Lots of good stuff this week, including thoughts from an Australian senator and lesbian mom on her country’s move towards marriage equality, new initiatives around foster parenting and adoption, a new memoir from a former punk rocker and (current) lesbian mom, a queer parent immortalized in a WordPress release, and more.
Politics and Law
- The child of two moms, one of whom is an Irish citizen, has been denied an Irish passport because his Irish mom did not carry him, although she provided the egg that his other mom carried and is his genetic mom. The Passport Office told them “a parent is understood to mean either the ‘mother’ or ‘father’ of the child…. For the purposes of Irish law, the mother of a child is the person who gives birth to the child or a female adopter of the child.” This really frosts me, since my spouse and I also did reciprocal IVF and needed to get a court order in New Jersey for me (the genetic mom) to become a legal parent (back in 2003, before marriage equality and before both moms went on birth certificates as a matter of course). It was ridiculous then, and it’s ridiculous now. Above the Law notes that there is legislation under consideration that could address issues like this raised by assisted reproduction.
- Family Equality Council has launched the Every Child Deserves a Family Campaign, which they are spearheading with PFLAG as part of a national coalition. The campaign fights bills allowing adoption and foster care agencies to discriminate against LGBTQ children, youth and qualified prospective parents, among others, and builds support for the Every Child Deserves a Family Act, a federal bill prohibiting child welfare agencies that receive taxpayer funds from discriminating against LGBTQ youth or prospective foster and adoptive parents.
- Australians voted overwhelmingly in favor of marriage equality in a non-binding resolution. While a bill still has to get through Parliament, it is expected to pass. Senator Penny Wong, who has two children with her partner Sophie Allouache and was the first openly lesbian woman in Parliament and first openly gay or lesbian member of Cabinet, gave a speech after the vote, that is worth reading in full. Here’s an excerpt:
This bill isn’t just important for LGBTIQ Australians; it’s important to all Australians. Imagine if the message of discrimination, fear and intolerance that we saw during this campaign had won. Imagine what that would have said about the kind of nation we had become. But our nation chose a different path, a path of hope, a path of acceptance, a path of respect, and for that I thank you all….
This is the most personal of debates because it is about the people who matter most to us. It is about the people we love. So I say to Sophie: Thank you for you love and commitment and for all you do.
And I say to our beautiful daughters, Alexandra and Hannah: I work for and fight for the world I want for you.
- The HRC Foundation has released “Promising Practices for Serving Transgender & Non-Binary Foster & Adoptive Parents,” a new guide to help foster care and adoption agencies recruit, certify, and support qualified transgender and non-binary adults who want to become foster or adoptive parents.
- OUT magazine has an interview with former Hole drummer Patty Schemel on her new memoir, Hit So Hard, about her life with Hole, the punk rock scene, and struggling with addiction. Schemel now lives in Los Angeles with her wife and six-year-old daughter. She tells OUT: “Sometimes, I’ll be at my daughter’s school, dropping her off in the morning and all the parents are standing at the coffee cart and I’ll think to myself, Oh my god. All this stuff is in my book, and they all know I wrote a book.”
- Caroline Ouellette and Julie Chu, former captains of the Canadian and U.S. women’s hockey teams, respectively, announced the birth of their first child, Liv. CBC gets at the crux of the problem: “Do you send Liv a Maple Leaf onesie or a star-spangled one?”
- Brian Rieper, an elementary school teacher and gay dad in Toronto, spoke with Fast Company about telling his students about his family, his husband’s very different experience at another school, and what gives him hope for the next generation
- A new review of data from the National Health Interview Surveys from 2013 through 2015 shows (like the vast majority of previous studies) that kids of LGB parents are just as well adjusted as kids of straight, cisgender parents. Children of bisexual parents initially showed worse outcomes, but this was eliminated by factoring in parental psychological distress (a minority stress indicator). Nevertheless, “The results among children of bisexual parents warrant more research examining the impact of minority stress on families,” the authors conclude.
- Blog software WordPress has a tradition of naming releases after jazz musicians. Their latest version, 4.9, is named after Billy Tipton, who in addition to being a talented band leader, was the transgender dad to three sons.
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