The White House issued the following proclamation to recognize Father’s Day: “Nurturing families come in many forms, and children may be raised by a father and mother, a single father, two fathers, a step father, a grandfather, or caring guardian. We owe a special debt of gratitude for those parents serving in the United States Armed Forces and their families, whose sacrifices protect the lives and liberties of all American children. For the character they build, the doors they open, and the love they provide over our lifetimes, all our fathers deserve our unending appreciation and admiration.”
The proclamation is similar to the one issued for Mother’s Day – which recognized families with two mothers.
If you have a son or daughter around six or seven, you may have already heard about Club Penguin. Club Penguin is a virtual world (think Second Life) for little kids. Kids choose and name a penguin character to act as their avatar as they move around the Club Penguin site and play games to earn coins. These coins can be exchanged for clothing and other items. The site says it’s for kids 8-14. There are 700,000 paying members worldwide and over 5,000,000 visitors per month.
Club Penguin is touted as a safe place for kids to play on line, and unlike some similar sites, it does have some safety features built in. For example, Club Penguin allows parents to set up one of two levels of security. One level only allows Penguins to talk to each other using a pre-set list of words and phrases. Even the “standard safe chat” uses a filter to make sure no inappropriate language used. Additionally, the site uses “spies” to monitor messages between Penguins.
Dads should be aware of several things.
1. Membership looks absolutely free at the beginning. You’ll see no indication of a price tag as you enter in your personal information. You’ll only become aware of the cost when your child asks you to pony up $5.95 month for extra “upgrades” (or if you dig into the parents information area). Upgrades include penguin accessories and clothing, igloo decorations and the ability to adopt more “Puffles,” the Penguin’s pet. On the other hand, the membership charge makes it possible to run the site without advertising (so far).
2. Disney recently purchased Club Penguin. There may be more tie-ins and promotions for Disney products in the future. Given the $700 million price tag, Disney clearly sees a potential to leverage the site and its membership beyond the current scope.
3. Club Penguin is basically a site for on-line game playing. Dads should be aware of the content and spend some time on the site and limit time on the computer accordingly.
Club Penguin is a good site for young kids to spend time playing safely on line. At the same time, parents need to monitor online and offline computer usage. We recommend setting up the computer in a public area in the house so you can easily monitor your kids’ internet traffic. You can use a Mac, with its Parental Control settings, or use filtering software to make sure your kids don’t end up in the wrong place on the internet, either intentionally or by accident.
Mass media continues to target hands-on heterosexual dads. CBS News calls them “hip”. Advertising Age says they’re “modern”.
They want to sell handbags to dads. I’ll buy. Actually, I already have.
Ad Age has taken notice of the dad’s brotherhood in a recent issue. The marketer’s authority published a recent story positioned for straight dads. It compares modern fatherhood to the modern motherhood of 30 years ago. You see, back then it was the moms who did all the work, and full-time gay dads were only wishful thinking for many of us.
Recently, the Early Show ran a product segment on diaper bags designed for manly dads. It was also produced for the women-who-buy-things-for-their-men, but we gay guys can get information from almost any shopping segment on television.
Among the bags mentioned:
- Diaper Dude – I bought this one. It comes complete with padded changing pad, and a removable cell phone holder.
- Mr.B Family Bags – The designer/dad is featured as this month’s “Smart Cookie – Fathers of Invention,” in the September issue of Cookie magazine.
Hip, modern, gay and straight. We all love a good shoulder-bag.
I am helping to put together a series of questions together to help match Gay Men/Couples with Lesbians/Couples who are looking for a donor. I want to cover all options such as (a) Co-parenting, (b) Known Donor Dad and (c) Anonymous Donor Dad etc.
The aim would be to help find out what the Lesbian Couple was looking for OR what the Gay Men are looking for by matching answers to questions. The “question” is ….what should be the “questions”?
Doesn’t any one have such a list? Or know of a resources that I could use to help get this going?
By Brian Frank
Finding a religious practice has long been a difficult area for openly Gay, Lesbian,Bisexual and Transgender people, even more so now that increasing numbers of us are raising families. With the arrival of children, many of us are seeking to raise children with the benefits of a religious community as part of their lives yet are hampered by bias, both overt and covert, against GLBT people. In response to this concern, Family Equality Council has launched a new LGBT family-inclusive faith curriculum focused on making faith communities more welcoming and affirming of LGBT families called All in God’s Family: Creating Allies for Our LGBT Families. All in God’s Family is a multimedia resource that seeks to engage faith communities and faith leaders in conversation on how best to embrace our families, from lessons on scripture to activity suggestions and more.
SURROGACY FORUM FOR GAY MEN
Gay Dads Australia
JUNE 06 2009
Many Gay men are now becoming Dads via surrogacy. There are Surrogacy Agencies in the United States, Canada and India all helping Australian Gay men become fathers.
Presented by members of Gay Dads Australia, the forum will be held in Melbourne and provide an opportunity for local gay men to find out more about Surrogacy and the options available in countries such as the USA, Canada and India. There is no cost to attend. The forum will be held on Saturday 06 June 2009 from 2 to 4 pm.
This is a great opportunity for interested gay singles or couples to have some of their questions answered.
– how does surrogacy work?
– how do the surrogacy laws work in the US, Canada, India?
– how do I bring my child back into Australia?
– can anyone do it
– how much does it cost
For more information contact
Gay Dads Australia
The World Health Organization or ( WHO ) and American Psychological Association or ( APA ) recognize autism as a developmental disability resulting from disorders of the central human nervous system. Though the most apparent signs of autism in children are visible at two or three years of age, parents should also be wary of symptoms of this disorder in their infants.
Though specific causes remain unproven, autism is usually judged to be caused by some of the following:
- Genetic influences
- Anatomical abnormality or variations (e.g. head circumference)
- Abnormal blood vessel functions
According to the National Institute of Mental Health or ( NIMH ), some common early indicators for autism are when babies:
- Don’t ever babble or smile.
- Never respond to gestures.
- Avoid eye contact.
- Seem to be hearing impaired at times.
- Do not respond to calling by name.
- Don’t play with other children or toys.
- Seem to be losing their scarcely developed language skills.
Autistic children fall off the charts when it comes to achieving basic developmental milestones. Generally, babies smile or react in some way when ‘ooh-ed’ and ‘aah-ed’ at. They tend to reach out to grab at pacifiers or crayons handed to them. Autistic children are unable to perform these simple actions.
Keeping in mind that autism usually isn’t diagnosed until about age 3, it is best for parents to trust their instincts about their children and get a full formal developmental evaluation done by a medical expert. The earlier children are diagnosed for this disability, the better are their chances for treatment and intervention.
Useful Article: Parenting Skills
The Bay Area Reporter announces that gay adoption lawyer Charlie Spiegel [pictured] was honored for his 20 years of service to LGBT families by the Jewish Family and Children’s Services.
Spiegel’s work was recognized with a Fammy Award from the agency, which also helped him adopt his own daughter in 1997.
The B.A.R. reports:
Same-sex families, particularly those formed through adoption, were still virtually invisible in the 1990s, when Spiegel began volunteering his legal services to gay couples. He remembers attending educational panels about same-sex couples and adoption, and seeing the same gay male couple on every panel that he attended.
After accepting his award, Spiegel recalled the moment when he realized his parenthood was real was when his daughter’s birth mother drove away from the hospital and left Nora with Spiegel and his ex-partner. “As the cab drove off it was the moment when I totally lost it emotionally… this woman just came here and entrusted her child to us,” Spiegel remembered.
“I could never have imagined the joys of having a child.” Spiegel said. “It’s a wonderful, wonderful gift.”
According to its website, the Jewish Family and Children’s Services of San Francisco, the Peninsula, Marin and Sonoma Counties has offered support for more than 157 years.
Founded in 1850 by Gold Rush pioneers, JFCS is the oldest social service agency west of the Mississippi. Since its inception, JFCS has been a catalyst for change. With more than 40 programs serving more than 58,000 people annually in the Greater West Bay Area of Northern California, JFCS reaches out with comprehensive, integrated social services, helping people in the most effective, compassionate way possible, and providing people of all ages, faiths and ethnic backgrounds with the encouragement and tools they need to become productive and self-reliant.
Image: Drew Altizer
We’ve got great news to share from New Jersey, Proud Parenting members Ed and Brad – aka eribaudo – are pregnant with triplets.
They started blogging in January, after returning from an initial meeting with a prospective gestational surrogate:
“The surrogate has some expectations that we’re concerned about. The last parent that she worked with was at every doctor’s appointment and moved out to live near her a month before the delivery. She expects us to be at every doctor’s appointment too. We told her that it was not possible and she seemed to understand, but we’re concerned about not meeting her expectations and having some rough patches down the road.”
The couple and surrogate decided they were a good match, but the first egg transfer wasn’t successful. After choosing a different egg donor – they find themselves pregnant with triplets:
“We found out today that one of the embyros split into identical twins. Now we have identical twins and a fraternal singleton. Ironically, I also had my own doctor’s appointment today for a general check up. I told my doctor that my blood pressure might be a little on the high side because we just got some unexpected, but very happy news….TRIPLETS!!!! Yes, my blood pressure is a bit elevated, but the doctor said he wasn’t surprised at all.”