Posts Tagged ‘ lesbians ’

Stem Cell Breakthrough Means Biological Babies for Same-Sex Couples

Wednesday, February 25th, 2015

Couple ChildDesigner babies? Three-parent babies? Here’s what’s next: two-dad (or mom) babies from stem cells.

A team of scientists have reached an incredible breakthrough—they have successfully created identical human egg and sperm cells from the stem cells of human skin, regardless of gender.

This new technique can be used as IVF treatments to solve fertility problems for couples, especially same-sex couples. “While this breakthrough could help men and women who have been rendered infertile by disease, gay groups have also expressed hope that this project will eventually lead to the creation of children made from same-sex parents,” reports Medical Daily.

In addition, the technique can solve certain age-related diseases, or epigenetic mutations, because cells that form sperm and eggs cells do not contain these mutations.

The use of stem cells to create egg and sperm cells builds on a previous study that was published by lead researcher Dr. Azim Surani and his team last year, when they converted mice skin cells into germ cells (a step toward egg and sperm cells). And it’s likely that the procedure may be introduced within two years—although moral and ethical arguments will undoubtedly be raised.

This news comes right on the heels of Britain’s decision to allow the three-parent baby IVF technique, making Britain the first official country to do so in the world. The first baby using the technique — also know as mitochondrial replacement therapy (MRT) — will be born in 2016.

Caitlin St John is an Editorial Assistant for Parents.com who splits her time between New York City and her hometown on Long Island. She’s a self-proclaimed foodie who loves dancing and anything to do with her baby nephew. Follow her on Twitter:@CAITYstjohn

Trying to Conceive: 5 Common Fertility Mistakes
Trying to Conceive: 5 Common Fertility Mistakes
Trying to Conceive: 5 Common Fertility Mistakes

Image: Couple with child via Shutterstock

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Here’s Why a Doctor Denied a Baby Healthcare

Friday, February 20th, 2015

stuffed puppyChoosing the right pediatrician to care for your newborn can be nerve-racking for any parent who wants to make sure they pick a nurturing and thorough doctor.

Like many parents, one couple in Michigan interviewed a number of pediatricians before the birth of their daughter, Bay. Months before she was born, Krista and Jami Contreras decided on Dr. Vesna Roi, and six days after birth, they arrived at the doctor’s office for Bay’s first appointment.

But much to their surprise, the parents were turned away for one reason: they are a lesbian couple.

After spending time in “much prayer,” Dr. Roi concluded that she would not be the best fit for Bay. Another doctor at the practice actually delivered the unexpected news. He offered to take Bay on as his patient, but that did not make the situation any less shocking for the Contreras.

I was completely dumbfounded,” said Krista, Bay’s biological mother. “We just looked at each other and said, ‘Did we hear that correctly?’” Jami, put it more simply and accurately when she said, “You’re discriminating against a baby? It’s just wrong.”

Months later, Dr. Roi sent a handwritten letter to the parents. The letter did not directly state that she made her decision based on their sexual orientation, but she did explain that she did not judge the couple’s “free choice.”

Krista and Jami did not immediately reach out to the media about their experience, but they finally chose to speak out so that others are aware that instances like this still happen.

Although Dr. Roi’s actions may be discriminatory, they are not illegal. “Currently, 22 states have laws that prohibit doctors from discriminating against someone based on their sexual orientation. Michigan is not one of these states,” reports USA Today. Also, there is currently no federal law protecting LGBT individuals from discrimination.

This is not the first time a child has been refused something because of a parent’s sexual orientation. Just last month, Brian Copeland and Greg Bullard’s visit with a private preschool was canceled once the administration learned that they were a married couple raising children.

Caitlin St John is an Editorial Assistant for Parents.com who splits her time between New York City and her hometown on Long Island. She’s a self-proclaimed foodie who loves dancing and anything to do with her baby nephew. Follow her on Twitter: @CAITYstjohn

Your First Prenatal Visit and Tests
Your First Prenatal Visit and Tests
Your First Prenatal Visit and Tests

Image: Stuffed puppy with stethoscope via Shutterstock

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Disney Channel Introduces First Gay Parents

Wednesday, January 29th, 2014

The Disney Channel has introduced a lesbian couple who are parents to a child named Taylor on the show “Good Luck Charlie,” featuring same-sex parents for the first time on the network.  More from Jezebel.com:

“This particular storyline was developed under the consultancy of child development experts and community advisors,” a Disney Channel spokesperson [said in June, when the decision was first announced]. “Like all Disney Channel programming, it was developed to be relevant to kids and families around the world and to reflect themes of diversity and inclusiveness.”

The conservative parenting organization One Million Moms has posted a statement disagreeing with Disney’s decision, stating in part:

Disney should stick to entertaining instead of pushing an agenda. Disney decided to be politically correct versus providing family-friendly programming. Disney has a choice whether to produce a program with certain fictional characters; the storyline could be re-written or changed. Conservative families need to urge Disney to exclude confusing topics that children are far too young to comprehend.

Meanwhile, Miley Cyrus, who got her start in show business on the hit Disney Channel show “Hannah Montana,” posted a tweet congratulating Disney for its decision:  “I commend Disney for making this step into the light of this generation,” she said.

 

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News Anchor Jenna Wolfe Shares She Is Pregnant

Thursday, March 28th, 2013

Jenna Wolfe, the weekend anchor for NBC’s Today Show, has made two big announcements this week–that she is a lesbian in a relationship with NBC News correspondent Stephanie Gosk, and that Wolfe is expecting the couple’s first child, a girl, in August.  More from PEOPLE.com:

“This is the most exciting thing that has ever happened to us,” the Today weekend anchor tells PEOPLE exclusively in its new issue. “But I don’t want to bring my daughter into a world where I’m not comfortable telling everyone who I am and who her mother is.”

“The beauty is that we live in a time where there’s no need for secrecy,” Gosk, 40, adds. “This is a spectacular moment for us.”

Together for three years, the pair began discussing starting a family and after deciding Wolfe would carry the child, underwent artificial insemination with an anonymous donor.

Image: Jenna Wolfe and Stephanie Gosk, via NBC News

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Kansas Sperm Donor Fights Child Support Order

Friday, January 4th, 2013

William Marotta, a Kansas man who donated sperm to a lesbian couple who now has a 3-year-old daughter, is fighting the state’s efforts to get him to pay child support after the couple broke up and the child’s care is being partially provided by state programs.  More from The Huffington Post:

The case hinges on the fact that no doctors were used for the artificial insemination. The state argues that because William Marotta didn’t work through a clinic or doctor, as required by state law, he can be held responsible for about $6,000 that the child’s biological mother received through public assistance – as well as future child support.

Angela de Rocha, spokeswoman for the Kansas Department for Children and Families, said that when a single mother seeks benefits for a child, it’s routine for the department to try to determine the child’s paternity and require the father to make support payments to lessen the potential cost to taxpayers.

Marotta, a 46-year-old Topeka resident, answered an online ad in 2009 from a local couple, Angela Bauer and Jennifer Schreiner, who said they were seeking a sperm donor. After exchanging emails and meeting, the three signed an agreement relieving Marotta of any financial or paternal responsibility.

But instead of working with a doctor, Marotta agreed to drop off a container with his sperm at the couple’s home and the women successfully handled the artificial insemination themselves. Schreiner become pregnant with a girl.

Late last year, after she and Bauer broke up, Schreiner received public assistance from the state to help care for the girl.

The Kansas Department for Children and Families filed a court petition against Marotta in October, asking that he be required to reimburse the state for the benefits and make future child support payments. Marotta is asking that the case be dismissed, arguing that he’s not legally the child’s father, only a sperm donor.

Image: Legal paperwork, via Shutterstock

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