Daddy Squared: The Gay Dads Podcast podcast

Daddy Squared Around The World SEASON FINALE: Russia, China, Iran

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Throughout the season we've interviewed gay men from countries around the world, but all of these countries could easily be argued incredibly supportive of the LGBT community and of LGBT parenting. Not so much the three countries that we are focusing on in this episode The Not-Such-Great-Places-to-be-a-Gay-Dad Episode This season, Daddy Squared has (virtually) flown from country-to-country around the world talking to gay dads and experts about what it’s like to be gay and become a gay dad in places like Ireland, South Africa, Argentina, etc., etc. The countries we’ve covered have had all kinds of important variations in LGBTQ rights, parental rights, laws regarding Surrogacy and IVF, etc., etc. But one thing they all had in common was a basic belief in the right of a gay man to live openly – and have a family. For our season finale, we decided it was time to deal with the rest of the world: the many, many countries where not only is being a gay dad impossible, but homosexuality itself is forbidden or persecuted. For obvious reasons, our guests on this episode could not come to us live from the countries of their origin. Instead, X, Y and Alex joined us representing Taiwan & China, Russia, and Iran, respectively. It’s a fascinating and meaningful talk. And yes, we know: Way to end the season on a high note! But actually, having just listened to the episode ourselves, we’ve realized that the perseverance held by members of the LGBTQ community everywhere in the world is nothing short of miraculous – and ultimately, we shall overcome! China LGBT people in China face legal and social challenges that are not experienced by non-LGBT residents. According to the Constitution of China, same-sex couples are unable to marry or adopt, and households headed by such couples are ineligible for the same legal protections available to heterosexual couples. No anti-discrimination protections exist for LGBT people. Iran Iran's government structure is parliamentary. It has a "democratic" layer with a tripartite separation of powers, above which looms the "theocratic" layer with the Guardian Council and Supreme Leader. LGBT people in the Iran face legal challenges not experienced by non-LGBT residents. While people can legally change their assigned sex, sexual activity between members of the same sex is illegal and can be punishable by up to death. Bottom line: it's scary to be gay in Iran. Russia Russia has long held strongly negative views regarding homosexuality. Although same-sex sexual activity between consenting adults in private was decriminalized in 1993, homosexuality is disapproved of by most Russians, and same-sex couples and households headed by same-sex couples are ineligible for the legal protections. Our Guests Eddie Chen, an entrepreneur born and raised in Taiwan, moved to the United States in 1990 at the age of 16. He graduated from USC then founded a few businesses including a wearable heated clothing company called VENTURE HEAT.   With ongoing business in China and some family members in Taiwan; he travels back to Asia frequently. This allows him to stay connected to his heritage and familiar with current social climate.  He currently resides in Orange County, California with his loving husband of 5+ years.  They welcomed their first son in 2019 through surrogacy in California and they have a second son due in 2021. Dimitry Kostantinov moved to Los Angeles from Russia, and raises his 14-months son, born through surrogacy, with his husband, Casey. Life for LGBT People in China, Iran and Russia: Related Articles Iran’s new government leaves country’s LGBTQ community hopeless (LA Blade, August 16, 2021)WeChat in China shuts down LGBTQ-related accounts (LA Times, July 7, 2021)'All Discrimination Comes from Ignorance.' Meet the Chinese Ex-Cop Creating a Global LGBTQ+ Community (Time, June 24, 2021)'We're not hiding': Gay and lesbian Russians say a cultural shift is underway (NBC...

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  • Daddy Squared: The Gay Dads Podcast podcast

    Daddy Squared Around The World SEASON FINALE: Russia, China, Iran

    1:05:20

    Throughout the season we've interviewed gay men from countries around the world, but all of these countries could easily be argued incredibly supportive of the LGBT community and of LGBT parenting. Not so much the three countries that we are focusing on in this episode The Not-Such-Great-Places-to-be-a-Gay-Dad Episode This season, Daddy Squared has (virtually) flown from country-to-country around the world talking to gay dads and experts about what it’s like to be gay and become a gay dad in places like Ireland, South Africa, Argentina, etc., etc. The countries we’ve covered have had all kinds of important variations in LGBTQ rights, parental rights, laws regarding Surrogacy and IVF, etc., etc. But one thing they all had in common was a basic belief in the right of a gay man to live openly – and have a family. For our season finale, we decided it was time to deal with the rest of the world: the many, many countries where not only is being a gay dad impossible, but homosexuality itself is forbidden or persecuted. For obvious reasons, our guests on this episode could not come to us live from the countries of their origin. Instead, X, Y and Alex joined us representing Taiwan & China, Russia, and Iran, respectively. It’s a fascinating and meaningful talk. And yes, we know: Way to end the season on a high note! But actually, having just listened to the episode ourselves, we’ve realized that the perseverance held by members of the LGBTQ community everywhere in the world is nothing short of miraculous – and ultimately, we shall overcome! China LGBT people in China face legal and social challenges that are not experienced by non-LGBT residents. According to the Constitution of China, same-sex couples are unable to marry or adopt, and households headed by such couples are ineligible for the same legal protections available to heterosexual couples. No anti-discrimination protections exist for LGBT people. Iran Iran's government structure is parliamentary. It has a "democratic" layer with a tripartite separation of powers, above which looms the "theocratic" layer with the Guardian Council and Supreme Leader. LGBT people in the Iran face legal challenges not experienced by non-LGBT residents. While people can legally change their assigned sex, sexual activity between members of the same sex is illegal and can be punishable by up to death. Bottom line: it's scary to be gay in Iran. Russia Russia has long held strongly negative views regarding homosexuality. Although same-sex sexual activity between consenting adults in private was decriminalized in 1993, homosexuality is disapproved of by most Russians, and same-sex couples and households headed by same-sex couples are ineligible for the legal protections. Our Guests Eddie Chen, an entrepreneur born and raised in Taiwan, moved to the United States in 1990 at the age of 16. He graduated from USC then founded a few businesses including a wearable heated clothing company called VENTURE HEAT.   With ongoing business in China and some family members in Taiwan; he travels back to Asia frequently. This allows him to stay connected to his heritage and familiar with current social climate.  He currently resides in Orange County, California with his loving husband of 5+ years.  They welcomed their first son in 2019 through surrogacy in California and they have a second son due in 2021. Dimitry Kostantinov moved to Los Angeles from Russia, and raises his 14-months son, born through surrogacy, with his husband, Casey. Life for LGBT People in China, Iran and Russia: Related Articles Iran’s new government leaves country’s LGBTQ community hopeless (LA Blade, August 16, 2021)WeChat in China shuts down LGBTQ-related accounts (LA Times, July 7, 2021)'All Discrimination Comes from Ignorance.' Meet the Chinese Ex-Cop Creating a Global LGBTQ+ Community (Time, June 24, 2021)'We're not hiding': Gay and lesbian Russians say a cultural shift is underway (NBC...
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    Daddy Squared Around The World: Ireland

    56:34

    Daddy Squared: The Gay Dads Podcast looks at gay rights and fatherhood options in Ireland. We talked with Irish Minister for Equality Roderic O'Gorman, to get a taste of what it’s like being gay in Ireland, and researched options for Irish gay men who want to become dads. Ireland's Minister of Equality, Roderic O'Gorman responds to Westlife star Mark Feehily call on Irish government to put surrogacy legislation in place. "I think in terms of surrogacy, the problems that are faced by gay couples, we have very little legislation about surrogacy, and how the law treats children born through surrogacy," Minister O'Gorman said on Daddy Squared podcast, "and that's something that this government is acting on, we're committed to acting on this." "Laws of surrogacy are dealt with by our department of health and they will be leading on this but my department of equality and also the departments of children and of justice," Minister O'Gorman explains, "We have all been working together, so the three ministers have met a number of times with our attorney general. As I'm sure you know, there are many different circumstances in which a child can be conceived as a result of surrogacy, and different people can be involved depending on the approach taken, so there's a whole range of legal relationships that has to be regulated. Obviously of course, the center to that are the rights of the child, and I'm actually meeting with the minister for justice and the minister for health next week to continue to work on this." "Obviously our department of health, like every department of health across the world, has been absolutely focused on COVID over the last 15 months, but I think as we come out of COVID now and the situation here in Ireland has been improving significantly, we need to prioritize issues like this and it is a priority for this government. I know Mark said it's not an emergency, but it leaves hundreds, if not soon to be thousands, of children in a really grey area in terms of their legal rights with respect to their two parents and that can't go on." Our Guest: Minister Roderic O'Gorman Roderic O'Gorman is an Irish Green Party politician who has served as Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth since June 2020. He lives in Dublin with his partner, Ray Healy. He has said that he knew he wanted to be a politician even before he identified his sexuality. Surrogacy for Gay Men in Ireland "I think that surrogacy is what's growing at the moment [as an option for gay men to build their family in Ireland] and that's why it's so important to provide that regulatory and that legal framework protection for children and to make sure that the legal relationship between the child and their two dads is clear and strong," Minister O'Gorman said on Daddy Squared Podcast. There is no Irish legislation to cover the legal issues arising from surrogacy. Due to this current vacuum, the legal status and rights of all involved are governed by legislation dealing with non-surrogate births and children. Read about Ireland's surrogacy legal status on CitizenInformation.ie Fostering and Adoption for Gay Men In Ireland "Internally in Ireland, there aren't as many mothers giving their children up for adoption anymore," said Minister O'Gorman, "so the number of children who are available to adopt every year is very small. Some adoptions will take place within the family, maybe family members are deceased." In Ireland, there are currently over 6,000 children and young people in care and almost 90% of these are living with foster caregivers. If you are thinking about becoming a foster family, please make sure you follow all the prerequisites: You must be over the age of 25You need a spare bedroomYou need a full driving licenseYou must have flexibility in your working arrangementsIf you are fostering as a couple, you will need to have been together for three years and living together for at leas...
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    Daddy Squared Around The World: Brazil

    46:23

    Daddy Squared: The Gay Dads Podcast looks at gay rights and fatherhood options in Brazil. We talked with Brazilian Senator and gay dad Fabiano Contarato, to get a taste of what it’s like being a gay dad in Brazil, and researched options for Brazilian gay men who want to become dads. Brazil has a constitution that guarantees equal rights under the law for all Brazilians regardless of background or sexual identity. "But in actuality," says Senator Fabiano Contarato, "it is a country that unfortunately is racist, sexist, classist and homophobic. Especially in terms of the nuclear families, I would say that in terms of the prejudices that we experience as gay men and other LGBTQIA+ it is our nuclear families that eventually has the most prejudice against our kind." "I will say that within Brazilian society, if a gay man is able to gain better position of power, we do end up gaining more rights within society," The Senator adds. It wasn't until 2019 that the Brazilian supreme court gave equal standing status to homophobic attacks at the same plain of race-based attacks. And it wasn't until 2020 that the federal tribunal in Brazil allowed for LGBTQA people to donate blood. "The rights of LGBTQA people in Brazil were not gained through the normal means of legislation," says Senator Contarato, "but through the supreme court where we would have to fight for the rights." Fabiano Contarato is currently married and has two children through adoption. As the first ever LGBT senator elected, he contributes a lot to the visibility of LGBT people in Brazil in general, and same-sex parents in particular. "Despite all the prejudice I was able to work at the police force and as a law professor," he says. "I was able to be elected as Senator and have more votes than the current governor." Our Guest: Fabiano Contarato Fabiano Contarato is the first openly LGBT person to be elected for the Brazilian Senate. He was the most voted candidate for the Brazilian Senate in the state of Espírito Santo during the 2018 Brazilian general election, with over one million votes. He's a Brazilian law professor, a former police chief, he lives with his husband and two adopted children. Ouça a entrevista completa e não editada com o senador Fabiano Contarato em português. No estúdio em Los Angeles estão pais gays e o casal Yan e Alex, com o tradutor para o português Mario Guevara-Martinez https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UPmLtLwRefc Adoption for Gay Men in Brazil Adoption is legal in Brazil following a supreme court decision in 2010. The procedure is relatively simple, and begins with submitting an application for qualifying for adoption at the Children's and Youth Court of the city where the gay single or couple resides. They then present an initial petition containing: complete qualification, family data, certified copies of birth or marriage certificate or statement relating to the period of common-law marriage, copies of RG and CPF, proof of income and residence, certificate of physical and mental health, criminal record certificate and civil distribution clearance certificate. The maximum period for completing the qualification for adoption is 120 days, which can be extended for an equal period. Read more about adoption in Brazil (Portuguese) Surrogacy for Gay Men in Brazil Commercial surrogacy is not allowed in Brazil, as the Constitution prohibits the commercialization of organs and tissues. However, since there is no specific law expressly prohibiting such a reproductive technique, surrogacy may be performed altruistically. The Surrogate must be a family member of the first, second, third, or fourth degree of one of the intended parents – and can’t be over 50 years old.Similarly to the UK – the surrogate has parental rights, and so does her husband – and this is where problems can occur. As far as going overseas for surrogacy -- there's no problem bring the baby back to Brazil.
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    Daddy Squared Around The World: Israel

    59:58

    Daddy Squared: The Gay Dads Podcast looks at gay rights and fatherhood options in Israel. We talked with Israeli pop star and gay dad Ivri Lider to get a taste of what it’s like being a gay dad in Israel, and researched options for Israeli gay men who want to become dads. Parenting is engraved in Israeli culture. In this episode of Daddy Squared we give a taste of gay fatherhood in Israel as well as explore options for gay men to become dads. "In Israel these days it's really very common for gay men to have kids," singer Ivri Lider tells Daddy Squared, "it's pretty amazing what happens in Tel Aviv. In the last 10 years it became the obvious thing, like the normal obvious thing for gay couples to have kids. In Israel, having kids is something that is very much intrenched in society and it's, like, important. Having kids is like the most important thing you can do with your life." Despite the normality of gays with kids in Israel, and the popularity of surrogacy among gay Israelis, surrogacy is still illegal in the country, and gay men are forced to have kids abroad. "It is something that we really are fighting for these days," Lider says, "because right now it's a discriminating law. If you're a straight couple you can do surrogacy in Israel and also if you're a woman you can do surrogacy in Israel, but if you are a man you can't. It's kinda obvious that it's more of an anti-gay law because there's not a lot of straight men who go through surrogacy alone. We definitely see it as something discriminating against gay men, but the Israeli Supreme Court ruled last year that it should be changed. So it's this moment in time when we're waiting to see what's gonna happen with that." Lider, had his son, Alby, through surrogacy in the U.S. in 2019. "It's such an amazing thing," he says about parenthood, "suddenly to having a little kid and watching the world through his eyes, learning about the world with him and being able to teach him --it's just incredible." "It took time for me to decide that I'm doing it and how I'm doing it. At the beginning I was in a long relationship and I was thinking I would be doing it in a relationship, and then we broke up--partially because of that, because he wasn't ready, and then I was a long for a while, thinking I would do joint parenting, and I met with a few girls and then after a while I was feeling that this is not really for me, I was feeling that I'll never feel ready to do it with a woman who's not my wife, and I felt in a kind of deep psychological way for me to not commit enough. So I thought, 'ok, you're going to commit,' and I was still single when I started the process." "And the most amazing thing is that I met Yonatan, my boyfriend, right after I started. So I started the process as a single man but eventually when Alby was born we were already in a relationship. Yonatan will tell you that on the first date we were sitting at my house and talking and having wine, and I was like, 'yeah, I'm having a kid.'" Surrogacy for Gay Men in Israel Surrogacy is illegal for single men and gay couples in Israel, therefore, gay men travel abroad, mostly to the U.S. and Canada, for their journey. Joint Parenthood (Co-Parenting) for Gay Men in Israel "It's very common to do it with someone you know for many years," Ivri Lider says. "Like, a lot of my friends will tell you, 'oh we were friends in high school,' or we know this woman for 20 years and now we're going to have a kid together.' In a very Israeli fashion it's very family-like, a close relationship." Our Guest: Ivri Lider Ivri Lider is an Israeli musician, pop star, icon. He took the Israeli music world by storm and has sold over a million copies of his albums, which includes 12 original albums, live albums and DVDs. His performances are highly-praised by critics and audiences alike, and are always quick to sell out. Lider has fans spanning all generations – teenagers, soldiers, students,
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    Daddy Squared Around The World: Australia

    59:19

    Daddy Squared: The Gay Dads Podcast looks at gay rights and fatherhood options in Australia. We talked with Equality Australia founder and gay dad Tom Snow to get a taste of what it’s like being a gay dad in Australia, and researched options for gay men who want to become dads. Gay dad Tom Snow was a key person in Australia's Marriage Equality campaign. Though the Australian campaign was fueled by the success in Ireland and in the United States, in the interview on our podcast Tom explained the key difference between Australia and those countries. "In Ireland the biggest message around marriage equality was about equality," Snow explained. "In the U.S. there were a few things that were use but freedom was a big one, equality and rights were also big in the states. But when we message-tested those in Australia, the biggest thing that Australians get is fairness. And what we realized is that people just saw it as not fair that same sex couples were not able to get married. They could see the unfairness of it, and they were like 'that's not decent' that there's a group of people that are not treated the same." Winning marriage was important for the country, however, Snow told Daddy Squared it wasn't quite important for parenting, as gay men could have kids, even before marriage, in a few different ways. "Surrogacy, adoption and co-parenting are probably the big three," he says, "historically many gay men and lesbian women did it through co-parenting. The good news in Australia is that adoption is reasonably equal in the law, in that case it's reasonably equal for gays and lesbians. We do have some issues that some of the adoption agencies that are religious-based, discriminate against our community and continue to do so." "Surrogacy is harder for gay men in Australia, there might be a family friend or a family member who might carry a baby for a gay male couple. That's difficult [to find a surrogate] so many gay men do go overseas." A dad of a twin 10-year-olds and a 6-year-old through surrogacy, Snow shared his own story of parenthood. "Never is everything under control," he laughs, "but it's the most fun experience, every day is just a riot of fun. I say this to everyone looking at being a parent, it's a lot harder than I ever expected it to be, but it's also a lot better than I ever expected it to be. It is a complete change in your life." Adoption for Gay Dads in Australia Currently in Australia, laws around adoption and fostering by LGBT people differ by state/territory. The first step for prospective parents is to research which type of adoption or permanent care is possible in your state or territory. There are three types of adoption in Australia: domestic adoption (local and from out of home care), inter-country adoption, or permanent care and foster care. Helpful information about adoption in general and by-state in Australia can be found on adoptchange.org.au It's important to state that religious-based foster care agencies may appeal to legal provisions allowing them to refuse to assess LGBT applicants. Full information sheet on adoption and foster care in Australia by Australian Psychology Society (APS) can be found here. Surrogacy for Gay Dads in Australia Surrogacy in Australia is based on state-by-state laws. Western Australia, for example, only allows single women and heterosexual couples to engage in surrogacy. There are different rules, and generally the laws are you can have altruistic surrogacy so you can pay for costs but you can't pay for someone to undertake surrogacy for you. A typical surrogacy journey within Australia costs around $70,000 AUD. Most of these costs are the costs of IVF. Cost of surrogacy in the U.S. can reach up to $200,000 AUD. More info about surrogacy for gay men in Australia can be found here Co-Parenting for Gay Men in Australia Currently, co-parenting is still largest avenue for gay men to become parents (surrogacy is catching up fa...
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    Daddy Squared Around the World: Argentina

    52:46

    Daddy Squared: The Gay Dads Podcast looks at gay rights and fatherhood options in Argentina. We talked with Argentinian LGBT activist Pablo Fracchia to get a taste of what it’s like being a gay dad in Argentina, and researched options for gay men who want to become dads. Pablo Fracchia signed up to adopt a child in 2017, and after two long years of waiting he got a phone call from a family judge. The judge matched him with Mia, a little girl who suffered with a severe gastrointestinal condition, needed serious medical attention and her biological family was unable to provide it, so she was sent to an institution for children with health issues. Fracchia adopted her after she was living in the hospital for a year, alone. His story was told all over the world. ״It's been a crazy year," Pablo admits on Daddy Squared Podcast. "The article came out last year in Argentina for our Diverse Families Day, the newspaper wanted to make an article about diverse families, they contacted me and for the last year it's been crazy. "A lot of people contact me through social media and I'm trying to [answer all the questions about my story]. There's a lot of misconception about adoption in Argentina, about this process that used to be a very complex, but was simplified over the years so a lot of people ask me questions, I became some source of information and since I'm also a social worker and work on LGBT issues, to me it's a way of activism by itself to help people to achieve their parenting dreams." The most inspiring detail in Pablo's story was his decision to adopt a child as a single man, a decision that according to him wasn't easy to make. "The first thing I did when I decided to adopt on my own was to gather my family and tell them you know I'm making this life decision and I'm not going to be able to do it if you're not supporting me," Pablo tells us. "I needed to know that they were going to be by my side and of course they were absolutely on board. "I was thinking that it was time to break the idea that in order to have a kid you have to be in a relationship. I worked that with my therapist, and said ok let's do it." Despite the acceptance of the law in Argentina in regards to LGBT people, visibility of LGBT parents makes life for LGBT families in Argentina a lot better. People like trans actress Florencia De La V, gay dancer and TV Judge Flavio Mendoza, and trans comedienne Lizy Tagliani had famously have gone through surrogacy in the United States and are outspoken about their families. "In a way, traditional families are still a thing, even if statistic says that they are a minority," Pablo says. "40% of the families are traditional, the rest are a wide variety of combinations, so even if they are minority, representation is still a thing, and it matters a lot." Adoption for Gay Dads in Argentina Differently than other countries, in Argentina all of the adoption process is done through a family court. Depends on your province, you have to go to the justice system in your province. Print it and present it to family court to open the file process of interviews of social worker and psychologist the judge oks you to become a parent. According to Pablo, most often than not the process of adoption in Argentina is slowed down by a lot because of conditions intended parents have about what kind of child they'd like to adopt. "There's a difference between what adoptive parents are expecting and what kind of kids are in the system," he says. Surrogacy for Gay Dads in Argentina In Argentina there seems to be a legal vacuum in regards to surrogacy. It is not prohibited, but neither is it regulated. According to Argentinian Press the first the first gay couple to have a child by surrogacy in Argentina was in 2015. After the baby is born, it is discussed in court on who the legal parents are going to be. There are known surrogacy cases where the judge has decided against the intended parents af...
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    Daddy Squared Around the World: United Kingdom

    58:21

    Daddy Squared: The Gay Dads Podcast looks at gay rights and fatherhood options in the UK. We talked with Brit actor Charlie Condou to get a taste of what it’s like being a gay dad in the UK, and researched options for gay men who want to become dads. The number of gay dads in the UK is increasing. Many gay men are exploring parenting options, and to make things easier, Alex and Yan have called for the help of actor Charlie Condou who has been outspoken about his life as a gay man and as a parent. "Things are certainly better than they were when I was a young man," actor Charlie Condou tells us in this episode, "and you see it with the younger generation of the LGBTQ community. They walk around holding hands, which is something that we certainly never would have done. Everything seems to be much more acceptable. Gay relationships as a whole, the fact that we can get married now, and the fact that we can have children." "It's relatively new, I suppose. I mean, I think that gay women have been getting on with having kids for a long time, because, you know, it's easier for them to have children. Gay men have never really been a part of the conversation for a long time and I think, if you were a gay man and you wanted to be a parent, you either got married to a woman and went down that lie, or you parked it and you thought ok this is something that I have to put out of my mind and put out of my life because it's not an option for me." "We couldn't adopt, surrogacy wasn't a thing, and we're a very different place now, and younger gay men today, when they get into a relationship and even if they don't want to have kids, it's still part of the conversation, they'll still have that discussion." During our interview, Condou described his inner thoughts, from the idea of wanting to become a dad, to figuring out how to do it as a gay men in the UK at the time. "As I got older and realized that I want to do it sooner rather than later," he said, "surrogacy wasn't a thing then, gay men couldn't adopt then, certainly single gay men couldn't adopt. So co-parenting was something that, it wasn't even a word, but it seemed like the best option to me. I'm going to have to find a female friend who wants to have children with me. Of course in my naive early 20s mind I thought 'yeah that'll be fine, somebody will want to have a kid with me, you know, who wouldn't?!' I did not realize that a lot of straight females-- it's not their first choice." "I started to have this conversation with girl friends of mine, just in a very vague kind of 'what if'? And I had one friend in particular, Cathrine, who said, 'yeah, I wanna be a parent, and if I'm still single at 40 then, yeah. Let's get on with it.' It was a bit of a joke, because why would she still be single at 40, but she was." Gay Dads in the UK: Co-Parenting "We sat down and said, ok, let's talk about it then. How would it work? We didn't know anybody who did anything like this at all. It was a completely new territory. So we talked about every eventuality, all the possible scenarios. What happens if someone moves to Australia? I don't know why even, but we talked about it. And I knew very quickly that if I was going to co-parent, it had to be 50-50. I didn't want to be a dad that is just around every other weekend." At some point during the conversation with Catherine, Charlie met his now-husband, Cameron. Early in their relationship Charlie had told him about his plans with Catherine and Cameron was on board. "And then it became the three of us, and the conversation had to change a little, because how does that work, with three parents? What will the three of us bring? How do we navigate that?" The Three of Us - Charlie's Column in The Guardian "It works really well," Charlie says, "We have the kids completely half and half, and that's the way that it's worked for a long time. Catherine has them on a Monday and a Tuesday,
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    Daddy Squared Around the World: Denmark

    50:48

    Daddy Squared: The Gay Dads Podcast looks at gay rights and fatherhood options in Denmark. We talked with Danish singer songwriter Bryan Rice to get a taste of what it’s like being a gay dad in Denmark, and researched options for gay men who want to become dads. Rainbow Family is the term used in Denmark for families with one or more LGBT persons in an immediate family. Our guest in this episode, singer and songwriter Bryan Rice, is a prominent example of a rainbow family, as he co-parent his daughter with his husband, Mads Enggaard and Mads' high school (straight woman) friend. "I feel it's quite common here, I don't feel special," Bryan says. "There is a common sense that families like mine are just as much families like others'. we have so many different types so this is just, as I call it, a happy divorced family. We don't have the baggage that often divorce families have." "Liv, [Bryan and Mads' daughter] has a mother who also live here in Copenhagen as well, who is an old friend of my husband Mads, so they have known each other since they were in high school and I have known her for all the time I know Mads, so we are a Rainbow Family." Liv's mother came to the couple when she was about to reach 40, and said that she had no boyfriend and she reached a point where she wanted to have a kid and she wanted to know if they wanted to be the fathers. "When we started talking about the project, we talked about how to start when the kid is born, what do we do at a certain age, when do we start splitting, when will she start to have one or two nights at our place without her mother," Bryan recalls. "We have what we call a child contract, and that is quite common here. The contract is based on our thoughts about how we are supposed to do it but also based on knowledge from other couples." Brian comes from a little town outside of Roskilde in Denmark. He came out at 17 "it has to do with a lot of things," he says, "in my surroundings it wasn't a problem to come out, and in my family I didn't really come out. To me it was just a matter of saying, 'I'm bringing home my boyfriend.'" Daddy Squared: The Gay Dads Podcast returns for season 4, Around the World, to capture gay dad options and rights in a post-pandemic world. In each episode, Alex and Yan, a married couple and fathers of five-year-old twins, talk with gay dads from a different country, discussing equal rights and options for gay men. Co-parenting in Denmark As far as parenthood options for gay men, Denmark is a "co-parenting culture." The majority of gay men tend to go with the co-parenting route, either with a woman friend who they know, or through meeting women on matchmaking websites that are specifically for creating Rainbow Families (see links below). In these websites you can search for other people who also want to become parents and are looking for one or more co-parents who share the dream to have together a child who knows both his biological parents. In the co-parenting model, all parents involved take part in the child's everyday life, development, etc. Surrogacy in Denmark Surrogacy is illegal in Denmark, therefore men who want to do it have to travel, most go to the USA, for their surrogacy journey. "I think that it is a quite strange that surrogacy is illegal in Denmark," Bryan said in our interview, "because Denmark has been on front of every other legislation in the LGBT area. We're very liberated country but still on this issue we're very much behind." "I feel that the politicians are almost afraid to talk about this subject, because they know that it's a problem that we are so much behind in Denmark but because it has to do with women's rights they are reluctant of raising this issue." Once you come back to Denmark with your baby, the biological father will have to prove genetic relations through a simple paternity test, in order for the kid to receive Danish citizenship. Adoption in Denmark
  • Daddy Squared: The Gay Dads Podcast podcast

    Daddy Squared Around the World: Germany

    49:42

    Daddy Squared: The Gay Dads Podcast looks at gay rights and fatherhood options in Germany. We talked with German stage actor and blogger Kevin Silvergieter (AKA "Papapi") to get a taste of what it's like being a gay dad in Germany, and researched options for gay men who want to become dads. Despite Berlin's reputation as one of the most gay-friendly cities in the world, it's surprising to know that Germany is not as tolerant for LGBT parenting as one might think. Not only is there a lack of visibility for gay dads in the media, gay men report discrimination in adoption and the general attitude towards them raising kids. "Still there are a few parts where I’m like ‘um, we live in Germany and it’s 2021 and are you kidding me?!'," our guest in this episode, famous blogger Kevin Silvergieter, tells us, "do I still have to deal with that as a gay man?" Until 2017 gay marriage wasn’t even legal in Germany. There was something like ‘written partnership by law.’ "With us not being able to marry we were not able to adopt kids as couples." Kevin explains. "We still have [discrimination] in quite a few areas of German law. For example, blood donation is not allowed for gay men because our behavior raises the risk of HIV, which is, of course, ridiculous. They did come up 5 years or so ago with a law that gay men can donate blood if they haven’t had sex for 12 months." With adoption, it's really rare for gay men to be selected, according to some testimonials, because of a strong preference by the authorities and the birth parents to give kids to heterosexual families. "I don’t want to call it discrimination but it’s kind of odd that we’re not good enough for adoption but the agencies will placed very troubled foster kids with us," Kevin says in the interview. Foster Care is definitely more common for gay men than adoption. "I know that there are a few gay couples who were closer by age more than my husband and I and they adopted 6 years ago," Kevin says. "They both have been a better match for the authorities than we have, so one of the dads adopted and then three years ago when the law changed the other one could adopt them as well. Also, overall, there are not many kids available for adoption. The ratio is 10 heterosexual parents waiting for every one kid, and on top of that one gay couple. And the biological parents can decide with the authorities together where to put the kids and most of them prefer to place their kids with heterosexual couples." Kevin and his husband were reluctant to go with the Foster Care route because of fears for growing close to a child only to have them taken away. He was surprised to find out that there was a 'permanent foster route,' where he can get a court document that affirms that the kids will stay with him. "In April 2014 I called Foster Care and asked for an interview to see if this option really doesn’t fit us or we just didn’t know enough," Kevin tells us. "I just thought that if we don’t hear it first-hand we can’t really rule it out. So we started, and then in September 2015, after a long, long road with lots of paperwork and talks with psychologists (a process which was really frustrating at the time, but which I now appreciate for the extreme care involved), our son moved in. Daddy Squared: The Gay Dads Podcast returns for season 4, Around the World, to capture gay dad options and rights in a post-pandemic world. In each episode, Alex and Yan, a married couple and fathers of five-year-old twins, talk with gay dads from a different country, discussing equal rights and options for gay men. Foster Care in Germany Foster Care is currently the main option for gay men. In recent research of types of parenting for gay men, it was found that 54% of families with gay dads were created through Foster Care. The main difference between Foster Care and Adoption is that parents or guardians with custody must be involved in important decisions made by the foster family.
  • Daddy Squared: The Gay Dads Podcast podcast

    Daddy Squared Around the World: South Africa

    51:19

    Daddy Squared: The Gay Dads Podcast looks at fatherhood options for gay men in South Africa. We talked with South African Power Couple Andrew and Brent (who are responsible for the first ever Primetime gay kiss on South African TV) about parenting options and rights for gay men in South Africa. South Africa was pretty much at the forefront of human rights for the LGBTQI+ community. During the apartheid era, homosexuality was a crime and that was written into the law until 1994. Because of the African National Congress (ANC), the freedom fighters, and people who had really fought for democracy, equality, and human rights, they have passed laws that made homosexuality legal and shortly after also brought same-sex marriage to the South African constitution in 1996. Daddy Squared: The Gay Dads Podcast returns for season 4, Around the World, to capture gay dads options and rights in a post-pandemic world. In each episode, Alex and Yan, a married couple and fathers of five-year-old twins, talk with gay dads from a different country, discussing equal rights and options for gay men. By 2002 the Constitutional Court gave the right for same sex couples to adopt, and that was written into the Children's Act in 2005. So adoption is legal for gay men in South Africa, surrogacy is legal too, and there's no difference in the application process whether you are two dads or a mom and a dad. And in Andrew's case, even marrying a woman and having kids with her is legal :) Andrew and Brent have been co-parenting their two children with his former wife. "I don't believe that I would ever have imagined that I'd meet someone with children already," Brent says. "I didn't think that it'd be part of my life's journey, but when I met Andrew the first night we went on a date, I knew he was the one, I knew that this was the guy for me and yes, we spoke about the fact that he had kids on that first date. He was very upfront about the fact that he had kids, and I didn't let it disturb me, because I thought, I like this guy, I think that this relationship can go somewhere, maybe kids can be a bonus. Maybe having kids around can actually add value to my life." Adoption in South Africa South Africa the only country in Africa to allow LGBT adoptions. There are approximately 1.8 million adoptive children in the country so if you want to start a family through adoption you would follow these steps: Orientation session where all the details are explainedFill out the application form and send it to the agencySet up a personal profileApply for a police clearance certificateUndergo psychometric testingAn interview with a social workerAn interview with a panel of social workersHome visitFinal ApprovalWait for "the call" that matches you with a baby More info about adoption Surrogacy in South Africa In a country with high unemployment and high poverty rates it's so easy to exploit the legality of surrogacy. The law is there to protect against that, and to have surrogacy in the country in the most ethical way possible. Surrogacy in South Africa is highly protective of surrogates – surrogates are not allowed to get paid, and every surrogacy journey has to have a valid agreement that is approved by the court. There are a number of formal requirements when a woman considers becoming a surrogate in South Africa. The surrogate and her husband/partner must firstly be domiciled in South Africa. Read more about the South African requirements/laws on surrogacy Many of the gay men who go through surrogacy in South Africa do use a surrogate who has some form of connection to them, whether she is a friend or a distant relative. "Of the four people that I spoke to, and this obviously not statistically valid, all four of the surrogates were personal friends of the gay couples," Andrew says on Daddy Squared. Our Guests: Andrew Ross and Brent Lindeque Power Couple Andrew and Brent have been together for 13 years,

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