Gay and Lesbian co-parenting - Do we need more legal recognition?

September 18, 2012 21:08 by PrideAngelAdmin
University of Exeter

Invitation to Participate in an Exciting New Study

Researchers at the University of Exeter are conducting research into what the study calls ‘platonic parenting’ within the LGBT community.

‘Platonic parenting’ is where children are being raised by adults not all of whom are in an intimate relationship. For example, a gay male couple may have a child with a female friend, all three of whom could be involved in raising the child. We are particularly interested in the reasons why people would or would not engage in this type of parenting arrangement and your views on the legal recognition of such families.

We are looking for participants to take part in a confidential 45-minute telephone/face-to-face interview to discuss these issues. This project is supported by the Economic and Social Research Council and will adhere to strict ethical guidelines. All information from the interviews will be stored anonymously and treated as confidential.

Interested in being involved in the research? If so, we’d love you to complete our short survey if you –
• are currently raising a child, either as a single person or part of a couple, together with a friend or acquaintance. OR
• have ever considered raising a child with a friend or acquaintance. OR
• may consider this type of parenting arrangement in the future.

We are particularly keen to hear from people parenting in this way within the LGBT community but we encourage anyone who is interested in the research issues to complete the survey.

For more information about the study and for a link to the short preliminary survey about you and your family please visit: or e mail Philip Bremner at Thank you!

Article: 18th September 2012

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Daily Mirror looking to speak to co-parenting families

August 15, 2012 18:04 by PrideAngelAdmin
The Daily Mirror's Your Life Section is looking for families with a unique co-parenting set up that would be interested in being interviewed for a feature on this subject.

They are looking to run three separate stories which will give an insight into the decision making background to your alternative co-parenting arrangements and also how it works at the moment.

The Daily Mail are looking to hear from a variety of different parents, from a woman who decided she wanted to have children but not the relationship, to a dad who prefers to be involved in a lighter way in parent-hood. Their aim is to do a feature that is insightful and informative about modern family arrangements.

Any case studies would need to be named and pictured.

More more information please contact us at

Article: 15th August Pride Angel

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Gaydar radio talks about gay and lesbian parenting options

May 29, 2012 20:41 by PrideAngelAdmin
Gaydar Radio interviewed Sarah Wood-Health from Natalie Gamble Associates on Saturday morning about same sex parenting and the options and pitfalls for gay and lesbian parents starting a family.

Talking to Neil and Debbie on the Saturday morning breakfast show (as Britain’s answer to Ally McBeal!), Sarah explained how surrogacy works for gay fathers, and the differences between a surrogacy arrangement in the UK or abroad.

Careful planning is the best way of avoiding legal problems, especially for gay dads planning international surrogacy, given the immigration issues and the fact that UK law won’t recognise a foreign birth certificate naming you both as the parents.

Sarah was also asked about the options for lesbian couples, discussing the pros and cons of using a known or unknown sperm donor, and the need to set things up in the right way.

Although the law has become much more gay-friendly in the last few years, so much is still so untested, including what happens where relationships break down and who has rights and parental status when gay or lesbian parents break up or get divorced.

The good news is that there are so many options available now for same sex couples and single gay and lesbian parents – adoption and co-parenting are also on the list. While the law still has a little way to go, it is evolving to try and keep up and it is now much easier for same sex couples or singles to find a way to start a family.

It’s just a question of knowing your options and making an informed decision so you make the right choice for you. With good advice it needn’t be complicated.

Article: 28th May 2012 by Natalie Gamble Associates

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Gay Parenting: It's complicated - Guardian's feature on same-sex parenting

April 27, 2012 19:51 by PrideAngelAdmin
Emma Brockes has written a fabulous major feature for this weekend’s Guardian Weekend magazine on same sex parenting, in which Natalie Gamble Associates are proud to be quoted. The piece tells the story of three modern same sex parent families:

Kellen and Patricia, lesbian mums from New York who have a daughter and are now expecting twins, following egg swapping IVF – Patricia is the birth mother but she carried embryos created with Kellen’s eggs.

Will Halm and Marcellin Simard, gay dads to three children age 15, 13 and 10, who pioneered surrogacy as gay dads in California, where they were the first same sex parents to be named on a birth certificate together, and where Will now represents others as a fertility lawyer.

Andrew Solomon and John Habich, gay dads to a truly alternative family structure – a son through surrogacy who they are raising together, and three more children co-parented with two different mothers.

It is a wonderful picture of the realities of modern same sex parenting, with scenarios we are increasingly dealing with for families in the UK too. All the parents involved talk vividly about the challenges and problems they have faced as gay parents – not the playground prejudice and emotional problems many might expect, but losing legal rights when crossing borders, and grappling with obstructive passport authorities. But the biggest problem of all for alternative families remains surrogacy. As Emma says in her article:

There is, in all this, one glaringly unsubtle problem, and that is surrogacy, which as a percentage affects gay men more than any other group. Commercial surrogacy is illegal in the UK, forcing many childless couples to seek help abroad. When they return, the British government is reluctant to endorse an arrangement that undermines public policy. “English law applies its own rules as to who the parents are, irrespective of what happens abroad,” says Natalie Gamble, the country’s leading fertility lawyer. “So even if you’re named as the parent on a US birth certificate, English law will say that the surrogate is the mother and if she’s married, her husband is the father.”

This can lead to some bizarre situations. In 2008, Gamble’s firm acted for a British couple who had used a surrogacy service in Ukraine. “In Ukraine, the law said they were the parents. But under English law, the Ukrainian surrogate and her husband were the parents. The systems were in direct conflict. The result was that the children had no parents and no nationality. They had no right to stay in Ukraine, and they had no passport to cross any borders. That’s the worst nightmare of international surrogacy.” Gamble persuaded the Home Office to issue the children with discretionary entry clearance, then applied to the high court for a parental order, naming the British couple as legal parents.

We have long campaigned for alternative families, both individually in court, and by arguing hard for changes to the law (including supporting the UK’s legal changes allowing gay dads and lesbian mums to be named on birth certificates together). Why do we do this? Because we believe that parents who love and cherish their children raise wonderful families, no matter what the structure.

With that in mind we want to salute, above all, what Will Halm says about his teenage daughter: “That a test tube baby, from two gay men, is a well-adjusted, smart, polished girl at 15, who is comfortable talking about her family – she is what I would like the world to see. Not the parents who are creating the child, but the children themselves.”

Article: 23rd April 2012 by Natalie Gamble Associates

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