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Helpful Advice For LGBT People Wanting To Start A Family



There are many choices for LGBT people interested in starting their own families, but how do you know which path is the right one for you? This article breaks down the various possibilities to help you make the right decision.

When my husband and I decided to expand our family, we started evaluating the best way to move forward. We didn’t realize researching the topic would be so challenging and time-consuming. What we found were that there were many choices for same-sex couples looking to have children; however, it was almost impossible to know about each of them, let alone research them.

What is an open adoption and how does it differ from adoption in general? What does co-parenting mean? These were terms I had never heard of before.

While researching all of these various methods and contacting different agencies, we eventually found the answers to many of our questions regarding costs, processes and legal issues. Lacking, however, were firsthand stories from people who had children themselves. What was it like for the people who went through the process? There was no human link to the very technical and clinical information we found regarding the process.

In the end, we felt open adoption was the right path for us. It was an amazing journey, but when reflecting back on it, I still wish we had more information going into the scenario. That’s why I wanted to make it easier for other people looking to expand their own families.

And that’s why I wrote, Journey to Same-Sex Parenthood, a new book you can check out on Amazon. It compares each family building path from the perspective of other couples that have already had families of their own.

Below, I will break down the five most common paths to parenthood with a brief introduction as to what you should know about each one before moving forward. Please keep in mind, these are only brief summaries. For more detailed information, take a look at my new book, Journey to Same-Sex Parenthood. 



Open adoption was designed as a way to benefit all parties involved, giving everyone (the birthparents, the adoptive family and the child) more information about each other. With open adoption, the birthparents and the adoptive parents get to meet each other prior to the adoption taking place. They share information with each other and can remain in contact over the years.

There are numerous benefits to open adoption. Some examples include birthparents having the peace of mind of knowing their child is being raised in a safe and stable home, the adoptive family getting more information about their child’s family medical history and the child having the opportunity to know more about his or her biological heritage and background. Of course there are challenges too, like unpredictable waiting periods, emotional stress, adoption scams and the possibility that a match will fall through. A qualified and reputable adoption agency can help to alleviate some of the stress by weeding out potential scams and by providing emotional support to help you get through the obstacles that pop up along the way.


Foster care is a situation where minors are temporarily placed into safe environments in the event that they are unable to live safely with their families. Children can end up in foster care as a result of neglect, abuse, divorce, the death of a legal guardian or a plethora of other unfortunate and tragic events that could disrupt a home. Foster care is designed to be a temporary solution until a child can be reunited with his or her previous parents or guardians, meaning you will only be caring for the child during a short transition period. However, reunification is not always possible and sometimes this temporary care can lead to a more permanent situation through adoption.

It is important to fully understand a child’s background and how your life will be impacted before you decide to open up your home. If you choose to become a foster parent, you will play a vital role in adding stability to a child’s life by providing a safe and comforting home environment in his or her time of need. Also, there are still kids who get kicked out of their homes because of their sexual orientation or gender identity and it can be hard for LGBT children in foster care to find permanent homes. It’s also challenging to find people willing to take in a child living with HIV/AIDS. As a prospective LGBT parent, you are in a unique position to help kids in our community grow up in a safe, stable and accepting environment.


A surrogate is a woman who carries or gives birth to a child on behalf of another person or couple. One of the benefits of surrogacy is that you have the opportunity to witness and be a part of the pregnancy journey. You can be present for sonograms, the baby’s first heartbeat and even the birth. All of that comes with a price, though. When taking into consideration the cost of hiring a surrogate, possibly paying a portion of the surrogate mother’s living expenses, the cost of the medical procedures, agency fees, lawyer fees and more, you’re looking at somewhere over $100,000. On top of that staggering number, many insurance companies will not cover the costs of the fertilization or delivery when using a surrogate. Surrogacy is by far the most expensive journey to parenthood.

Because of the large sums of money involved, you need to make sure you’re not being taken advantage of. There are plenty of scams that prey on unsuspecting people with dreams of building a family. Make sure you thoroughly research potential agencies prior to working with one. Don’t make your decision based on a well-designed website or the testimonials found there. Ask for references so that you can speak directly to people who have been through the program. Contact independent physicians, attorneys and mental health professionals for objective opinions about the agency and program you are considering. Also, make sure to seek the advice of an independent attorney who can oversee the process and advocate on your behalf.


Photo courtesy of Thomas Whaley


When women decide to have children together, it is very common for them to choose assisted reproduction, and for one person in the relationship to carry the baby. There are many benefits to this, such as having the opportunity to go through the experience of being pregnant together and supporting each other along the way. As a couple, you can participate in various things together including doctor visits, Lamaze classes and even birth. You’ll also be involved in your child’s life from the moment he or she is conceived, having the opportunity to see the baby’s sonogram and even listen to your child’s first heartbeat. If you are both in the same room during the actual delivery, your partner or spouse can support you by holding your hand, helping you with your breathing and comforting you along the way.

If you choose to move forward with assisted reproduction, you’ll need to decide whether you would like to use a known donor (for example, an acquaintance or friend) or an unknown donor. There are advantages and disadvantages in both scenarios.


Photo courtesy of Sarah Gilbert

When the donor is known, your child can develop a relationship with them as he or she grows up. Your child will have a better understanding of where he or she came from and why he or she might have certain characteristics and traits. However, there is a greater risk that the donor may later try to claim parental rights. There may even be a possibility that you or your partner could lose custody. When using a known donor, it is recommended that you consult with an attorney specializing in Reproductive Law and have a Known Donor Agreement signed. Keep in mind that a Known Donor Agreement will not necessarily terminate the donor’s rights, even if it says so. That’s why consulting with an attorney beforehand is crucial, especially since the laws vary by state.

If you choose an unknown donor through a sperm bank, you’ll have access to the donor’s comprehensive medical history and the ability to control your child’s exposure to problematic genes. The specimens can also be quarantined and tested for sexually transmitted diseases. This can reduce the risk of passing anything on to you or your child. However, when using a sperm bank, the costs can add up tremendously depending on what services you select. Many insurance companies will not cover alternative insemination unless there is a diagnosis of “infertility” or if you have tried to inseminate without success for a period of time. Make sure you ask your health insurance company how they define infertility, what treatments are covered and if their policy covers insemination for same-sex couples.



Co-parenting is when two or more people in a platonic relationship raise children together. It’s most commonly seen when heterosexual couples separate but still have joint custody of their children. However, there are other instances where individuals decide to co-parent without ever being romantically involved. Think of it as a shared custody scenario without the ugly divorce.

Whenever additional people are involved in raising the child, there are many opportunities to create a more balanced life. While one parent or couple is taking care of the child, the other person or couple can catch up on things like sleep, chores, work-related activities or hobbies. This allows you to be more focused on your child when he or she is present. Because there is shared custody, you can also have free time while your child is staying with his or her other parents. This makes it easier to schedule date nights and have more alone time with your partner.

A well-thought-out co-parenting scenario can be great for everyone involved, including the children; however, that doesn’t mean there aren’t risks associated with it. If the moms have one set of rules at their house and the dads have another set of rules at theirs, things can get complicated very quickly. Jealousy can even creep in if people are not secure in the parenting relationship structure they’ve created. This can result in an uncomfortable situation for all involved. Making sure that everyone is on the same page in the beginning will make things easier later on down the road.

There can be legal complications too, since only a few states acknowledge that a child can have more than two legally-recognized parents. You may be able to do a third-parent adoption in some states, but it’s best to consult with a lawyer to fully understand your rights.

Please note, the above summaries are brief. For more detailed information, along with firsthand stories from other same-sex parents, legal tips, and the top questions you should ask yourself before moving forward, please read my book, Journey to Same-Sex Parenthood, published by New Horizon Press. It’s available now wherever books are sold.


Eric Rosswood is a regular contributor to the New Civil Rights Movement. He is also the author of Journey to Same-Sex Parenthood and the marriage equality children’s book, My Uncle’s Wedding, which received a proclamation from CA State Senator, Mark Leno. To learn more about Eric and his work, visit


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‘I Feel a Little Bit Dumber for What You Say’: The Nine Worst Moments of the GOP Presidential Debate



The second Republican presidential debate was mired in in-fighting and personal attacks by the candidates,  a vow to wage physical war against Mexico, hate against LGBTQ people, an insistence the U.S. Constitution doesn’t actually mean what the words on the page say, and a fight over curtains.

Here are nine of the worst moments from Wednesday night’s debate.

The debate itself got off to a rough start right from the beginning.

Multiple times candidate cross-talk made it impossible for anyone to make a point, like this moment when nearly half the candidates talked over each other during a nearly two minute segment as the moderators struggled to take control.

READ MORE: ‘I Don’t Think So’: As GOP Debate Kicks Off Trump Teases Out the Chances of Any Candidate Becoming His Running Mate

Vivek Ramasway got into a heated argument with Nikki Haley, leading the former Trump UN Ambassador to tell him, “Honestly, every time I hear you, I feel a little bit dumber for what you say.”

Ramaswamy launched an attack on transgender children.

Moments after Ramaswamy attacked transgender children, so did Mike Pence, calling supporting transgender children’s rights “crazy.”

He promised “a federal ban on transgender chemical or surgical surgery anywhere in the country,” and said: “We’ve got to protect our kids from this radical gender ideology agenda.”

Former New Jersey Governor Cris Christie described the First Lady of the United States, Dr. Jill Biden, who has dedicated her life to teaching, as the person President Biden is “sleeping with.”

South Carolina Senator Tim Scott and former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, as CNN’s Manu Raju noted were “one-time allies,” after “Haley appointed Scott to his Senate seat,” until they started “going at it at [the] debate.”

“Talk about someone who has never seen a federal dollar she doesn’t like,” Scott charged. “Bring it, Tim,” Haley replied before they got into a fight about curtains.

Senator Scott declared, “Black families survived slavery, we survived poll taxes and literacy tests, we survived discrimination being woven into the laws of our country. What was hard to survive was [President] Johnson’s Great Society, where they decided to take the Black father out of the household to get a check in the mail.”

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, currently leading over everyone on stage, said practically nothing for the first 15 minutes. He may have said the least of all the candidates on stage Wednesday night. But he denounced Donald Trump for being “missing in action.”

Watch all the videos above or at this link.




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‘I Don’t Think So’: As GOP Debate Kicks Off Trump Teases Out the Chances of Any Candidate Becoming His Running Mate



Donald Trump, again refusing to participate in a GOP debate, teased out the fate of every candidate on stage Wednesday night: he will choose none of them as his vice presidential running mate.

The ex-president who is facing 91 felony charges in four criminal cases across three jurisdictions and is now also facing the dissolution of his business empire, brought up the running mate question around the same time the debate on Fox News was kicking off.

“It’s all over television, this speech,” Trump falsely claimed, referring to his live remarks at a non-union shop one day after President Joe Biden stood on the picket line with UAW workers.

READ MORE: ‘Apparently You’ll Never Believe Us’: House Republican Melts Down After Reporter Questions His ‘Evidence’ Against Biden

“You know, we’re competing with the job candidates,” Trump said, mocking his fellow Republican presidential candidates after he scheduled an event opposite the debate he refused to attend.

“They’re all running for a job,” he continued, as the audience began to boo.

“They want to be in the, they’ll do anything,” he continued. “Secretary of something.”

“They even say VP, I don’t know,” Trump said. “Does anybody see any VP in the group? I don’t think so.”

Watch below or at this link.

READ MORE: ‘Careening’ Toward ‘Risk of Political Violence’: Experts Sound Alarm After Trump Floats Executing His Former General


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‘Apparently You’ll Never Believe Us’: House Republican Melts Down After Reporter Questions His ‘Evidence’ Against Biden



Ways and Means Committee Chairman Jason Smith (R-MO) became defensive and accusatory after repeatedly being unable to answer a reporter’s questions in a press conference Wednesday, held to announce what House Republicans claim is “evidence” against President Joe Biden.

A shortened version of the video posted by the news organization Heartland Signal went viral, garnering nearly one million views in under three hours on the social media platform X.

“Mr. Chairman, question about the timing of all of this,” began an NBC News reporter identified by Mediaite as Ryan Nobles. “You’re talking about a two-tiered system of justice. If I’m not mistaken, on August 7, 2020 Bill Barr was the attorney general and Donald Trump was the president, so explain to me where the two-tiered system of justice comes into play. And then the WhatsApp message you have, I believe, is dated June 6, 2017. Joe Biden is not vice president or even a candidate for president at that time. So where is the direct connection to some sort of criminal malfeasance within these two pieces of evidence?”

RELATED: ‘Everybody Has Seen That’: Fox News Host Smacks Down Republican Pushing Biden ‘Burismo’ Video People ‘Not Talking About’

Chairman Smith could not only not answer any part of those questions, he appeared to forget a portion of them.

“Well, I think the facts speak for themselves,” Smith replied. “There’s over 700 pages of examples of, where people should be very concerned, when you’re talking about um, ah, – what was your first question?”

Smith went on to say, “It doesn’t matter who’s in the White House,” after being reminded them President at that time was Donald Trump. “We need to make sure that the Department of Justice works for all people and doesn’t treat those who are politically connected or wealthy much differently. And unfortunately, we have several examples that came forward by the two IRS whistleblowers, that proves that people are treated differently because they’re politically connected.”

“Are you suggesting that Joe Biden being the president now, is unfairly treating Donald Trump in his indictment?” Nobles asked.

Again, Smith did not answer the question.

“What I’m talking about is the 700 pages that we have before us, which is all the information that came from the IRS whistleblowers, and that’s what we’re releasing right now,” Smith replied, again not answering Nobles’ question. “And I’ll tell you, I would encourage everyone in this room to look at those 700 pages. If you think it’s okay, with what’s in it, then we live on two different planets.”

RELATED: ‘You F**ked Me – I Know It Was You’: Top House Republican ‘Exploded’ at McCarthy After Losing Chairmanship

“Can you explain the timing of the August 6 WhatsApp message? Why is that evidence of some wrongdoing?” Nobles continued..

“I’m not an expert on the timeline,” Smith admitted, before pivoting to say, “I would love to have President Biden and his family to tell us about all the timelines, because it’s really, really unfortunate that we see so many meetings and so many phone calls that involved around official activity that the Vice President has been participating in, and then big sums of money follows later –”

“But he’s not the president or the vice president at that time. Where, where’s the wrongdoing? He wasn’t even a candidate for president,” Nobles pointed out.

“He was a candidate – ” Smith claimed.

“On August 6 –” Nobles began before Smith interrupted him.

“So apparently apparent – what source are you with?” Chairman Smith asked Noble.

“I’m with NBC,” the reporter replied.

“So apparently, you’ll never believe us,” Smith charged.

“I’m asking you a very direct question,” Nobles explained. “You presented a piece of evidence that you say came on August 6, 2017, that demonstrates that Joe Biden was using political influence to help his son. He wasn’t a political figure at that time. The first WhatsApp message you put up, where yo talk about the brand,” Nobles explained. “I’m completely open minded about this. I’m asking you specifically, how does that demonstrate that there was some sort of political influence being put over him, if at that time, he is not a political – he’s not an elected official?”

“I’m definitely not going to pinpoint one item,” Chairman Smith said defensively.

READ MORE: ‘Jaw Dropping’: Democratic Senator Slams Tuberville’s ‘Open’ Talk About ‘White Supremacy’

“You presented it!” Nobles acclaimed. “It was the first thing that you brought up.”

“So apparently, you don’t agree with that. So report that you disagree with it. I’ll take the next question. Yes?” Smith said, refusing to answer any of Nobles’ questions.

Watch below or at this link.


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