Foster/Foster-Adopt

Mr. and Mr. Fancy Car and the Salty Balls

This is the third article in Jason P's series on Foster-Adopt. To read the first in the series, click here.


Orientation: What A Long, Strange Trip It’s Been…Oh Wait, It’s Only Just Begun.

We attended our first orientation session at our foster family and adoption agency in January of 2013 and sat directly behind Mr. and Mr. Fancy Car, a flashy gay couple in skin-tight polos with their Porsche keychain on the table for all to see. Sitting behind them in order to keep tabs on their every move, I found myself wondering what their lives were like. I mean, they looked about our age but obviously had a Porsche they wanted us all to know about, so that probably meant they also had a house in the Hills - maybe a pool even. My mind continued to wander as I found myself envisioning their future children’s private school uniforms before realizing they probably lived in a better school district than we did and didn’t have to worry about those kinds of things.

Oh my god?! Should we be doing this? Should we really be here if we can’t provide for a child the way Mr. and Mr. Fancy Car can? And more importantly, when did I start worrying about school districts?!

Our instructors that evening were two social workers who we would get to know a lot better. Lovely ladies, they reminded me of Molly Shannon and Ana Gasteyer’s NPR skit on Saturday Night Live except instead of talking about salty balls, we were talking about children (sort of a big difference). They shared basic information: we would go through ten weeks of classes, a home study, CPR training and a review of any issues that might make us ineligible (for example, “if you’ve ever been convicted of poisoning a public water supply,” because, you know…)

Then it was time for us to go around the room, introduce ourselves and share how we arrived at this point in our lives. For some, fostering had been a long-held dream. For others, there were motivations stemming from infertility, biological clocks ticking, or simply the desire to start a family. For Mr. and Mr. Fancy Car, it all boiled down to the economics of fostering versus the cost of surrogacy - not that money was an issue for them or that they hadn't already visited a surrogacy doctor (both of which they made abundantly clear).

Finally it was our turn. We shared our story of taking time, suffering loss ourselves and feeling that this decision was the next step in our journey as a couple.  And just like that, our formal introduction to the world of foster-adopt was over. Our instructors recommended that anyone interested in the next series of classes sign up immediately, as they were to begin the following week.

And so there we were, with yet again another decision to make: would we carry on? Were we really going to go through with this? Or was this our out – we came, we learned, and we realized that parenting wasn’t for us? This one-night out could easily become one of those crazy stories we told our friends about later over a bottle of wine. But as I watched Mr. and Mr. Fancy Car sign up for the following week’s class and starting picturing their glamorous lives with beautiful children in the perfect house in the Hills and I started getting kind of jealous.

“We have to sign up,” I pleaded with Eric, who wasn’t yet convinced either way. “We have to," I begged. "I mean, we can always back out - even if we start and decide we don’t want to go through with it,” I promised. “Fine,” he said, giving me permission to sign our names below the Fancy Car’s.

As we made our way out to the parking lot, I once again found myself envisioning play dates with the Fancy Cars: the four of us adults, drinking Riesling on a hot summer afternoon (in their backyard, of course) as our Mensa children played croquet. But as we arrived back at our car, I turned back one last time to check out our future friends and to my surprise noticed them getting into a Honda Accord. It was at that moment we both realized that nothing about this journey was ever going to be what it seemed.

To read Jason P's next article in the series on Foster-Adopt, click here.

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Foster/Foster-Adopt

This Gay Couple Was Inspired to Become Foster Dads Thanks to the Show "The Fosters"

Matthew and Brian say they used to feel like "unicorns" as gay foster dads. They're happy to see more LGBTQ couples take the plunge into the foster system.

Matthew Hamparian and his husband Brian Lawrence have been together for over 18 years and live in Columbus, Ohio. "We had talked about children for a long time," shared Matthew. They were inspired by the show "The Fosters," and watched it regularly as one of the staffers of the show was a friend of Brian's. In one of the episodes, Matthew remembers a conversation between a foster child and the biological child of his foster parents. The foster child asks if he was okay with the fact that he had to share his home with foster siblings. He responds that he is okay with it, because he and his family have enough of everything.

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Gay Dad Penguins Strike Again! This Time in Berlin Zoo

The latest male penguins to care for an egg together are Skipper and Ping in the Berlin Zoo.

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And now, please welcome Skipper and Ping in Berlin to the latest list of gay dad penguins! As soon as the two emperor penguins arrived at the city's zoo, they set about trying to start a family, said Berlin Zoo spokesman Maximilian Jaege to DPA news.

"They kept trying to hatch fish and stones," Jaeger said.

So the zookeepers loaned the penguins an egg from a female penguin, who is apparently uninterested in hatching eggs on her own, according to the BBC.

Unsurprisingly, the gay penguins are killing it as parents. "The two male penguins are acting like exemplary parents, taking turns to warm the egg," Jaeger said,

Read the whole article on DPA here.

Change the World

Hungarian Company Raising Money for LGBTQ+ Organization with a LEGO® Heart

Startup WE LOVE WHAT YOU BUILD is helping combat misinformation and prejudice in Central and Eastern Europe

Guest Post from WE LOVE WHAT YOU BUILD

WE LOVE WHAT YOU BUILD is an innovative startup venture that sells LEGO® parts and unique creations. The core values of our company include social equality regardless of gender identity or origin. As LEGO® is a variety of colors and shapes, so are the people.

We all know that LEGO® is a brand that nearly everyone knows and likes between the age of 3 and 99 so this gives a great opportunity to connect unique LEGO® creations and Pride. We started a fundraising campaign for a Hungarian LGBTQ+ organization who's aim is to bring people closer to the LGBTQ+ community, they help to combat misinformation and prejudice regarding LGBTQ+ issues in Central- Eastern Europe since 2000.

You might know that gender equality and the circumstances of LGBTQ+ people is not the easiest in the former communist Eastern European countries like Hungary so this program is in a real need for help. For example a couple of month ago a member of the government said that homosexual people are not equal part of our society.

The essence of the campaign is when one buys a Pride Heart, a custom creation made of brand new and genuine LEGO® bricks the organization gets $10.00 donation so they can continue their important work. This Pride Heart is a nice necklace, a decoration in your home, and a cool gift to the one you love.

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Read the full interview with Cahoon here.

Politics

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DRAKE BUSATH/ UTCOURTS.GOV

Earlier this month, the Utah Supreme Court ruled that a same-sex couples can't be excluded from entering into enforceable surrogacy contracts, and sent a case concerning a gay male couple back to trial court to approve their petition for a surrogacy arrangement.

As reported in Gay City News, the case concerns Utah's 2005 law on surrogacy, which was enacted prior to the legalization of same-sex marriage in the state. As a result, the content of the law is gendered, saying that surrogacy contracts should only be enforceable if the "intended mother" is unable to bear a child. When a gay couple approached District Judge Jeffrey C. Wilcox to enter into a surrogacy arrangement, he denied them, arguing that the state's law only concerned opposite sex couples.

"This opinion is an important contribution to the growing body of cases adopting a broad construction of the precedent created by Obergefell v. Hodges and the Supreme Court's subsequent decision in Pavan v. Smith," according to GCN. "It's also worth noting that same-sex couples in Utah now enjoy a right denied them here in New York, where compensated gestational surrogacy contracts remain illegal for all couples."

Read the full article here.

Fatherhood, the gay way

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