose parents separated and then entered a same-sex relationship with those raise by same-sex couples from birth. As Adams and Light point out, a recent re-analysis of Regnerus’ data controlling for these factors actually supports the “no differences” consensus.


Marks’ dissent does not stem from new research he conducted, but from a critique of past studies because they use small convenience samples — methods of recruiting participants that aren’t totally random, such as snowball samples, where one same-sex family might help recruit another that they know — which he believes bias the results.

Adams told ThinkProgress that “it’s really difficult to gain much leverage on the observable patterns from large population-based samples like Marks/Regnerus are claiming we need more of” because those random samples simply don’t capture enough kids raised by same-sex couples.

Likewise, Adams isn’t persuaded by Marks’ critiques of convenience samples.

Any one convenience sample can rightfully be criticised regarding its lack of ability to generalise its findings to the broader population from which it was drawn.

But when study after study finds the same thing — each with their own separate means for drawing their convenience (or small scale) samples — those weaknesses become less and less likely to be able to account for the mounting consistency of the resulting evidence.”

Adams admits that sometimes a consensus can be re-evaluated, and there is certainly still new information to be collected on the matter of same-sex couples.

Perhaps the most glaring gap is how few of the kids in these studies are from married same-sex homes.”

As marriage equality expands, there will be more opportunities for “apples-to-apples” comparisons, but he expects such studies would only confirm the consensus, if not reveal some new advantages that the children of same-sex couples experience when their parents can marry.

The cumulation of evidence we have to this point — according to our analyses — appears to be pretty robust. So, I think it would take some earth-shattering new evidence to upset this applecart.”

Victoria’s Secret Model Josephine Skriver Opens Up about Being Raised a ‘Rainbow Baby’ (Video)

Victoria’s Secret model, Josephine Skriver, has opened up and spoken about being raised a ‘rainbow baby’.

The 22-year-old model, who works as an ambassador for the Family Equality Council and its Outspoken Generation Program, explained how she uses her position to share her story whenever possible, to break down stigmas against ‘untraditional’ families.

myi-D with Josephine Skriver 01

Skriver’s lesbian mother and gay father met in 1992 when Josephine’s mother placed an ad in a Danish LGBTQ newsletter. Josephine’s mother wanted to have a child. Josephine’s father responded, and the rest is history!

Speaking to i-D, as part of a new series exploring unique and personal aspects of celebrities’ lives,

When Skriver’s mom met her partner, the family decided against the term ‘step mom’, instead preferring to use the more positive ‘bonus mom’ to describe her extra parents.

I just hope that one day the concept of ‘family’ will mean a lot more than the traditional straight couple, with two kids and a house with a white picket fence. For me, family is a group of people bound by love! Love is what makes a family!”

Skriver also shared her powerful message to critics of IVF.

You get so many ‘She’s not made the natural way, she shouldn’t even be here’. I am not a science experiment. I am not synthetic. I am a real human being. I am just as real as you are.”

The video comes two months after a worldwide boycott of designers Dolce & Gabbana, following their comments that IVF children are ‘synthetic’.

Lesbian Couple Highlights the Obstacles to Raising Children in States that Ban Same-Sex Marriage

Raising two young children in states that don’t recognise that their parents are married has caused couple, Nicole and Pam Yorksmith, a range of problems.

They live in Kentucky and work in neighbouring Ohio – both states that ban same-sex marriage. This has complicated school enrolment, benefits, travel, tax and, most worrisome, medical emergencies.

While they consider themselves co-parents of the children that Nicole, 35, delivered after artificial insemination, a lot of other institutions don’t see them that way.

That was a problem when 9-month-old Orion came down with croup in the middle of the night.

“He had really laboured breathing,” Pam recalled. Their paediatrician recommended taking him to the emergency room, and since 4-year-old Grayden was asleep, Nicole stayed home with him.

But Pam wasn’t listed on Orion’s birth certificate or records – “An hour later, they had to call Nicole. They have to call my wife to get permission to treat my child.”

Orion recovered, but it was a troubling reminder that as much as they want to live as a normal family since their 2008 marriage in California, they face obstacles.

I’m a very traditional person. We knew very early on that we wanted to get married and have a family — let’s get a house, let’s get married, then let’s have kids. And that’s what we did.”

​UK’s Foster Care Associates Call for More Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender People to Consider Fostering

Foster Care Associates (FCA) is calling for more gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender singles and couples in the UK to consider fostering. The step comes to reinforce the positive contribution LGBT foster carers make to helping children and young people.

A report by the Rees Centre, a University of Oxford education department, which specialises in research into fostering and education, has revealed that many LGBT foster carers express concern about how agencies, social workers and foster children might respond to their gender and sexuality.

FCA has built a reputation as one of the leaders in championing and supporting LGBT foster carers for more than 15 years.

They were one of the first independent fostering agencies to offer LGBT diversity training for all their carers and staff, and 2015 marks five consecutive years of being recognised in the Stonewall Top 100 employer’s listings as one of the UK’s most gay friendly organisations.


Crystal is an FCA foster carer, with her partner Katie. She said:

“As foster carers we aim to provide a safe and happy home environment for foster children and it is that level of stability which is so important to a child’s wellbeing. Being a foster carer isn’t always easy but when you see a child grow and improve at something you have helped them with, it makes all the hard work worthwhile. Teaching a child right from wrong is one part of our role and when you actually begin to see them listen and act upon your advice, you feel you have made positive strides forward.”

David Oldham, chief executive of FCA, said:

“We have some amazing foster carers, and from the outset we only recruit people from across the spectrum who are open to diversity. We’re committed to developing a cohort of supportive carers, both for each other and the children they looked after. Our underlying message is that fostering is open to everyone and it’s up to FCA to provide a safe and welcoming community to support and develop our carers from the assessment process through to placement.”

Approximately only 2% of FCA’s 2000 carers are LGBT, a percentage that the agency aims to increase partly through regular visibility at LGBT events across the country as well specific information and recruitment events to communicate that fostering is an incredibly rewarding life choice which is open to everyone.

For more information on becoming a foster carer with the FCA, call 0800 023 4561 or visit www.thefca.co.uk

Dolce & Gabbana Condemns Unenlightened ‘Ignorance’ of Elton John After #BoycottDolceGabbana Campaign

Last week fashion icons Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana (aka Dolce & Gabbana) – who are gay themselves – made comments on their opposition to same-sex couples having children.

The designers, whose recent Milan Fashion Week show was a celebration of motherhood and featured models and their babies on the catwalk, said:

We oppose gay adoptions. The only family is the traditional one…. No chemical offsprings and rented uterus: life has a natural flow, there are things that should not be changed.”


Out singer-songwriter Elton John, who has sons Zachary and Elijah with his husband David Furnish, has since hit back at the pair.

How dare you refer to my beautiful children as ‘synthetic’. And shame on you for wagging your judgemental little fingers at IVF – a miracle that has allowed legions of loving people, both straight and gay, to fulfil their dream of having children.

Your archaic thinking is out of step with the times, just like your fashions. I shall never wear Dolce and Gabbana ever again. #BoycottDolceGabbana”

Sir Elton John


Celebrities gay and straight were only too happy to offer their support for Elton John’s boycott, and to share in decrying Dolce & Gabbana comments attacking LGBT families.


Now Gabbana has spoken in more detail about the scandal to Corriere Della Sera, labelling Elton John’s call for his fans to boycott the Dolce & Gabbana brand “unenlightened” and “ignorant”.

Speaking to Matteo Persivale, Gabbana argues that Dolce’s comments were taken out of context.

They’re just putting words into our mouths, now. They’re saying we are against gay parenting. It’s not true. Domenico only expressed his opinion about the traditional family and about In Vitro Fertilisation. If someone else wants to make different choices, fine, they are free to do it. We demand the same respect.”

Asked about how he felt after reading Elton John’s comments on Instagram and his hashtag #BoycottDolceGabbana, Gabbana describes his shock.

I didn’t expect this, coming from someone whom I considered, and I stress “considered”, an intelligent person like Elton John. I mean, you preach understanding, tolerance and then you attack others? Only because someone has a different opinion? Is this a democratic or enlightened way of thinking? This is ignorance, because he ignores the fact that others might have a different opinion and that theirs is as worthy of respect as his.”

In response to Elton’s petition for his followers to #BoycottDoceGabbana, Gabbana retorted by posting the word #Fascist! on Elton’s wall before calling on their followers to #BoycottEltonJohn.

Come on, I was annoyed for a moment. It would be ridiculous. Either you like somebody’s songs or you don’t. When you go to the greengrocer’s, you don’t make sure that he agrees with your views on IVF. You just want to know if he has fresh products…

We are not boycotting and we will not boycott anyone. We are about freedom. Anyone can make the choices they want. Domenico has his ideas, he made some choices. Elton John made different choices. Different choices, different lives. Equal respect.”

While the two D&G designers have been collectively criticised for the comments, Gabbana told Panorama he was open to becoming a father and has since said the suggestion he is against gay adoption is wrong. “A question is followed by an answer. Respect comes from accepting different views!” Gabbana wrote on Instagram.

For an Honest Portrayal of Lesbian Parenting, then Watch German Film ‘Two Mothers’

There is a film due out on DVD that you should add to your wish list. The German film, by first-time feature writer and director Anne Zohra Berrached, ‘Two Mothers’ (Zwei Mütter) is based on the experiences of several real lesbian couples struggles to conceive a baby.

The film has already won the FGYO Award for best dialogue at its Berlin International Film Festival. Its has also gone on to earn acclaim at several film festivals around the world, including acting awards for lead actresses, Sabine Wolf and Karina Plachetka, who play the married lesbian couple Katja and Isabella looking to have a child.

The story follows the lesbian couple’s path to parenthood. However, when they decide to have a child, they are confronted with unexpected obstacles. Despite living in the relatively progressive Germany, sperm banks and fertility clinics refuse to treat the couple, citing legal reasons.

Whilst Katja begins to doubt if they should continue, Isabelle is relentless in her pursuit of a baby, and after months of stessful and pricey procedures, they turn to a sperm donor. As weeks pass by, Katja starts doubting and discovers that Isa is willing to betray their relationship in order to fulfill her wish of becoming pregnant.

The film explores the troubles the couple face, and in particular Katja, who is worried about her place in Isabella’s pregnancy and in the life of their future child, since she will technically not be the mother or father in the most literal sense. She increasingly feels like an outsider and a passive observer in Isabella’s quest.

The dialogue in the movie is honest and pointed. Katja and Isabella’s relationship is presented sincerely and doesn’t feel contrived. The story unravels slowly and gently to explore the frustrating reality and the emotional burden of such a journey on a relationship.

There is no music to distract or manipulate feelings, nor are there many side characters, so the focus is solely on couple. Both Sabine Wolf and Karina Plachetka performances are strong and very relatable.


The movie that tackles a topic lesbian pregnancy very well, which will appeal to lesbian couples in a similar situation or to those curious about the process. It does not paint a blissful picture, however, and shows the dangers both implicit and explicit to lesbian parenting.