Due to the unique nature of our city, at Center Families, the family arm of the New York LGBT Center, we are accustomed to seeing a disproportionate number of bi-national and international couples in family events and in our support groups for prospective parents. To address the unique needs of this growing population we will be hosting on Sunday April 10, 2011 (1:00- 3:00pm), a special family event at Smoked Garage that will include activities for children as well as a discussion for bi-national and international LGBT parents living in the Tri-State area. The event is sponsored by R Family Vacations, as a preview to their upcoming R Family World vacations this summer, and the first ever International symposium for LGBT parenting organizations.
Several experts will address subjects that are critical to international and bi-national same-sex couples raising kids, including legal issues (immigration / dual citizenship / parenting rights / travel) and raising / schooling children within a bi-lingual environment. Special attention will be given to the issue of immigration discrimination, something that many LGBT bi-national couples are confronted with on a personal level.
Indeed, the issue is particularly critical to couples that are raising children. We will have as our guests a French-American couple, Mark and Fred, who have been together for 21 years and have adopted four children. Despite a long legal battle they still face a tragic predicament: the French dad cannot remain in the US due to immigration discrimination, and the family cannot move to France because the two dads’ joint parenting is not recognized in France due to discriminatory adoption laws. This case illustrates that especially for same-sex couples raising children, immigration inequality can tear families apart, leaving them with no acceptable options at all.
Article adapted from original press release.