Michelle Tea and her partner are in a new BuzzFeed video about being gender non-conforming parents.
Scientists have announced that “Three-parent babies” could be a reality by the end of next year following successful preclinical analysis,.
The controversial procedure will now be referred to regulators to consider whether it can be licensed for use on women in the UK.
Known as Mitochondrial replacement therapy, the process was introduced as a way to protect a child from faulty DNA found in their parents.
Essentially a mother’s faulty DNA found in her egg is replaced through IVF using a healthy mother’s DNA and the father’s sperm fertilises the egg thus resulting in the three-parent child.
Study lead author Professor Mary Herbert, from the Wellcome Trust Centre for Mitochondrial Research at Newcastle University, said:
Having overcome significant technical and biological challenges, we are optimistic that the technique we have developed will offer affected women the possibility of reducing the risk of transmitting mitochondrial DNA disease to their children.”
Three-parent children is certainly a divisive topic. Those who are pro it argue that there are currently no treatments for mitochondrial diseases, which affect about 1 in 6,500 babies in the more serious forms.
They feel that if you can increase the chances of having a healthy baby, why wouldn’t you?
Those against it argue it’s wrong on either or both religious and ethical grounds as the transfer technique involves creating and then destroying a fertilised egg in order to treat another embryo.
What do you think about a three-parent baby? Let us know in the comments below.
A juvenile court in Rome has awarded an Italian lesbian couple the right to adopt each other’s children in a landmark case.
The court said Marilena Grassadonia, president of the Rainbow Families association, could adopt her wife’s twin boys; her partner was also allowed to adopt Grassadonia’s son.
The ruling marks a legal first for Italy, where strong opposition to same-sex marriage and same-sex adoption from the Catholic Church has slowed legislation on LGBT rights.
Talking to The Guardian, Grassadonia said
On a personal level, it’s a huge satisfaction, but I cannot be fully happy when I think that our families depend on individual decisions.”
The Guardian noted that all previous verdicts in favour of lesbian women being recognized as parents of their partner’s children by Italian law are currently at the appeal stages.
Grassadonia has long been a fierce critic of Italy’s laws on gay rights.
In February, Italy passed a civil unions bill that gave legal recognition to same-sex couples for the first time in the country’s history.
However, LGBT activists, including Grassadonia, noted the bill had been significantly watered down before it was passed.
In particular, a provision that would have granted non-biological parents in same-sex relationships parental rights was removed from the legislation before it could be voted in.
Instead, cases involving same-sex parents and adoption would be decided on a case-by-case basis.
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.”
In the first-ever media campaign of its kind, a series of multilingual Public Service Announcements ( PSAs ) will depict real-life Asian parents breaking a cycle of silence and shame to voice unconditional love for their LGBT children.
The series is scheduled for broadcast on Asian ethnic television stations throughout June to commemorate LGBT Pride Month. Airing in 8 Asian languages and dialects, the PSAs will reach over 13.9 million viewers in major Asian markets across the country.
The series was created by the National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance ( NQAPIA ) and Asian Pride Project to promote acceptance of LGBT individuals in Asian American, South Asian, Southeast Asian, and Pacific Islander ( AAPI ) communities.
NQAPIA Executive Director Glenn D. Magpantay states,
Our campaign not only empowers immigrant parents, but also LGBT youth struggling to come out to their families. We are raising the visibility of supportive Asian parents and family members so they can act as catalysts for acceptance within their communities.”
The parents in the PSAs share these messages: Our lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender children have been shunned, ostracized and discriminated against in our own community for too long. So I am taking a stand, because family is still family and love is still love.
An accompanying leaflet entitled “Family Is Still Family, Love Is Still Love” addresses fundamental questions and misconceptions about sexual orientation and identity. The leaflet is available in nineteen ( 19 ) Asian languages and scripts — the greatest number of translations of a single LGBT document.
The campaign is particularly timely as the US Supreme Court weighs arguments surrounding marriage equality.
According to a 2012 Asian American Legal Defense & Education Fund report only 37% of Asian Americans polled support same-sex marriage while nearly two thirds are opposed or undecided. The strongest opposition comes from those who are older and foreign-born with limited English proficiency — a common profile of Asian immigrant parents.
Despite a surge in gay marriage wins across America, acceptance of the LGBT community still needs much more work to ensure the safety and acceptance of LGBT Americans in their communities, workplaces, and families.
According to a new Accelerating Acceptance survey released by GLAAD, one-third of respondents were uncomfortable attending a same-sex wedding (34 percent), seeing a gay couple hold hands (36 percent) or learning their doctor is LGBT (31 percent). Harris Poll conducted the online survey in 2014 of 4,000 Americans who indicted they were heterosexual.
“Closing the gap to full acceptance of LGBT people will not come from legislation or judicial decisions alone, but from a deeper understanding and empathy from Americans themselves. Accelerating acceptance will require the help of not just LGBT people, but also their allies – everyday Americans who feel strongly and take an active role to make sure that their LGBT friends and family are fully accepted members of society.”
Sarah Kate Ellis, the CEO and President of GLAAD
Marriage and Same-Sex Relationships
While a majority of the public supports equal marriage protections, there remain large numbers of straight, non-transgender adults that still have a significant degree of discomfort surrounding actual weddings for same-sex couples. One-third (34%) say they would be uncomfortable attending the wedding of a same-sex couple, with 22% saying they would feel very uncomfortable. A substantially larger group (43%) responds they would be uncomfortable bringing a child to the wedding of a same-sex couple.
Beyond weddings for same-sex couples, the survey reveals that many are still uncomfortable simply seeing and interacting with same-sex couples. A third of non-LGBT Americans (36%) say that just seeing a same-sex couple holding hands makes them uncomfortable.
The survey also evidenced resistance to LGBT parents by other parents in their community. Many straight, non-transgender parents say they would be uncomfortable with their child playing at a home with an LGBT parent – 40% for a transgender parent, 29% for a gay dad and 28% for a lesbian mom.
A fifth to nearly a third of non-LGBT Americans are uncomfortable with common situations involving LGBT people. These range from simple things like having an LGBT person move in next door to more personal situations such as learning that a family member is LGBT.
Acceptance of the transgender community faces more resistance than does acceptance of the rest of the LGBT community. Most notably, a majority of non-LGBT Americans (59%) say they would be uncomfortable if they learned their child was dating a transgender person. More than a quarter (31%) say this would make them “very uncomfortable.”
Being on a sports team with a transgender person still makes large numbers of non-LGBT Americans uncomfortable. Roughly equal numbers report discomfort with being on the same team as a transgender woman (32%) and a transgender man (31%). These numbers are higher than the reports of discomfort with being on a sports team with a gay man (26%) or lesbian (20%).
Further demonstrating the importance of cultivating more allies, those who know LGBT people display substantially lower levels of discomfort –30% are uncomfortable seeing a same-sex couple hold hands among those who have LGBT family members, while that number drops to 25% among those with an LGBT coworker and 17% among those with a close LGBT friend. On the flip side, almost half (47%) of those who don’t know any LGBT people say seeing a same-sex couple holding hands makes them uncomfortable. Clearly, a connection exists between familiarity and acceptance.
GaysWithKids.com recently caught up with Rosie O’Donnell at Cyndi Lauper’s fundraiser for LGBTI youth homeless, in New York, and the TV Star took the opportunity to share her thoughts on gay parenting.
O’Donnell, who is a mother to five children (aged 19, 17, 15, 12 and 2 years), gave advice to aspiring LGBT parents.
“I would tell them what I would tell any one; that it’s the best thing that you can ever do for yourself, to become a parent.”
In the video below, O’Donnell acknowledged that adoption and fostering are often the ways in which gay people create their families. She felt this was something that some gay people were particularly attuned to because, historically, some had been turned away by their own families and forced to create their own.
“So many gay people are kicked out of their families, at least in our history, that we learned how to make our own. I mean, so many Thanksgivings it was all the peoples whose parents wouldn’t allow their partners to come with them; we’d have the gathering of all the people rejected from their actual home, and we learned how to make our families.
Blood doesn’t make a family; love makes a family. I would say to everyone out there, there are so many kids needing homes, and it’s the best thing you can ever do for yourself.”