Lesbian non-bio mum wins IVF daughter appeal

February 5, 2016 13:40 by PrideAngelAdmin
lesbian parenting The girl was taken to Pakistan after a relationship ended - but now a court could work to bring the seven-year-old back to the UK.

A lesbian woman battling with her ex-partner for the return of her IVF-born daughter from Pakistan has been given hope by a Supreme Court ruling. The girl’s biological mother and sole legal parent took her out of the UK in 2014, three years after their relationship ended.

But the woman who won today’s decision also considers herself a de facto parent to the seven-year-old - who was conceived by IVF in 2008. Her efforts to force her former partner to bring the girl back to the UK had been blocked by the High Court and Court of Appeal.

They said they could not intervene because the girl was not habitually resident in Britain when the legal action started. However, Supreme Court justices have now overturned those rulings - deciding she had been resident and allowing the woman’s appeal.

The case now goes back to the High Court for a judge to reconsider whether to take steps to bring the girl back from Pakistan. Lawyers say the ruling has important implications.

Maria Wright, from Freemans Solicitors, said: "The consequence of the Supreme Court's decision is that the English court can properly consider what is in (the child's) best interests and, if appropriate, order contact or (the child's) return to England."

Article: 3rd February 2016 www.news.sky.com

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Co-parenting journey - Co-Co-Co-parenting Christmas

January 19, 2016 21:28 by PrideAngelAdmin
So aside from parenting being Relentless with a capital R, how lovely to hit the six month mark bang on the Christmas period. It’s a huge milestone, believe me and there’s something to be said for the old saying that if you’ve survived six months you’re through the worst. By now the baby can smile. Tear paper. And even enjoy a first taste of goose for any mother brave enough to watch huge chunks of it disappear into baby’s mouth (said mouth usually clamped shut for any other type of food).

“What are you doing for Christmas this year?”, asked co-parent daddy casually. But of course there’s nothing casual about it as various parties clamour to experience our daughter’s first Christmas. How to fit it all in…??

At six months old we reckoned on her ‘not knowing what is going on’ and minimal presents but as it happens our little one is quite advanced for her months and very much with it. She’s grown into a friendly little thing with no sign as yet of stranger danger or wanting to be held always by her mummies. So with this in mind there is daddies, a smattering of grandparents and various besotted friends to squeeze in.

The festive season kicked off with a pre-Christmas meal chez daddies. What was going to be a casual lunch soon became 10 people seated round a dinner table upon which our daughter babbled and dazzled her guests, clearly in her element.

We counted seats around my parents’ dinner table and were about to extend an invite to the daddies’ when they remembered a plus one step-mum that pushed numbers over the edge. We settled on Christmas Eve at the dads’, Christmas Day at my mum’s, followed by visits to friends in our leaking, creaking, ear-splitting, baby unsafe VW camper van (baby loves it - it’s like extreme white noise).

It goes without saying that her biggest and bestest present by far was from her daddies. A jumperoo-type contraption on wheels. It lives as their house and has the dual function of being a feeding chair. From her ever practical mamas she got a bath towel - by six months you’re pretty over the hanky-sized hooded baby towels - and a second-hand door bouncer. I’m not even joking we’re soooo stereotypical! My ever-pc brother was extremely proud of the tool set toy that his girlf had picked out and she’s already enjoyed hammering things.

As our whirlwind Christmas came to an end with the harsh hangover that is new year, I reflected on our incredible year that will always mark the birth of our daughter.

Gone are the mammoth breastfeeding sessions, sitting holding a sleeping babe whilst needing a wee because we don’t want her to wake up. Gone are the screams for food if I stray out of the house for ten minutes to long - the race up the stairs whilst peeling off clothes to get to my boob. I’ve thought of all the hours I’ve spent feeding, changing, bathing and in particular, rocking her…. What else could I have done with that time? Written a novel, developed a property, sorted my life out? Now I’m here I don’t regret a single moment. Our daughter is definitely my finest work.

Article: by two excited mums 19th January 2016

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Co-parenting and known donation planning: does mediation help?

January 17, 2016 20:34 by PrideAngelAdmin
co-parenting If you are planning a known donation or a co-parenting arrangement, mediation can be a really effective tool for helping you set strong foundations. Sadly we see too many disputes arising after a child is born, and almost always the problems trace back to mismatched expectations or poor communication at the outset. If you want to avoid these problems, communication is key – not just talking, but listening carefully, being realistic and honest and covering the right issues – and mediation can help you do that.

Although people tend to think of mediation as being for people who are in dispute, that isn’t necessarily the case. In pre-conception planning mediations, all the potential parents are involved in a collaborative process – without there being any dispute. A good mediator will sit down with you all and help guide you on the issues you need to work through (and challenge you constructively to communicate honestly and clearly). Mediation provides a place for you to talk through your hopes for your family, such as how you see your role within the family unit working, and to draw on the experience of someone who has dealt with problem cases. After the meeting, you or your mediator can draw up a pre conception agreement which is a written summary of the consensus that you’ve reached for you all to keep. Although not legally binding, this document formalises the arrangements that have been discussed, and provides everyone involved with clarity.

At NGA we are committed to supporting positive family-building in lots of different ways. As well as our legal services, Suzi Denton is a qualified mediator who supports intended families planning known donation and co-parenting arrangements. We find that those who have worked together at the outset and carefully thought through all of the potential issues are able to have the best possible start to their journey through pregnancy and beyond. Mediation provides a positive foundation for the start of your life as a family.

You can find out more about our mediation services on our website or please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us on 020 3701 5915.

Article: 17th January 2016 by www.nataliegambleassociates.co.uk

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How women choose sperm donors online - study shows intelligent, shy donors are more sought after

January 14, 2016 20:28 by PrideAngelAdmin
A study into how women choose sperm donors via online websites has revealed men who are intellectual, shy, calm and methodical are selected to produce more children than those who are extroverted. It also highlighted that women choose donors who have a higher income, even though there is no requirement for ongoing parental support.

The study, Determinants of online sperm donor success: how women choose by Stephen Whyte and Professor Benno Torgler from QUT's Queensland Behavioural Economics Group, has been published by the international journal Applied Economic Letters.

"Worldwide demand for sperm donors is so great an informal online market has emerged in which offspring are being produced outside of the more formal fertility clinic setting," said Mr Whyte.

"You would expect in an online setting, men would have to sell or promote themselves to women, and extroverted men should be better at doing that. But what we find is actually the opposite.

"In what we believe is the first study to include males who are donating purely through unregulated websites and forums, we interviewed and collected data from 56 men.

"This online donor market works quite differently to fertility clinics in that it facilitates more interaction between the recipient and the donor. This allows us to explore individual donor personality characteristics and how likely they are to be chosen by women as their donor.

"Women were far less likely to choose the sperm of fretful or socially awkward men but at the same time those with lively, extroverted personalities were also less successful in being chosen."

The participants for the study were aged between 23 and 66 and were from Australia, Canada, the UK, Italy, Sweden and the USA. Data was collected across 2012 and 2013 via online surveys of regulated (paid), semi-regulated and online sperm donation forums and websites such as Pride Angel.

"Research has previously shown humans are good at judging personality traits as well as levels of intelligence with only minimal exposure to appearance and behaviours, and our findings certainly seem to support that," Mr Whyte said.

"We also found that 73 per cent of our participants who had children by donation kept in touch via mail, email, phone, video link or even in person with at least one of their donor children."

Article: 14th January 2015 by Stephen Whyte & Benno Torgler (2015): Determinants of online sperm donor success: how women choose, Applied Economics Letters, DOI: 10.1080/13504851.2015.1090543

Register for FREE at www.prideangel.com to find your perfect sperm donor

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Pride Angel Journey - Christmas in Toddlerdom

January 2, 2016 13:08 by PrideAngelAdmin
Luna shakes broken crumbs out of the hollow Christmas tree chocolate on to her plate. “I’m shaking the seeds out.” This is a two-and-a-half-year-old who has eaten a lot more fruit than chocolate. I briefly ponder the idea of planting a chocolate seed and waiting for the tree to grow and fruit. Just briefly though: there’s not much time for pondering with two toddlers loose near a Christmas tree.

Usually it’s just the baubles they go for, or the lights, but I did have to peel half a dozen pine needles off Luna’s tongue on Christmas Day evening; apparently hunger returns relatively quickly after a three-course roast dinner, and hunger coupled with tiredness led not for the first time to eating plants rather than asking for food.

Willow meanwhile, at eighteen months old, spent Christmas Day using his new catchphrase every time a wrapped present appeared: “what’s in there?!” If the wrapping happened to be relatively quick and easy to remove, he would stay the course, but more often than not by the time his question could be answered, he was engaged in using a remote control as a phone, pilfering someone’s keys or hunting for long-lost raisins under furniture.

I have to admit that ‘Jingle Bells’ has really brought on their singing – both can make it right through the chorus if you allow for a sort of mumbly skipping over the awkward line ‘one-horse open sleigh’ and it’s easily taken over ‘Ba Ba Black Sheep’ as the favourite. I have a feeling that by April they’ll have it mastered and we’ll never want to hear any Christmas song ever again.

For both us and the children I think the whole festive period has been a muddle of chaos, bewilderment, excitement and exhaustion. And earlier today I bemoaned the fact that it would likely be years before we could reasonably be part of some sort of adult celebration of New Year.

But lying here in bed at 9pm on New Year’s Eve writing this with a sleeping two-year-old snuggled up against me – a two-year-old who when asked what she wanted for Christmas, replied “mushroom” and whose only wish when she stirred the Christmas pudding was to “eat it”, I know that such innocence is a precious thing and that one day, there’ll be nothing I want more than another Christmas in Toddlerdom.

Article: by Lindsey, West Yorkshire 2nd January 2016

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Free message credits when you login Christmas and New Year

December 24, 2015 22:46 by PrideAngelAdmin
To celebrate Pride Angel’s 7th Christmas and as a thank you to all our members, we are giving free message credits to all those who login at Christmas and New Year.

How to get your FREE message credits?

Simply log back into Pride Angel or Register if you’re not a member during the Christmas period:


- Login on Christmas day and receive 5 free message credits
- Login on New Year on the 1st January 2016 to receive 5 free message credits
- Or login on Christmas day AND New Year to receive 10 credits!

Your free message credits will be added to your account within 48hrs of you logging in – don’t worry you don’t need to do anything!

It’s also a great idea to update your profile regularly and make sure that all your ‘About you’ details are up to date!
So take advantage and login or register now.

Leave a lasting impression... It’s important to make sure that you are utilising all the tools available to you on the Pride Angel website in order to promote yourself to others.

Here are some quick tips for improving your profile:
- Update your ‘About You’ details: this is your opportunity to talk about your likes, dislikes, your values and interesting facts about you and your life – make sure you fill it in!

- Complete your health questionnaire: this is an important part of a profile for people looking for potential donors, recipients and co-parents. Assure people who are viewing your profile that you have the all clear!

- Add a current photograph: Let people see your face! It’s a common fact that people react to profiles with photographs so to increase your chances of a click through, add a recent photo!

Login and update your profile now.

For all those starting on the path to parenthood, we send our best wishes, and wish you happiness along your journey.
Here’s to a wonderful Christmas and best wishes for the New Year ahead!
Pride Angel

Note: Free message credits will only be added to your account once and only if your account has been verified, regardless of the number of times you log in over this time period. If you do not receive your free message credits by the 4th January, please get in touch.

Article: 24th December 2015 by Pride Angel

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NOW CASTING FOR TELEVISION SERIES FEATURING PARENTING PARTNERS

December 20, 2015 21:10 by PrideAngelAdmin
co-parenting Have you exhausted all possibilities of finding a romantic mate to conceive a child with? Are you currently looking for or are in the middle of partnering with someone to have a baby and simply co­parent? We want to hear your story!

We are currently looking to cast for an upcoming television series that will feature 3 stories including: one single woman, one single man, and an individual who has someone in mind that they’d already like to co­parent with. The series will follow each story as they proceed in a process known as a Parenting Partnership.

Cameras will document the highs and lows of what it actually takes to go through this process; including how each participant exhausted all possibilities of trying to either find someone to have a baby with or conceive a baby, so they decide to find a person with whom they want to simply co­parent with.

We understand how challenging this process may be. We want to help people become the parents they wish to be and be able to provide a modern family unit filled with the love and attention every child deserves.

Location: Nationwide Age Range: 20’s­40’s Payment: TBD Contact: To apply, please send a description of your story along with a recent photo and contact information to casting@celistantwins.com. SUBJECT LINE should read: PARENTING PARTNERSHIP ­ YOUR NAME.

Article: 20th December 2015 for more info contact us at Pride Angel

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Pride Angel Journey - Extremes

December 10, 2015 22:37 by PrideAngelAdmin
I’ve always been one for extremes: things are black and white, no shades of grey for me. But childhood or parenthood or the place where the two meet is something else.

If you’re looking for opposites, polarisation, antithesis, oxymoron, juxtaposition, then get a small child, or ideally two. You will instantly have enough love, joy and hilarity to last a small village fifty years. Meanwhile any supply you previously had of energy, patience and sanity will immediately vanish without trace.

When they sleep there is the peace of a deserted mountain range, still and reliable and changeless. Until, seconds later they wake with all the noise and chaos of a street market, making imaginative demands like a petulant fairytale king. And then they sleep. And then they wake…

There will be a bountiful supply of mess. Time to clear it up will be measurable in milliseconds. Or in minus hours or minus days…weeks...months…

Because really, the problem is time. If only we could spread this love, joy, hilarity, energy, patience, sanity, sleep, noise, chaos, mess over a lifetime. But what we have is a jumbled few years of extremity and then if we’re careful to preserve them, a lifetime of memories.

Article: by Lindsey, West Yorkshire 10th December 2015

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Co-parenting journey - Parenting confidence by the short and curlies

December 4, 2015 14:37 by PrideAngelAdmin
As mentioned in ‘Nine weeks and blooming/ballooning’ the decision to take our three month old to America was obviously a tricky one – would the baby be ok travelling long haul? As it happens, our trip was pretty full on. America is a particular place. Air-con, malls, cars, shops, intimidating food portions, fat people and highways running through the city. Why on earth did I think that was just a stereotype? Combine this realisation with a heat wave, being without my partner for four out of seven days, our trip to the Children’s Hospital and hating Boston, Mummy moi was not a happy bunyana. Boston: B****cks to your paltry ‘history’, give me Europe any day of the week. Ahem…

So spurred on by the online community assuring the ease with which I’d travel with a three month old compared with an 18 month old, not having travelled anywhere with any baby, we packed our newly purchased trunk (big enough for the baby to sleep in if needed – weird criterion for a suitcase but that’s where we’d got to, dib dib). In it I put every item of quite considerable baby gubbins we own, a handful of mummy’s undies and off we went. The breast feeding pillow that by day two I’d decided was the embodiment of my ‘parenting confidence’ even had its own rucksack… Little Miss was an absolute ANGEL on the flight. British Airways were great, fast-tracking us and taking care of us on the flight. My partner’s colleague helped entertain Her Nibs on the daytime flight and through some desperate eye-contact / telepathy she suckled for most of the descent. Phew, big lezzo mummy cried with relief as we stepped off the plane that no mishap or sore ears had occurred. Does the good news end there? Kind of… After a positive start to the holiday with a trip to the baseball, the heatwave and realities of mothering in a foreign, oh and did I mention horrible, city unfolded.

The travel sterilizer failed us big time. It left a residue that I’d refuse and Babes wasn’t having it. The mini-bar + heatwave soured the pumped breastmilk. Oh no. So, like it or lump it we switched from combination feeding to breast only. Thank god Left Breast and Right Breast, two creatures quite different in temperament, were up to it. Heroes, frankly, as any mother’s worst fear is not being able to feed baby. Not that she was very interested in feeding – but I wouldn’t want to feed in extremes of heat / air con either.

Then came the afternoon she vomited bloody mucus. Oh did that strike living fear into Big Brave Travelling Mama. Temporarily becalmed by the level head of my (antithetical) partner and a quick google ‘It’s fine if it only happens once’, I persevered. Baby got through the night. Wishing to please my partner: “Why don’t you go to the aquarium?” we crossed town. Quick nappy change before we went in and lo and behold, clear mucus in her nappy. Already on edge from the vomit, BBTM dashed back across town like a bat out of hell running down old women in shopping malls and mentally composing conversations with airlines, insurance companies and emergency services to GET US HOME. Teary tantrum later (again my other half was calmer about the symptoms) we got to Boston Children’s Hospital.

Little One at this point perks up (to be fair, she never actually seemed off kilter in her behaviour). Attendant Doctor declares in his loudest have-a-nice-day-American: “What’s up, this baby looks like a million bucks??” And, actually, she did. She smiled through her examination, she even smiled having her temperature taken rectally. And there was my resplendently gorgeous, and as it turns out, tough, little girl boggling on the examination table without a care in the world and loving the attention. So with her vitals checked and all-clear our holiday continued.

Still very much on edge, I was thrilled to leave Boston behind in our all-American hire car. As a much needed respite we stayed with family friends next. Baby woke from her car journey to five children all clamouring to be in her face. Again, she smiled and took it in her stride. Most of the visit was spent with our ‘supermom’ friend telling me what a ‘first time mom’ I was being. Fine, I can take it. But it doesn’t exactly take the angst away. Without our little break in a real home (replete with baby weighing scales to reassure me that she was actually getting some milk) I wouldn’t have coped with New York. It did at least, have something about it as a place. A very lucky, wonderful Airbnb apartment made for an almost pleasurable stay; but boy is the Empire State building a scary place at dusk with the world and his dog up there and a baby in a sling. Every disaster scenario under the sun coursed through my mind.

Thoroughly exhausted in every respect we returned on the red eye flight. The lady next to us liked the look of Baby so much I concluded she actually wanted to eat her; still, they were supportive of our parenting needs and I ceased resenting them for booking a bulkhead seat and NOT having a baby. Back in Blighty, met by my dad, the sibilant rasp of whispered discussions betwixt two fraught parents abated; my rubbed raw nerves relaxed as we took in the now temperate climate… Ah home. An hour later my partner was asleep face down on the living room floor, and my heart-rate was almost normal. I glanced at my little travelling Babes, two weeks’ older than when we’d left. Calmly propped up on the sofa like a pig in poo she had her TV face on and was watching the Davis Cup. What a laid back girl she’d been in the face of my meltdown.

I’d fundamentally misconceived the question. It wasn’t a case of ‘would the baby handle the trip’, it was whether I would handle the trip. I hung in there, but boy did it test my mettle. I certainly wouldn’t do it again for America.

Article: 19th January 2015 by two excited mums www.prideangel.com

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IVF revolution that may signal the end of the 'test tube' baby

November 30, 2015 21:23 by PrideAngelAdmin
An IVF breakthrough could signal the end of the 'test tube baby' by allowing fertilisation to occur inside a woman's body for the first time.

The development, to be offered within weeks to British couples having trouble conceiving, means the crucial first stage of embryo development can take place in the natural surroundings of the womb rather than in the laboratory – just as in normal conception.

The cutting-edge process involves inserting a device smaller than a matchstick, containing a mixture of sperm and eggs, into the woman's body. It is removed after 24 hours to allow doctors to assess which of the resulting embryos are healthy enough to be implanted in the hope of achieving a successful pregnancy.

Leading fertility experts say it offers women an important psychological benefit as it gives them greater biological involvement in the creation of their children. Doctors believe it may also boost IVF success rates and the long-term health of the children.

The technique, which has been used successfully in some European clinics, was formally approved by the fertility regulator, the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA), in September. It will be available at the Complete Fertility clinic, based at University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust, from the New Year and will cost a few hundred pounds more than the £3,800 cost of standard IVF.

Clinic director Nicholas Macklon, a professor of obstetrics and gynaecology at the University of Southampton, said: 'The advantage is that the early embryo is being exposed to the same natural chemical environment of a spontaneous pregnancy.

'We know IVF babies are slightly different – the birth weight is slightly lower. Although that's not significant for early survival, we know it's linked to long-term health.

'There's increasing evidence this is to do with the culture medium we use in the laboratory – so if we can keep them for as long as possible inside the uterus, not only do we expose them to all the goodies only mum can provide but we save them from being exposed to a synthetic environment at a very sensitive stage of early development.'

The new process involves mixing the sperm and eggs and placing them instead in the Anecova AneVivo device, which is about 1cm long and 1mm wide. This is inserted painlessly without an anaesthetic.

Couples return home from the clinic while fertilisation takes place. One of the first patients to use the device in Europe, Leila Rampino, 39, said she had found it 'frustrating' to have to leave her embryos in the laboratory. So when standard IVF failed, she agreed to try the Anecova device at the Clinique des Grangettes in Geneva. She gave birth to daughter Yasmine in 2010.

She said: 'I instinctively knew this was the right solution. As a mother, to go home with my embryos allowed me to play an active role in those important early moments.

'My husband, when we arrived home, put his hand on my belly and said, 'This time they are not in the laboratory – they are in you.' It was a wonderful feeling and we are very happy to finally have a baby.'

The HFEA agreed at a meeting last month that there was no evidence the technique was unsafe. However, it cautioned that there was also no evidence so far it was more effective than standard IVF and might 'add an unnecessary cost to patients'.

Article: 28th Novemeber 2015 www.dailymail.co.uk

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