Increase your fertility with Positive Affirmations

July 25, 2014 13:27 by PrideAngelAdmin
Saying positive affirmations will improve your health and well being, which in turn will increase your fertility and chance of getting pregnant. Using positive affirmations is a form of healing based on re-wiring your subconscious mind to new and more positive thinking while allowing the release old negative thinking.

During your life you may have taken up negative thinking patterns based mostly on your fears, life uncertainty and discouraging experiences. These negative thoughts are now the cause of your mental and emotional blocks that might prevent you from allowing the process of conception to take place within your body. Positive affirmations are a great way to meditate and to bring a positive outlook back into your life.

If you stop for a moment and think about it, you will notice that you already practise affirmations all the time. When you tell others that you are going to do something, you are affirming something that you intent to manifest into your life. In order for you to manifest an idea into reality, you first have to create a thought, then you have to express this thought either verbally or mentally in the form of a sentence or an image and then you have to choose the actions necessary to manifest it.

Positive affirmations are meant to support you through the process of conception by helping you to release all the mental blocks that prevent you from truly manifesting your desire to become pregnant and assist you to affirm positive and encouraging thoughts into action.

The following show examples of some positive affirmations you can say to increase your fertility:

I love and trust myself
I accept the gift of life within myself
I release fears about age and time
I release emotional blocks preventing me conceiving
I welcome my time to become a parent

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Article: 25th July 2014

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Smoking during pregnancy may be linked to ADHD in children

July 22, 2014 22:34 by PrideAngelAdmin
Children born to women who smoked during pregnancy appear to have an increased risk of developing attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), according to new research.

The new study also hints -- but doesn't prove -- that nicotine-replacement products used during pregnancy, such as patches and gum, could pose the same risk to children. Still, this study suggests that nicotine itself, not just tobacco, may be a hazard during pregnancy.

Continue reading below...

"We've been lulled into a false sense of security, thinking that if we can just get mothers to stop smoking and onto nicotine replacement, it will protect against any kinds of fetal damage in the developing child. This is a stark injection of reality about how that may not be the case," said Dr. Timothy Wilens, director of the Center for Addiction Medicine and acting chief of child psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.

Researchers have long tried to pinpoint the hazards of smoking during pregnancy. Among other things, lighting up during pregnancy seems to boost the risk of miscarriage, pregnancy complications, premature deliveries, low birth weight and even obesity in the child's life, said study lead author Dr. Jin Liang Zhu, an assistant professor of epidemiology at Aarhus University in Denmark.

It's not clear how smoking and nicotine use in mothers may affect the brains of developing fetuses. Zhu said nicotine may cause abnormalities in the brain, while the products of cigarette smoke -- such as carbon monoxide -- could affect the brain, too.

It's also possible that other factors are behind the association between smoking in pregnancy and ADHD in children, the study authors suggested. ADHD tends to run in families, and people in families with ADHD are more likely to smoke. So, it's possible that the association seen in this study isn't a direct cause of expectant mothers' smoking, but may be the result of genetics or a shared environment where smoking is present, according to background information in the study.

ADHD is a common behavioral disorder in childhood, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Symptoms include difficulty paying attention, impulsive behavior and problems with sitting still and getting along with others.

Previous research has already linked ADHD in children to mothers who smoked during pregnancy, noted Wilens, who was not involved with the study.

In the new study, researchers examined the medical records of nearly 85,000 children born in Denmark to mothers who were recruited to be part of the study from 1996 to 2002.

Signs of ADHD were present in slightly more than 2,000 children. The numbers were lower among kids of nonsmoking parents (1.8 percent) and in households where mom quit smoking and dad was a nonsmoker (2 percent). The rates of ADHD were highest among kids in families in which both parents smoked -- 4.2 percent.

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Article: 22nd July 2014

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Do Genes Matter? Podcast about donor conception

July 17, 2014 17:06 by PrideAngelAdmin
donor conception The sharp rise in donor conception over the last 20 years coincided with the 'DNA revolution' - a huge knowledge boom in the field of genetics.

How has the genetics boom impacted donor-conceived people, their families and the choices they make? Should genetic information make a difference - does it really provide vital information which people need to take on board to make informed decisions? Has family law moved with the times to take new reproductive technologies and arrangements into account?

This podcast features interviews on these questions with the four speakers at 'Do Genes Matter? Families and Donor Conception', an event organised by the Progress Educational Trust (PET) and the University of Manchester's Morgan Centre for Research into Everyday Lives.

Listen to the podcast by clicking below.

genesmatter podcast.mp3 (15.58 mb)

00:00 James Brooks: Introduction
01:25 Natalie Gamble: Do genes matter in legal disputes over surrogacy and gamete donation?
06:30 Erika Tranfield: Pride Angel and research into attitudes and beliefs of gamete donors
09:10 Professor Anneke Lucassen: Communication of genetic information in donor-conceived families
12:20 Professor Carol Smart: Multigenerational attitudes to donor conception and the Relative Strangers project

Article: 14th July 2014

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Single mum went to Danish sperm bank for Blonde blue eyed baby

July 15, 2014 20:46 by PrideAngelAdmin
As Jessica McCallin smiles down at her little girl, there is no mistaking the family resemblance.

The pair share the same fair hair, blue eyes and broad smile – which makes it even more remarkable that three-year-old Freya was conceived using a sperm donor almost 800 miles away in Denmark and Jessica has absolutely no idea who the father is.

Far from being unusual, hers is a decision that increasing numbers of British women are making. Approaching 40, single and with her body clock ticking, Jessica knew time was running out for her to become a mother. So she decided that the answer was to spend £480 on sperm from a Danish donor.

“Being a single mother wasn’t what I wanted, hoped for or dreamt of. But not being a mother was unendurable,” says Jessica, 40. With a growing demand from British women for donor fathers and lack of red tape in Scandanavia compared to the UK, sales of Danish sperm are soaring, with the European Sperm Bank, one of the largest in Denmark, reporting a 20% surge in online sales to the UK in the last year.

For Jessica the decision made perfect sense. “I chose to use a Danish donor because I knew the characteristics of the child would be similar to mine. People always ask me if I’m Swedish and a lot of the research I read said it can help if the child looks as much like you as possible. I know my family originates from the north of England, which was once conquered by the Norsemen, so it’s reasonable to assume I have Scandinavian ancestry. The Viking aspect had a certain appeal.”

Coupled with the fact that there simply aren’t enough donors in the UK to meet demand, or the same level of clinical infrastructure, it is little wonder that Danish sperm now accounts for a third of the total used in the UK.

Sperm, along with beer and Lego, has become one of Denmark’s top exports and Freya could soon have more in common with her peers than previously might have been expected. “With more and more women seeking Danish sperm, there’s going to be lots of children with Danish ancestry about,” says Jessica. “I think it’s something that’s going to become reasonably common and also more socially acceptable.”

Jessica, who, by coincidence, lives in Denmark Hill, South London, had always wanted children. But it wasn’t until she hit her 30s that she realised that, as a single woman, her options for carrying a baby were limited.

“I didn’t really think about starting a family in my 20s, but when I got to 32 I knew I wanted to do it,” she says. “There were no significant men in my life – my most serious relationship was in my 20s and we did talk about children but that all fell apart when I was 28. I have some gay friends who always said if no one came along we could have a child together, but for various reasons they weren’t quite ready when I was.”

As her 35th birthday came and went, Jessica found herself reading articles about female fertility dropping after that age. It was then that she began researching the possibility of using donor sperm and discussed the idea with family and friends.

“It was a Danish friend who suggested I go to Denmark. I had overwhelming support from family and friends and I was quite surprised about that,” says Jessica, a writer.

“Everyone was extremely supportive with the exception of one friend who felt children need fathers – the others all thought I was worrying too much about the absence of a father.”

It wasn’t just that playing on Jessica’s mind, however. She knew that if she used a Danish donor then her baby would never even know his name. Sperm donors in Denmark have a legal right to remain anonymous and can’t be traced, whereas in the UK a law was passed in 2005 saying a donor may be contacted by their offspring when they turn 18. The change sent the number of donors plummeting.

“It was the complete black hole in a child’s life about never knowing the name of the father that worried me,” says Jessica. “But I came to the conclusion that knowing the name of the donor wouldn’t necessarily help because I had read that it can be a disappointment for donor children who do trace and meet their fathers because they’ve built up an image in their mind then the man turns about to be nothing like the person they expected, so they feel let down.”

Despite her concerns, Jessica decided the time was right to become a mother. “I’ve always pretty much been single and I’ve never lived with anyone. It was normal for me. I was ready to have a baby and didn’t mind doing it on my own.”

So, in June 2010, as a 36th birthday present to herself, Jessica travelled to Copenhagen to be inseminated with sperm from an anonymous donor. She says: “Although friends and family offered to come with me, I went on my own because when you track your ovulation you only know the “right” time at the last minute, so there wasn’t much notice.

“The process was incredibly straightforward. I contacted the clinic, they sent me a questionnaire and conducted a phone interview to be sure I knew what I was doing and had thought it through and that was it. I paid £480 for the sperm and it cost around £1,000 in total for my two-day stay including travel. I was confident I’d considered enough of the issues and was very excited.”

Although she had access to her donor’s profile, Jessica chose not to see it. She says: “I know nothing about him other than he’s a young Danish man screened for major genetic diseases and has fast swimming sperm. The clinics have basic information about the donors like their job but I didn’t ask for this because I don’t feel that it tells you anything meaningful about a person. With everyone in my family being tall, fair and with blue or green eyes, I just asked for a donor with a similar profile.”

Knowing the chances were that insemination wouldn’t work the first time, Jessica had prepared herself for several trips to Denmark – trips she never needed to make. “I know it sounds silly but I just knew the insemination had worked the afternoon after they had done it. I wasn’t surprised when the pregnancy test was positive and I was absolutely delighted.” Jessica’s excitement was shared by her mother, father, brother and three younger sisters who all helped out during the pregnancy.


Article: 15th July 2014

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Deciding to be a sperm donor for my friends

July 12, 2014 13:02 by PrideAngelAdmin
My friends Tori and Kelly have been trying to conceive for many years now. And of the two, Tori had hoped to carry the child with the help of an anonymous sperm donor. But even after multiple advanced fertility treatments, nothing was working.

It was difficult to watch this monthly ritual unfold; it clearly caused a lot of pain. Though truthfully, as someone with the parental instincts of a fire hydrant, it was hard for me to understand why anyone would voluntarily put themselves through such an expensive and emotionally exhaustive process. Why don’t they just adopt, I wondered, or learn to live a fulfilling life without children? So when Tori finally decided to take a break from fertility treatments after several years of trying, I was relieved. Maybe they would finally consider some alternatives.

Instead I was in for a two-part surprise: Not only did my friends want me to be their sperm donor for their next attempts, but it also wouldn’t be Tori trying to conceive. Kelly, who speaks almost exclusively in sports metaphors, had decided to “step up to the plate.” I couldn’t relate to my friends’ intense desire to have children. But if Kelly was willing to “take one for the team” in this way (let’s just say, of the two of us, I’d probably be more comfortable in a dress) I decided I would need a really good reason not to help out.

And thus began my frantic search for that Really Good Reason. Maybe my family will be opposed, I reassured myself, or Tori and Kelly will find someone else they would rather ask; someone taller, perhaps, or less likely to blog about the experience in The New York Times. If all else failed — since I ride a bike daily, sit in saunas well past the 15-minutes recommended by my local gym, and was an early adopter of the skinny jean — I figured there was a pretty good chance my sperm count would be too low anyway.

Unfortunately, my family was supportive, and Tori and Kelly never came to their senses. So when my urologist called to inform me that my tests placed me on the higher end of male fertility, a fact I could have quite gaily lived the rest of my life without knowing, the last potential barrier fell by the wayside. “Good thing we asked you!” Tori joked when we got the results back. “What a waste otherwise!”

Given my results, I assumed, somewhat cockily, that Kelly would conceive rather quickly. But instead the months dragged on. After a while my friends realized they might once again need some outside help. “What are the chances,” Tori quipped dryly at the time. “Two infertile lesbians!”

The chances are much higher than I realized. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 11 percent of women ages 15 to 44 have difficulty getting pregnant or carrying a baby to term, and one in six couples face difficulties conceiving. These were just two of the facts I learned as I went from being a gay man, blissfully unaware of women’s reproductive cycles and hormone levels, to one who spent his free time pouring over infertility blogs, which, it turns out, you practically need an advanced linguistics degree to decipher. “What does TTC mean again?” I texted Tori while trying to decode one particularly acronym-laden passage. “And POAS?” “Trying to conceive,” she texted back. “Pee on a stick.”

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Article: 12th July 2014

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Fertility clinic used 'wrong sperm' in fertility treatment

July 9, 2014 21:05 by PrideAngelAdmin
A clinic used sperm from the wrong donor in fertility treatment, a report by the regulator says.

The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) warned clinics "too many" mistakes were being made. Its report showed one in every 100 women treated had experienced some form of "adverse incident", although most would not have affected their odds of having a baby.

The regulator has called on clinics to eradicate "avoidable errors". There were 1,679 adverse incidents in fertility clinics in the UK between 2010 and 2012. Three of them were in the most serious - or grade-A - category.

In one case a woman was having fertility treatment using donated sperm. She wanted a child who would be genetically related to an elder sibling, but sperm from the wrong donor was used. No further details have been released to protect the family's anonymity.

A separate grade-A case involved embryos being contaminated, probably with sperm. And in the third incident, sperm were removed from storage too soon.

'Highest quality'

There were 714 grade-B incidents, which include the loss of embryos or equipment malfunctions affecting embryo quality. There were 815 grade-C errors, such as eggs left unusable or women's ovaries being "over-stimulated" to produce eggs. HFEA chairwoman Sally Cheshire, said "We are committed to ensuring that clinics provide the safest and highest quality service to their patients.

"These results show that, in the main, clinics are doing a good job of minimising the number of serious errors, and this should be welcomed. "However, there remain too many grade-C mistakes, such as breaches of confidentiality. "As patients have often told us, these mistakes may be less serious at first glance but they can still be very upsetting."

"Clinics can and should be eradicating these sorts of avoidable errors, which will go a long way towards reducing patient distress and improving the overall experience of IVF treatment."

Article: 9th July 2014

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Pride Angel Journey - A Roadside Insemination

July 6, 2014 20:00 by PrideAngelAdmin
"Here, this'll do..." Sal braked sharply and backed up a short farm track almost hidden between the hedgerows. I glanced out of the back window: an audience of a dozen sheep behind an iron gate didn't seem to pose too much of a problem. First things first: milky. Luna couldn't go more than what seemed like ten minutes or so without complaining of being on the verge of dehydration. I got her out of the car seat and fed her whilst Sal scuffled around on the back seat trying to find a way of getting her pelvis propped up higher than her bottom. A discreet way (given the fact that half way into a farmer's field or not, we were still parked on the edge of a well-used narrow country lane).

The thing is, when your sperm donor lives a 90-minute drive away, and after a visit to the grandparents, you happen to be passing - on ovulation day - it's too good an opportunity to miss. Luna was two and a half months old and this baby thing had been pretty straightforward so far. Time for another. So we called in for a cup of tea and a donation.

It was the second time Luna's sperm donor had held her. We sat drinking tea, eating fancy turnip crisps and discussing the weather, while he held her, a cuddly bundle of his own genes...and then passed her back. And once again I silently acknowledged how much, in that little sample pot, he had given us.

And an hour later, there we were: backed up against the farmer's field with a baby, a syringe and another little sample pot. We had to do it while it was still warm. So after waiting for a couple of cyclists to pass, we got on and did it: a roadside insemination. And when we set off again I wondered. I wondered three things. One: had we been seen? Two: when would Luna start to cry for milky again? And three: a potential due date before Luna's first birthday - what on earth were we thinking?

Article: by Lindsey, West Yorkshire 5th June 2014

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Contraceptive pill could 'age' a woman's fertility

July 3, 2014 20:14 by PrideAngelAdmin
Going on the pill could damage a woman’s future fertility - at least temporarily, a new study has revealed.

Researchers found that the powerful hormones can ‘age’ the reproductive system, reducing the production of eggs to levels seen in older women, months after coming off the contraceptive.

While scientists do not think the phenomenon is permanent, they advise that a woman’s ‘biological clock’ should be measured three months after finishing taking the pill.

The link emerged in a study of 833 women between the ages of 19 and 46 years old, who were attending a fertility clinic. Experts measured anti-Mullerian hormone (AMH) and antral follicles (AFC) which are indicators of ‘ovarian reserve’ or fertility. Levels of AMH and AFC were 19 per cent and 16 per cent lower in pill users.

In addition, between 19 per cent and 52 per cent less eggs were produced by the women taking part in the study, with the greatest reductions seen in those under 30.

Dr Kathrine Birch Petersen, of Copenhagen University Hospital, said: ‘We expected to find an effect of the pill. But during the project we were surprised at the quantified effect on ovarian reserve parameters as defined by anti-Mullerian hormone, antral follicle count and ovarian volume.’

More...Sperm donations from men in their 40s are more likely to result in pregnancy, study finds Too much sleep in middle age is as bad for you as too little: More than eight hours 'can damage brain power'

Even after statistical adjustment for age, BMI, smoking and maternal age at menopause, AMH was still up to 30 per cent lower and AFC up to 20 per cent lower in pill users.

Dr Birch Petersen presented her results at a meeting of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology in Munich and said that they suggest measurements of AMH and AFC should be monitored in those taking the pill.

She said: ‘We do not believe the pill changes the ovaries in any permanent way.

'But we still need to know more about the recovery phase after women stop the pill. ‘The pill is unlikely to change the basal ovarian biology of egg depletion - but it certainly changes the appearance of the ovaries and the secretion of AMH.’

Dr Birch Petersen said women in the pre-conceptional care programme in Copenhagen who have been on the pill ‘are now advised their ovaries may look old with small volume, a few small antral follicles and low levels of AMH'. But she said this may not necessarily reflect their future fertility status.

In order to have a more precise measurement of the biological clock’s status and to reassure the pill user about her fertility potential, ovarian reserve assessment – the capacity of the ovary to provide egg cells that are capable of fertilisation - might be repeated three months after stopping the pill.

She said that the pill could mask a severely diminished ovarian reserve and this is important to recognise. Most women are able to become pregnant six months after stopping the pill.

Article: 3rd July 2014

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Children of parents with fertility problems more likely to have mental health problems

June 30, 2014 19:01 by PrideAngelAdmin
mental health Children born to parents with fertility problems are more likely to develop psychiatric disorders than those with healthier mothers and fathers, research suggests.

Doctors found higher rates of mental problems – from anxiety and schizophrenia to autism – in children whose parents had issues getting pregnant.

The scientists could not explain the findings but said genetic faults or other biological problems with the mother or father were more likely to blame than any fertility treatment they had.

"The exact mechanisms behind the observed increase in risk are still unknown but it is generally believed that underlying infertility has a more important role in adverse effects in offspring than the treatment procedures," said Allan Jensen, an epidemiologist at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark.

One possibility is that faulty genes that raise the risk of psychiatric diseases are more common in women or men with fertility problems. "If transferred to their offspring, this may at least partly explain the increased risk of psychiatric diseases," Jensen said.

The Danish group used a database that links patient records, allowing them to study the medical histories of parents and their children. They first searched for all children born in Denmark between 1969 and 2006. From a total of more than 2.4 million, they separated out 124,000 (5%) born to women with registered fertility problems, and 2.3 million (95%) whose mothers had no such problems. A registered fertility problem recorded on a mother's medical notes might be due to medical issues with either parent, although the researchers did not look specifically at fathers' health.

The researchers followed the children's medical histories, typically for 20 years, until 2009. During that time, children born to parents with fertility problems had a 33% higher risk of psychiatric disorders. The children had a 27% higher risk of schizophrenia and psychoses, a 37% higher risk of anxiety and neurotic disorders, an 28% greater risk of learning difficulties, and a 22% higher risk of mental development disorders, including autism spectrum disorders, the scientists found.

Further analyses of children aged 19 and under, and 20 and over found that the risks continued into adulthood.

Based on the figures, Jensen calculated that in Denmark, around 1.9% of all diagnosed psychiatric disorders are associated with the mother or father's infertility. "This figure supports our interpretation of the results, that the increased risk is real but modest," said Jensen, who will describe the work at the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology meeting in Munich on Monday. The research has not been published in a peer-reviewed journal.

Yacoub Khalaf, medical director of the assisted conception unit at Guy's Hospital in London, was sceptical of the figures. "As a clinical observation, if they suggest the risk of mental retardation is increased by 28%, surely over the years we would have seen an epidemic of mental retardation as a result of fertility treatment, which has never been observed. The figures are staggering and at odds with anything that's been reported so far."

Allan Pacey, chair of the British Fertility Society, said the results were intriguing. "I suspect we are seeing an effect of biology going on to affect these children or perhaps it's the social environment in which those young children were brought up."

Previous research on children born after fertility treatment suggests that certain procedures, such as intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), may raise the risk of birth defects, though the link is not definite.

But common fertility treatments do not seem to raise the risk of mental disorders. A major study published in the British Medical Journal last year by another Danish team found that children born after IVF and ICSI were no more likely to have mental disorders than children conceived naturally. The researchers did see a small increase of mental problems in children born after their mothers had ovarian stimulation followed by intrauterine sperm injection.

• This article was amended on 30 June 2014 to clarify that the fertility problems could have originated with either parent, not just the mother.

Article: 30th June 2014

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Why aren't more gay couples becoming parents?

June 25, 2014 20:31 by PrideAngelAdmin
gay dads I am the fifth in a line of Patricks in my family, but, as a gay man, it’s unlikely I will carry on the name.

My parents accept my sexuality but I know one of their biggest disappointments is that I probably won’t continue the lineage. I think that goes for many parents of gay men: their main issue or sadness at their son's sexuality is the prospect of no grandchildren, rather than any stigma attached to having a gay son. Thankfully, I have brothers who have already fulfilled in the grandchildren department, with more hopefully yet to come.

Men are not supposed to want kids as much as women do – but that's a generalisation that smacks of pub logic. I have met many guys who long for babies as much as women do, and there are excellent examples of gay men raising children. There's never been a better time for gay men to start a family in the UK. The law is on our side and research has shown that children with same-sex parents, on the whole, enjoy the same quality of upbringing as those from other families. So what’s stopping more gay men having children, either naturally or through adoption?

Figures show the number of same-sex couples adopting children in England has doubled in the past four years. According to the Department for Education, the number of same-sex couples adopting rose from 3pc in 2009 to 6pc in 2013. Campaigners say that many more adoptive parents are needed for the thousands of children waiting to be placed who are currently in care.

The key issue with any adoption is that it meets the needs of the child. Many local authorities are proactively reaching out to engage with their local lesbian, gay and bisexual community – Glasgow City Council were widely praised for running an ad in a metro station that featured a same-sex couple in its call for adoptive parents. In recent years Barnardos, the British Association of Adoption and Fostering (BAAF) and First 4 Adoption have all been proactively encouraging adoption by lesbian, gay and bisexual people.

It doesn’t help that 80pc of us believe our sexuality is a barrier when considering adoption or fostering, while two in five lesbian, gay and bisexual people say they consider their own family’s attitudes a barrier to becoming a parent.

These stats and others were revealed in Stonewall’s report Gay In Britain – Lesbian, gay and bisexual people’s experiences and expectations of discrimination (2013), including:

– Almost half (46 per cent) of lesbian, gay and bisexual people expect to be treated worse than a heterosexual person by an adoption agency if they want to adopt a child.

– Three quarters (74 per cent) of lesbian, gay and bisexual people consider the bullying at school of children with gay parents a barrier to becoming a parent.

– More than half (56 per cent) say lack of information and support on starting a family is a barrier to becoming a parent.

– Four in five (79 per cent) lesbian, gay and bisexual people consider society’s attitudes towards gay parents a barrier to becoming a parent.

Surrogacy is another option, albeit an expensive and sometimes complicated one. While legal in the UK, the law does outlaw commercially-arranged surrogacy and advertising for surrogates, so finding one can be challenging. Under English law, the surrogate is the child's legal mother, while the alternative is to conceive through an international surrogacy arrangement – particularly in the USA, where in certain states both fathers can be named on the birth certificate from the outset.

We have a few celebrity gay dads who have gone down the surrogacy route. Elton John and David Furnish have two boys, while designer Tom Ford and his partner Richard Buckley have a son. But their idyllic and gilded family life does not translate to the ordinary, every day world where 74 per cent of lesbian, gay and bisexual people consider the bullying at school of children with gay parents a barrier to becoming a parent. Children go through enough trauma in the playground as it is. Who wants to put them through more?

A number of other prejudices come into play. Gay people are seen as untrustworthy with children, and a frivolous view that we would rather spend our money on parties, designer clothing and pilates still persists. Then there's the unfounded stereotype that all gay men are promiscuous and unable to offer a stable, family home because our relationships are less sustainable than others. Sometimes, it's difficult not to absorb some of these.

Gay men tend to make great uncles, godfathers and babysitters, but does that make us potential parents? I’ve changed nappies, bathed and babysat many children and I personally feel I would make a great, responsible and very loving dad. I also know my parents would love him or her in the same way they love their other grandchildren.

Being a good parent has nothing to do with being gay or straight. It also has nothing to do with the combination of the parents’ genders. Parenting advice for same-sex couples is widely available (e.g. Stonewall’s Guide for gay dads) and most gay men (myself included) are surrounded by wonderful female role models to fulfil the ‘maternal’ influence.

So what’s stopping me? Firstly, I have yet to meet Mr Right; secondly, it would have to be a Mr Right who wanted kids; and thirdly, I honestly still haven’t decided if I do want children (and remain content at the prospect of not having one).

The reality is, however, that I do know that should little Patrick VI come along, he would grow into a happy, loved, supported and well-rounded human being. Isn’t that something every child deserves?

Article: 25th June 2014

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