Gay Parenting In Spain
For male gay partners who desire the opportunity to parent together there are only two choices: adoption and surrogate parenting. Adoption offers a couple the opportunity to give a baby who already exists, a loving home that the child may not have otherwise enjoyed. Surrogacy offers a couple the option to be biologically related to the child, to cause this particular genetic child to come into existence, to actively participate in the pregnancy and to be recognized on the original birth certificate as the legal parent of the child. Both options allow a couple to experience the joys of parenting. Unfortunately the pathway to adoption is not an easy one for a gay couple and not every country allows gay couples to participate in an adoption. In addition the reality is that only a small percentage of the children available for adoption are offered to gay couples. For many gay couples surrogacy is the preferred journey towards parenting.
CSP is a surrogacy agency dedicated to helping couples achieve their dream of become parents, regardless of sexual orientation. Every couple is special and we make no distinction between heterosexual couples and gay couples. We focus on the desire and the intent of a couple to create their own family. Whether or not same-sex marriage becomes widely legal world-wide, same-sex parenting is a done deal.
CSP helped our first gay couple become parents in 1987. It is hard to imagine that 22 years ago this lovely couple decided to act on their dream of parenting. In those days there were very few doctors willing to participate in gay surrogate parenting. However the few doctors believed, just as Bill Handel believed, that these children were lucky to have such loving and dedicated parents to raise them. We certainly lost referrals from some existing couples and professionals because CSP believed in gay parenting. We know that making a right decision has a price, but that is minor in comparison to the pride we feel at the families we have helped create. We believe that all our couples deserve to be treated with dignity and compassion and that they deserve to have their decision to become parents recognized and supported. At CSP we look at the relationship between two people who deeply desire to experience parenting together and we are proud to offer our assistance.
Giving gay men the opportunity to have children also unites families, according to the Center for Surrogate Parenting, which has clinics in California and Maryland.
"Most men who fell in love with another man thought they would never have a family," said Karen Synesiou, center director. "Through surrogacy, they could not only love each other, but raise a child together."
"Just because your son is gay, doesn't mean you can't be a grandparent," she added. "Families see it's not the end of the line just because their son is in love with a man. Now it's easier to accept." ABCNews.go.com
CSP offers two surrogacy program to our gay couples – IVF with an Egg donor (IVF/ED) and Traditional Surrogacy (AI).
A question a gay couple needs to consider is who is to be biologically related to the child. These are the options a couple can consider:
- One partner will become a parent for the first pregnancy and the second partner will parent the second child.
- Both partners select an egg donor and these eggs are divided into two batches for fertilization by each partner. One embryo created by each partner is then implanted into the surrogate mother. If twins are conceived then they are both biologically related to a child and the twins will have common genes because the same egg donor created them. If a single pregnancy is achieved then during the amnio, at birth or after birth genetic testing can be done to determine who the genetic father is. A second pregnancy can then be achieved by the using embryos created by the other father.
- One partner can be genetically connected by choosing a relative to be an egg donor and the other partner then donates the sperm.
Then there are the legal questions to consider: do you want a birth certificate with both fathers’ names on, or a birth certificate with one father and the surrogate mother or a birth certificate with one father and no second parent named? Most couples elect to have a birth certificate reflecting the names of both parents on the original birth certificate. There are a limited number of states that will permit a birth certificate to be issued listing Parent 1 and Parent 2. During your consultation here at CSP we will discuss all the option with you, why you would consider one choice over the other and finally what is the best option for you as a couple.
It is very seldom that CSP assists single men or women in our program. The reason is simply that our program is focused on helping couples in a committed relationship and is not a reflection of our opinions regarding single parenting. Occasionally we do assist single men and women become parents so please feel free to contact us to discuss your participation in our program.
Spain: same-sex marriage and adoption
Same-sex marriage became legal in Spain on July 3, 2005. Spain was the third country in the world to legalize same-sex marriage, after the Netherlands and Belgium. Canada became the 4th country to legalize same-sex marriage.
There is no damage to marriage or to the family in allowing two people of the same sex to get married. Rather, these citizens now have the ability to organize their lives according to marital and familial norms and demands. There is no threat to the institution of marriage, but precisely the opposite: this law recognizes and values marriage.
Aware that some people and institutions profoundly disagree with this legal change, I wish to say that like other reforms to the marriage code that preceded this one, this law will not generate bad results, that its only consequence will be to avoid senseless suffering of human beings. A society that avoids senseless suffering of its citizens is a better society.
In any case, I wish to express my deep respect to those people and institutions, and I also want to ask for the same respect for all of those who approve of this law. To the homosexuals that have personally tolerated the abuse and insults for many years, I ask that you add to the courage you have demonstrated in your struggle for civil rights, an example of generosity and joy with respect to all the beliefs.
Spanish President Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero
Brief outline of same-sex adoption rights around the world:
1999: DENMARK allows gay people linked by a civil union to adopt the child of their partner; the right for a gay couple to adopt a child together is granted in March 2009.
2001: THE NETHERLANDS became the first European country to authorize adoption by gay couples of children who are not related to either of them. The rules are the same as those applied to heterosexual couples. Later that year, GERMANY authorizes one member of a gay couple to adopt the other's biological child, on condition that the pair are joined in a civil union.
2002: Gay adoptions by couples are legalized in SWEDEN on condition that the adopters are linked in an authorized civil union. The Supreme Court in SOUTH AFRICA, alone among all countries in Africa, legalized adoption by homosexual couples later that year.
2005: A law covering ENGLAND and WALES allows gay couples to adopt a child together. In the same year SPAIN authorizes such adoptions.
2006: ICELAND makes it possible for homosexual couples who have had a stable relationship for at least five years to adopt children. In the same year, a law authorizing homosexuals to adopt is also passed in BELGIUM.
2008: NORWAY legalizes both civil unions between same-sex partners and allows them to adopt children. The attorney-general in ISRAEL made it easier for single-sex couples to adopt children.
2009, URUGUAY becomes the first Latin American country to allow gay couples to adopt children.
In the United States, each State has the ability to determine its own rules and conditions surrounding adoption of children by gay couples. As early as 1986 California permitted the first same-sex couple to legally adopt a child. Since then the number of US states allowing some form of adoption rights to homosexuals has risen. The situation in many states remains ambiguous, with gay adoptions neither explicitly allowed nor explicitly banned. Most provinces of CANADA also allow same-sex adoption. In AUSTRALIA, adoption by homosexuals has been allowed in the state of Western Australia since 2002. It is also allowed in the Capital Territory (Canberra).
Words from the Directors...
Good parenting is not a product of sexual orientation or whether a child has one parent, two parents or raised by grandparents or relatives. Good parenting is influenced most profoundly by ones ability to create a loving and nurturing home -- an ability that does not depend on whether a parent is gay or straight, or whether there is one or two parents in the home. If you intend to provide your child with a loving and nurturing home then we would be proud to help you.
Karen Synesiou and Bill Handel