Accepting Our Children’s Differences: A sit-down with author Craig Pomranz

Made By Raffi

Childhood is a time fraught with uncertainty and insecurity. Growing up, almost everyone, at some point, has felt like the odd man out — or felt just plain different. While some children are fortunate enough to have adults in their life who celebrate their “differences” and encourage them to let their true colors shine, others aren’t so lucky. Made By Raffi (Frances Lincoln Children’s Books), a unique new children’s book about one brave little boy who forges his own path despite peer pressure, is a must-read for all children.

While being perceived as different can be difficult for kids who just want to fit in, seeing other kids being brave, and celebrating themselves for who they are, can be a powerful tool. Craig Pomranz’s heartwarming book is one such tool for both children and their parents.

We caught up with Pomranz to ask him some questions about his newly released book, advice for parents and kids who might be struggling with feeling different, and about his own childhood experiences.

Q: What or who was your inspiration for penning Made By Raffi?
A: The book was inspired by my godson. As a little boy, he wasn’t so interested in sports or rough and tumble play. When he was about 9, he asked for knitting needles for his birthday, and I was delighted to supply. He really took to it and found it very peaceful and comforting.  At some point, I guess he was teased. He then began to ask questions about why he was different.

I was fascinated when he came up with the term “tomgirl,” because it brought into focus the huge difference between a little girl who likes traditional boys’ activities – a tomboy – and a little boy who likes traditional girls’ activities. A tomboy is admired for her toughness and independence. But “tomgirl” connotes a negative idea: a little boy who is effeminate or weak.  I thought to myself, this is huge. I can really help kids and parents by telling this story.

Raffi Books Languages (2) Q: What message do you hope to send readers?
A: I hope the book supports young boys and girls who are perceived as “different” because of their appearances or hobbies and at the same time encourages all kids to try many different kinds of activities. I also hope it provides comfort for worried parents. It is healthy for children to experiment, try on different identities, and discover themselves. They should do so openly and without fear. It is a funny, colorful book, because kids should also be able to laugh without malice—differences are fun!

[Read more…]

Family Equality Council’s “Family Week” in Provincetown: Meet Us There!

family equality family week
The Family Equality Council hosts its 19th annual “Family Week” from July 26th-August 2nd in Provincetown, Massachusetts. The week-long event hosts family-based talks, exhibits, cookouts, organized games, and other opportunities to bring LGBT families together. You can view a schedule of the planned get-togethers on the events calendar.

Circle Surrogacy is excited to sponsor the Beach Campfire on Tuesday, July 29th, from 5:30-8:30pm. If you are attending Family Week, be sure to stop by Herring Cove Beach and say “hi,” watch performances from the cast of The Greatest Pirate Story Never Told, and enjoy dinner on the beach!

If you are interested in attending any of the Family Week events but have not yet registered, you can sign up at the Family Equality storefront, located at 254 Commercial St. in Provincetown, Monday through Friday.

Download our free guide on gay surrogacy to learn more about family building options. 

photo credit: San Diego Shooter via photopin cc

Oklahoma Same-Sex Marriage Ban Struck Down

oklahoma gay marriage Today, the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overruled Oklahoma’s voter-approved ban on gay marriage in a 2-1 ruling. The panel determined that the ban violates an individual’s constitutional rights in the same decision it reached in Utah’s June 25th case. These two cases are the country’s first federal rulings to determine a link between gay marriage and last year’s Supreme Court decision that struck down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in June, 2013.

While the rulings in Oklahoma and Utah are pending appeal, the decisions pave the road for potential Supreme Court rulings that would make them the first cases to appear in higher courts. With the ever-growing number of states that recognize same-sex marriage, the U.S. is making strides toward a national movement. Each victory for marriage equality adds to the previous one, and the momentum is only picking up. It’s an exciting day for Oklahoma and for the country.

Learn more about family building options for gay parents by downloading our free guide on gay surrogacy.

Questions about becoming a parent through gay surrogacy? Contact Bruce Hale.

photo credit: Mike Licht, via photopin cc

Spain to Register Surrogacy Births Again

Two weeks ago, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) issued an historic surrogacy decision, requiring France to recognize the parental relationships and nationality (including all the rights conferred with it) of children born through surrogacy.

gestacion-subrogadaWhile countries have taken different tacks on the legal status of surrogacy, the Court (which has jurisdiction over nearly every country in Europe), ruled that the best interests of the child must be paramount. So it was only a matter of time before countries began adapting their policies in light of the new ruling.

Yesterday, a spokesperson for the Spanish Ministry of Justice announced that authorities will once again allow the registration of children born through surrogacy abroad.

In 2010, the government established criteria for the inclusion of children born through surrogacy in the Civil Registry. Earlier this winter, however, the country’s Supreme Court overturned that policy, saying that the law on assisted reproductive technology (which makes surrogacy contracts void in Spain) prevents the registration of children born through surrogacy.

[Read more…]

Communicating with Your Surrogate: Suggestions for intended parents

surrogate mother Communication plays a big role in fostering and sustaining a relationship with your surrogate. Therefore, it’s important to determine what’s right for you in terms of how often you are in touch with each other. Some intended parents (IPs) have weekly Skype sessions or phone calls. Others talk less frequently during the journey.

Circle encourages starting voice contact on a weekly basis (in addition to emails, texts, etc.) at the time of match and should be continued throughout the journey. Regardless of how often you and your surrogate talk during the pregnancy, we suggest you increase communication before the birth of your child. During your surrogate’s pregnancy, talk with her and create a plan that deals with the events to come. This ensures that everyone’s expectations are the same come delivery day. To assist, Circle sends a birth plan worksheet to IPs around 20 weeks so they can start talking to their surrogate about their wishes for the delivery and take a tour of the hospital, if possible. More detailed conversations typically occur around the 30-week mark, after the Program Coordinator completes the hospital preparation. [Read more…]

What is a Surrogate Mother?

what is a surrogate mother
Surrogacy arrangements involve a woman who carries a child to term and intended parents who need help starting a family. Surrogate mothers are not biologically related to the children they bring into the world and do not take on a maternal role after they give birth.

Who are Circle’s Surrogates?

Circle Surrogacy helps intended parents (IPs) create or build a family through gestational surrogacy arrangements. Surrogates in gestational surrogacy arrangements, also known as “gestational carriers,” have no genetic relationship to the child they carry to term.

Women who want to become surrogates at Circle must meet specific requirements in order to be considered. If you are interested in becoming a surrogate, you can find our surrogate requirements in our FAQ section and apply here.

Gestational Surrogates vs. Traditional Surrogates

There are two types of surrogacy: gestational surrogacy and traditional surrogacy. The term “traditional surrogacy” is perhaps a bit misleading, as it is the less common arrangement of the two. As the use of Assisted Reproductive Techniques (ART) increases, gestational surrogacy is becoming more and more popular among families looking to start a family through alternative family building options. To learn more about the differences between gestational surrogacy and traditional surrogacy arrangements, read our blog post that takes a closer look at the differences between the two. [Read more…]

IVF for Surrogacy and Egg Donation: An overview for intended parents

surrogacy-hospitalIn vitro fertilization (IVF) is the medical procedure behind gestational surrogacy and egg donation. In the process, eggs are removed from an egg donor or from the intended mother and fertilized with sperm in a lab to create embryos. The resulting embryos are grown in laboratory conditions for 3-5 days. In a surrogacy arrangement, these embryos are then implanted into the uterus of a gestational surrogate. In an egg donation arrangement, they are transferred into the intended mother.

[Read more…]