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europe's No.1 GAY PARENTING Magazine TWITTER # pinkparenting

issue 01 JUL/AUG 2011 ÂŁ3.95 01

The stories, science and all things parenting for the gay community!!




ALSO IN THIS ISSUE: annabel karmel i gaydar radio's neil & debbie i gay dads adopt 12 children!

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JULY/AUGUST 2011 07 News, WE LOVE views, reviews, gifts, gadgets and gizmos. 18 Gaydar Q&A WITH... NEIL & DEBBIE Radio’s breakfast duo, share their views on adoption, surrogacy and all things parenting.

20 Latin COVERheart-throb STORY:Ricky RICKY MARTIN Martin on coming out and how having kids has changed his life.

26 Thinking 10 STEPSof surrogacy? TO SURROGACY We have everything you need to know and what you can expect.

30 Pack BEACH, BUMPS & BABIES your bags – we’ve got some cracking holiday destinations for you, with or without the kids.

36 Read MEETtheTHEincredible HAM FAMILY journey of Roger and Steven Ham which ended in the adoption of 12 children.

42 Aspen HAVINGDrewitt-Barlow TWO DADStalksIS COOL about what it’s like to be the son of the UK’s best known gay dads.

45 Pride HOMEAngel’s INSEMINATION – THE LOWDOWN Erika Tranfield gives an in-depth look at the ups and downs of home insemination.

49 Kids SUMMER LOVIN’ nutritional guru Annabel Karmel provides us with some great summer inspired recipes.

53 Parenting LEGAL LOWDOWN law expert Louisa Ghevaert on the legalities of surrogacy, adoption and co-parenting.

55 Annabel BEHINDKarmel THE BRAND on becoming the UK’s leading baby and toddler nutritionist and her future plans.

58 Clinical ASK AWAY psychologist and mum Dr. Sam Fraser answers readers questions on all things parenting.

60 Pregnancy PREGNANCY WELLBEING and fertility acupuncturist Emma Cannon offers great pre-pregnancy health tips.

65 tibits, CONVERT THE CARNIVORE a great vegetarian restaurant which aims to convert the most cynical of meat-eaters.




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JULY/AUGUST 2011 TWITTER # pinkparenting

europe's No.1 GAY PARENTING Magazine

issue 01 JUL/AUG 2011 £3.95


The stories, science and all

things parenting for the gay



ALSO IN THIS ISSUE: annabel karmel i

gaydar radio's neil & debbie i gay dads


adopt 12 children!

Group Publisher Jeff Crockett Managing Editor Giorgio Severi Art Editor Damian Browning Contributors Barrie Drewitt-Barlow, Karina Bland, Emma Cannon, Samantha Fraser, Louisa Ghevaert, Sophy Grimshaw Annabel Karmel, Erika Tranfield. Business Advisor PJ Mack

Welcome to Pink Parenting We are delighted to be introducing Pink Parenting magazine for the LGBT community, bringing you interesting articles and fascinating features from around the globe. In this issue we have interviewed the Latin heartthrob, Ricky Martin, who reveals his real reasons why he came out and what having a family means to him, we also cover the inspiring journey of two Arizona Gay Dads and their decision to adopt 12 kids. With home insemination on the rise, Erika Tranfield, founder of Pride Angel, explains the pros and cons of going home made. And parents favourite Annabel Karmel talks to us about how she became the UK’s leading baby and toddler nutrition expert, and also throws in some great ‘al fresco’ recipes that the whole family will love.

Interim Sales Manager Carlo Mendez

So with all this and lots more, why not make a cuppa, sit back, relax and enjoy our magazine. Happy reading!

Freelance Sales Susan Calatayud, Pier Minole

Team PP

Accounts Manager Jennifer Bailey Legal Advisor Samuel & Davies Client Liason Officer Connie Wilson Printed by Buxton Press Advertising Enquiries

Annabel Karmel

Erika Tranfield

Barrie Drewitt-Barlow

Contact details: Pink Parenting Magazine Suite 318, Building 50, Argyll Road, London SE18 6PP Tel: 020 8316 8923

Annabel is the UK’s leading child

Erika has a Biomedical Science back-

Barrie and his partner Tony have

nutritionist and best-selling author of

ground and is the co-founder of Pride

five children born to surrogate

books on feeding babies & children.

Angel, a social network and Google

mothers. Together they founded

Annabel was awarded an MBE in

ranked #5 website that helps couples

the British Surrogacy Center, to

June 2006 her outstanding work in

to become parents through donor

helps other couple in their quest

the field of child nutrition.

conception and co-parenting.

for parenthood via surrogacy.




Emma Cannon

Louisa Ghevaert

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Emma is an leading acupuncturist

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Sophy is a London based lifestyle,

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Expectant couples traditionally learn the sex of their child from a doctor or midwife, but some are choosing a more celebratory way – by getting the big news from a cake. The concept of inviting friends and family to share one’s reaction at a “gender reveal party” has really taken off in the US. During the routine 20 week scan parents ask the sonographer to determine the baby’s sex, but to keep it a secret from them, the sex is written down and sealed in an envelope, which is then passed onto a friend or bakery to prepare the cake with neutral icing but with a colour-coded filling or sponge inside – blue for boys, pink for girls. Guests are even encouraged to dress in blue or pink to reflect their own predictions.


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We probe Gaydar Radio’s breakfast duo, Neil Sexton and Debbie Ryan about their views on adoption, surrogacy and all things parenting! Q. Are you in a relationship and for how long? NEIL: Yes coming up for 9 years DEBBIE: Um, owch. I was up until recently for 3 years. Currently very Shane from the L Word.

Q. Do you see yourself having kids, if so how many? NEIL: To be honest, at this moment in time the answer is no. However, never say never:-) DEBBIE: To be very honest, I’ve never been very maternal in so much as I’ve never experienced the huge pull my friends, gay and straight, have had to have a baby. I was raised in families where I had lots of half-brothers/sisters and kind of always felt I’d end up with someone who already had kids, but I would be very much involved in their raising. If I was to meet someone who I wanted to have nippers with, I’d be Ellen, they’d be Portia. I would not rock the bump look as much as them anyway! Maternally, I get attached to fruit flies, so having a baby would be so overwhelming, I’d end up in A & E with awe.




Q. Have you got any nieces and nephews, are you used to having kids around you. NEIL: I have a young niece and nephew. They are both adorable, especially now as they’re getting older. I used to live with a female friend who is a single parent and I read stories to her daughter and generally larked around and make her laugh. Happy times. DEBBIE: Yes. My very close friends have kids and I’m known as “Uncle DJ” to them (I never ask!) Seeing as most of my mates are hippies rather than Bette/Tina from L Word (sorry, I love that show), I adore being around kids when the parents don’t wrap them in cotton wool and realise they’re part of their life, rather than the entire universe revolving around them. Kids should be exposed to as much love and experience as they can which is why it’s great for kids (& parents) to show their deck of cards in the form of various friends early on and let us all contribute something to their growing up. My role is animal knowledge. We’ve been to just about every zoo/wildlife park in gay uk!

Q. What kind of parent do you think you would make, would you give in? or would you be strict? NEIL: I would like to think I would be a good parent... However, its the kind of thing you learn on the job isn’t it? I’d like to think I’d give them lots of love and encouragement where warranted while mindful that they will some day have to make their own way in the world. DEBBIE: I’d be a mix of John Lennon and Julia Davies from Nighty Night. I’m laid back but ever so slightly leftfield! I also lose my keys on a daily basis, so probably not the best skills to be a parent.

Q. What were you like as a child? nightmare brat or little angel. NEIL: I was born with a hernia which no-one realised for months, hence I screamed the house down until it was diagnosed. From what my Mum has told me, they really fussed over me because they were first time parents. I think by the time my last brother came along they were seasoned pro’s! I think my parents did a pretty good job on myself and my 3 brothers. We certainly weren’t spoiled, but we never went without. The most important thing was the love and


encouragement both our parents gave us. So much of who you are as a person is formulated in those crucially influential early years. Having the right kind of people steering you really makes the difference. DEBBIE: Both. Sadly, like most people I know, my parents split somewhere along the line and I think it makes you very insecure as a child. This is where I get really shirty with bigots who say gay people shouldn’t have kids as it’s “unnatural”. Well, I can say the only consistency we had as kids was my gorgeous gay Uncle David who helped raise us. He was our rock in turbulent times. When I see samesex couples who want a child more than anything, I think why can’t the rest of society take a leaf out of their book and really think about who they want to start a family with? We wouldn’t be in the state we are now if everyone had the dedication and commitment same-sex couples have to child rearing.

baby?! Although I think to go any further than this is one step too far. This whole concept of creating a ‘designer baby’ is pure selfishness on the part of the parents. It goes against nature. In striving for something perfect you’re missing out on the imperfections. In my experience of life, its the imperfections that make us all so unique. DEBBIE: Absolutely not. We are not in the same state as China where you are doomed if you’re born female. A child, whatever the sex, is a blessing and not a right. We are not God and to mess with genetics like that (the sex of a baby) makes us Frankenstein. Also, if you choose the sex of your baby isn’t it a touch vain and selfish? I know you can order a car in any colour and customise it till you’re blue in the face, but surely something as amazing as a child isn’t like picking something out of an Argos catalogue. The thought of it leaves me a little cold.

I’d be a mIx of John Lennon and JuLIa davIes from Nighty Night. I’m LaId back but ever so sLIghtLy LeftfIeLd! I aLso Lose my keys on a daILy basIs, probabLy not the best skILLs to be a parent. Q. Would you consider adoption or surrogacy to star a family?

Q. Neil – Would you consider being a sperm donor for your friend?

NEIL: I’ve never felt that maternal need to create my own off-spring. I’ve always felt that there are so many Orphans in the world, Therefore if I were to become a parent I think it would be wrong not offer a family and home to a child that has gone without.

No. I really do feel there are already plenty of kids that need a good home. Remember the biggest single issue facing our race at the moment is over population. Isn’t it time we started to behave like adults?! :-)

DEBBIE: Both. If I was with someone who wanted to start a family, I’d be open to anything, kinda like Ms. Jolie... I love that she hasn’t married. You don’t need to in order to raise a family. Some people feel trapped, that I can relate to. Marriage doesn’t mean you make better parents, despite what society says (which has obviously worked eh...113,949 divorces in 2009).

Q. Debbie – Would you consider being a surrogate for your friend?

Q. Do you agree with being able to choose the sex of your baby? NEIL: If it really matters to the individuals concerned who are we to say whether its right or wrong to choose the sex of your


Of course, I’ve already offered to be a womb with a view. When I first started at Gaydar Radio, I offered my lady bump on air to two gorgeous listeners called Missy and Crewy. We spoke about it loads and had some great calls from people who had been sperm donors/surrogates for their gay friends. I’ve never known such selflessness than that of the gay community. It’s incredibly moving.

Neil and Debbie present the breakfast show on Gaydar Radio, weekdays 7am–11am –

july / AuGuST 2011 – ISSuE 01


ISSUE 01 – jUly / AUGUST 2011




Becoming a proud parent made singer Ricky Martin realise he needed to be proud to be gay, too. Closeted and ashamed as a macho Latin icon, here he explains how loving his twin toddlers Matteo and Valentino taught him to love himself and be open with his fans about his identity as a gay man.


n 29 March 2010, Ricky Martin posted a short statement on his official website. It read: “I am a fortunate homosexual man. I am very blessed to be who I am.” After years of hiding, he didn’t want to be afraid any more. “The word ‘happiness’ took on a new meaning for me the day I came out on my website,” says Ricky. “But first, I felt numb, then relieved, and after that I started crying like a baby.” And this is a gay man who knows exactly what a crying baby sounds like – in stereo. It was becoming a father to twins Matteo and Valentino that made Ricky realise he needed to start being completely open about who he is. “The moment I sat down and held my children in my arms, I knew that I needed to be honest for their sake,” he explains. “I didn’t want my children to lie for me. Or for them to see a dad who is ashamed of himself. I wanted for us to behave in public the same way as we do in private. That they can say, ‘My dad’s gay. What’s wrong with that?’” »





Ricky’s full name is Enrique Martin Morales, and he was born in 1971 in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Always photogenic, he began to appear in advertisements from the age of six, and by 12 he had become the all-singing, all-dancing standout star of prototype boy-band Menundo. The group were massively successful in the Latin music world and broke through to wider fame, even landing an Oprah interview. “You’re 12 years old and you’re a rock and roll star and you’re supposed to do whatever it takes to call the attention of the girls and other than that you’re a faggot,” says Ricky. “When you’re an adult it can be confusing at times. Imagine what that feels like at 12. You feel attraction and chemistry. That’s not what you’re supposed to be feeling, no that’s not right, The church says it’s evil.” It all added up to a situation in which “I tried every possible way not to be gay…first because of my faith, then because of being a star.” Ricky has retained his religious faith, though. “For me to be a gay man is the most amazing blessing. God doesn’t make mistakes. If it wasn’t because I was gay, Valentino and Matteo wouldn’t have been part of my life.” Ricky’s twin sons were born in 2008 with the aid of two different women, an egg donor and a surrogate carrier, and the process was ‘closed’, meaning that although the surro-

ISSUE 01 – jUly / AUGUST 2011

If I knew comIng out was goIng to be thIs easy, I would have done It 10 years ago, the letters I receIved were just so beautIful. the love that I’ve felt comIng from the audIence, from the medIa, and my colleagues, has been amazIng. gate carrier had spoken to Ricky by phone to agree the arrangement, his identity was never revealed to her. For the first two months of his children’s life, Ricky did everything with no nanny or hired help. He has joked in the past that when his children ask who their mother is, he’ll say “You’re looking at her.” These days he has a rule that he’s never away from his children for more than two consecutive nights, and they come with him on the road, including for the international arena tour for his new album, Musica Alma Sexo. Now open about his life as a gay parent, Ricky has published an autobiography, ME, in which reflects on fatherhood, his music career, and his charity foundation (which channels vast sums towards protecting vulnerable children around the world). But it took him until he was 38 years old to come out publicly. Even after the birth of his twins, he didn’t immediately speak out.


After outgrowing Menundo, Ricky had slowly but surely ascended to the position of Latin superstar. His fourth Spanish language album spawned a cross-over hit, La Copa De La Vida, which was the official song for the 1998 World Cup, making it clear that Ricky had the potential to go truly global. In 1999, his first English language album did just that and took his career to another level with the single Livin’ La Vida Loca. It was number one in the States for five weeks, and Ricky found himself the archetypal macho heartthrob, flanked by scantily-clad female dancers. He posed with naked women on the cover of Rolling Stone. As far as passing for straight was concerned, he was in over his head. It’s horrible to hear him say that he had concluded: “You know what? I think I hate myself.” And despite the fact that his parents were accepting and supportive of his true sexuality (Ricky »


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CELEBRITY INTERVIEW Ricky describes his son Valentino (far left) as “A very noble boy. He’s always sharing. He puts others first, and I think it’s a beautiful quality.” Matteo, meanwhile, “is very outgoing. He takes initiative and he’s very inquisitive.”

TWO TODDLERS CAN GET HECTIC, BUT BEING A FATHER FEELS AMAZING. EVERY DAY THEY TEACH ME DIFFERENT THINGS. came out to his mother in his twenties, and she responded with a warm hug) it was generally assumed the coming out would be the death of his career. “Many people told me: ‘Ricky, everything you’ve built will collapse if people get to know that you’re gay. Many people in the world are not ready to accept your nature.’ Because all this advice came from people who I love dearly, I decided not to share with the world my entire truth. I allowed myself to be seduced by fear and my own insecurity.” Undoubtedly the journalist who pushed Ricky the hardest to comment on whispers about his sexuality was American broadcaster Barbara Walters, in a TV interview in 2000. “You could make these rumours go away. You could say yes I am gay or no I’m not,” she told him. “For some reason I just don’t feel


like it,” replied a cornered Ricky. He says he felt “violated” and was not ready to open up. “When someone is not ready, we must not try to force that person to come out,” he says. “Right now people that are committing suicide because they’re forced to come out. You’re ready whenever you’re ready.” There was one force in Ricky’s world that was even stronger than his internalised homophobia though, and that was his desire to have children. A single man at that time (he now reportedly has a partner), Ricky says that in 2007 he found himself doing internet searches on adoption and surrogacy. “From the moment I Googled surrogacy to the moment I held my children in my arms was exactly 12 months.” It was something he felt was destined to happen. “Two toddlers can


get hectic, but being a father feels amazing. Every day they teach me different things. When you have a two-year-old saying every other hour, ‘Papi, te amo, Papi, I love you,’ it can’t get better.” Fatherhood had changed Ricky irrevocably. And becoming a single father via surrogacy made it hard to retain the facade of heterosexuality; perhaps that was one of the best things about it. “I had to [come out] because I couldn’t take it anymore,” he says. “But who gave me that final push was definitely my children, because if I didn’t come out for them, what was I going to be teaching them? How to lie? I don’t want my family to be based on lies. I want to be transparent to them. I want them to be proud of their dad. I want them to be proud of themselves, of their family.” Next to becoming a dad, it was the best thing he ever did. “If I knew coming out was going to be this easy, I would have done it 10 years ago,” he says. “The letters I received were just so beautiful. The love that I’ve felt coming from the audience, from the media, and my colleagues, has been amazing. I’m in such a cool moment in my life.” Ricky is at his happiest when he’s talking about his children. He describes his son Valentino as “A very noble boy. He’s always sharing. He puts others first, and think I it’s a beautiful quality.” Matteo, meanwhile, “is very outgoing. He takes initiative and he’s very inquisitive.” Ricky says he hopes to have more children eventually, either by surrogacy or adoption. In the more immediate future, having completed a year-long tour for the new album, in 2012 Ricky will be taking a role in a new Broadway production of Evita. “The opportunity is huge career-wise and I think that the stability of Broadway will be great for my kids and me. I’ll be able to take them to school. Life is wonderful, isn’t it?” Ricky’s new album ‘Musica+Alma+Sexo’ and the his book ‘ME’ are both out now for more info please visit To donate to the Ricky Martin Foundation, which defends children’s rights around the world, visit


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ISSUE 01 – jUly / AUGUST 2011




Barrie Drewitt-Barlow talks about his and his partners experience of surrogacy, which led them to help others in achieving parenthood


fter many years of advocating same-sex parenting and having gone through three surrogacy situations myself, resulting in 5 children, its no wonder the bags under my eyes are getting worse with every passing week! Parenthood via surrogacy was pushed upon us. We tried the adoption & fostering route but in the mid 90s, the gay-friendly revolution was only beginning and our local social services were unwilling to work with same-sex couples. We fought for same-sex couples to be given the rights of heterosexual couples but it got us nowhere. Our critics shouted that we should not be applauded for recommending surrogacy as an option to same-sex parenting when there were so many children in care; however that option was just not there for us. It was during a trip to LA in 1996 that we met Gail Taylor and Will Halm. They created the world’s first, gay only surrogacy agency, Growing Generations. We signed up immediately! By December 1999 Aspen & Saffron, our first twins were born. Due to our experiences, we decided to open a centre promoting same-sex parenting, offering project management of surrogacy cases globally for clients of every sexual orientation. The British Surrogacy Centre and our “Ten steps to Parenthood via surrogacy” were born! With surrogacy, there are no host/donor infertility issues. You use the egg of one woman and the uterus of another who has had no infertility issues before. Most likely, she has had several successful pregnancies prior to being your surrogate. If you use the right clinic and method, the chances are that your surrogate is going to get pregnant. In my view, gestational surrogacy is the best method for many couples fighting infertility and the only method for a same-sex couple. »




SURROGACY STEPS California, a surrogacy contract is enforceable. If the contract were broken, the courts would decide the outcome based on the agreement made. When composing your contracts, consider a clause mentioning what should happen in the eventuality that you were both to die during the pregnancy. You would need to decide the children’s next of kin and your wishes for the children’s future if the worst happened.

THE 10 sTEps:


Is surrogacy for me? If yes, you need to determine if you are going to do the facilitation yourself, or use an agency or project manager. Surrogacy and commercial surrogacy are illegal in many countries; it may also be illegal to advertise for a surrogate. There are agencies globally that can help you. When looking at reviews online remember that they can’t please all of the people all of the time. Some agencies have been around for many successful years with minor setbacks, but you can only judge them on how they treat you. You will need to arrange an introductory consultation where they will discuss all of your options, give advice on all aspects of surrogacy and allow you to ask questions. If you choose an international agency, you may well have to travel to them. However, some agencies may work online with you and some even tour regions!


Physicians meet your surrogate and egg donor to calculate where they are in their menstrual cycles. Each will be put on medication and monitored over a few weeks preparing for egg retrieval and transfer of embryos. Most likely, the surrogate would be on medication to regulate her cycle to that of the egg donor and make her uterus ready for the transfer. The transfer of the most viable embryos is normally between 3-5 days after retrieval of the eggs to allow fertilisation. By all means increase your chances by transferring two embryos, any more than two and there is an increased chance problems.

Now THE waiT bEgiNs!


After the initial meeting, the contracts and retainer need to be discussed. When you have your agency, you will sign a retainer agreement. The agency will begin working with you to find the perfect surrogate and/or egg donor. No agency has surrogates/egg donors on a waiting list and if you are told they do, they are unlikely to be the right agency. Be prepared to wait for a good surrogate; don’t rush into the first offer because you want to get the process underway!


At this stage you’re looking for confirmation of pregnancy. Pregnancy testing can be done after the 10th day. More than likely your surrogate will have been pregnancy testing for the past week and not told you about it! The hope is that we see a positive result and you can sit back and enjoy the pregnancy.


Testing and registering with the clinician. Registering can be either in person or occasionally, by telephone. However, all medical testing will need to be performed to FDA, HFEA or locally equivalent guidelines. The clinic might also have their requirements to add to this. At minimum, HIV and STD testing will be conducted on all parties. Most will require you to undergo counselling. You may also have sperm tested and frozen at this time to cut down waiting times.


Obtaining Parental Rights. Depending on which country your surrogate is giving birth in; you may have to follow a different procedure. In the UK, you cannot apply for parental rights for your baby until 6 weeks after birth. Even if the baby and surrogate have no biological link, she is seen as the legal mother and has all the rights. In the USA, each State is different. California, allows you to establish parental rights to an unborn child. From four months of pregnancy, the courts can be petitioned to establish you as the legal parents of any children born to your surrogate between two dates, it also allows you to have your names placed on the birth certificate. You should establish your parental rights during the first semester.


Your facilitator will use your sperm’s quarantine period to match you and your surrogate/egg donor. Let them know the type of relationship you are looking for with the surrogate, an involved approach or a more distant one talking with the surrogate only after appointments etc. To find your perfect match, you will complete a detailed profile on you and your partner with photos. This profile can be matched with possible egg donors and surrogates and shared with the matches. Names can be left out but this depends on the type of relationship you wish to have with your surrogate and/or egg donor.


The Birth. From the moment your baby is born, it is your responsibility to look after him or her. Depending on where your surrogate gives birth and the clinic’s views on surrogacy you may need to do certain things. In California for example, you will need to show the hospital a copy of the pre-birth court order so protocols can be put in place for your baby to come straight to you after the birth.


Meeting surrogates/egg donors is a personal choice. Once the facilitator has egg donor profiles for you and recommended a couple of surrogates, you may wish to meet them. Or, you may wish to use an anonymous egg donor. The facilitator will enable this by assigning the egg donor a number, and referring to you only by the first letters of your forenames. Although they will select possible matches for you, the decision on the egg donor is ultimately yours. They should decide on a matching surrogate.

If your baby is born abroad and is with you, a paper copy of the birth certificate is required to arrange for a passport with the embassy to go home. Also, check with the airline at what age they allow an infant to travel as all airline policies vary. Barrie Drewitt-Barlow is the head of social work at the British Surrogacy Center, which has been involved in same-sex parenting since 1994, with over half of their team members having been through the process of surrogacy and egg donation. For more info please visit


Once you have your final matches, you need to think about their contracts. In some countries these may not be legally enforceable. In the UK, the courts would not take the contract into account if you needed to uphold any part of it. In contrast, in

ISSUE 01 – jUly / AUGUST 2011



Intelligent Profile Oregon Reproductive Medicine



ne of the most eminent infertility centres in the United States is experiencing a new following - European gay couples wanting to have a baby. Oregon Reproductive Medicine, located on the West coast in Portland, has nearly unmatched pregnancy success rates, likely the reason that same sex couples are choosing to start or grow their families at the Northwest centre. Oregon Reproductive Medicine’s four physicians, all specialists in reproductive endocrinology, work with patients from all over the globe in their well-known donor egg programme. “About half of our patients who want to have a baby via donor egg are from outside Portland,” Brandon J. Bankowski, MD, MPH, says. While Oregon is a popular tourist destination for international travellers, Bankowski believes that patients are coming to Portland for one reason, and it isn’t to see the Pacific Ocean! “They want success. That’s patients’ number one priority regardless of where they live in the world. And in their research about success rates, IVF, donor egg and gestational surrogacy programmes, they find Oregon Reproductive Medicine,” John S. Hesla, MD, says. The most recent data available from the US government shows that donor egg pregnancy success rates at Oregon Reproductive Medicine are nearly 80%, placing them near the top of all US infertility centres. European gay couples, often unable to proceed with using a donor’s eggs and surrogate in their home countries, are more and more looking to the United States for options. In the past, many patients selected centres in New York City and Boston because of their proximity to Europe. But today it’s common for these future dads to look closer at the data available through and base their selection on where they are most likely to have success. “It is a big decision to proceed with using a donor and working with a surrogate in the United States. So it’s imperative that patients do their

homework and select a practice that is most likely to make their dream come true, and at a cost they can afford,” Jonathan Kipp, marketing director at Oregon Reproductive Medicine, says. Oregon Reproductive Medicine’s costs are often appealing to gay and straight European patients. The centre’s price plans are typically lower than infertility centres in larger US cities. Compensation for egg donors and surrogates also tends to be more affordable in smaller US cities, Kipp says. Some gay couples visiting Portland to become parents are nervous at first. After all, they are not only about to become parents but they are in a foreign country. “But they soon realise that being at Oregon Reproductive Medicine in Portland, Oregon, is about the best place they could be to move forward with their dream of a baby,” Kipp says. “We are confident that they’ll fall in love with Portland while they experience our unmatched personalised care.” Portland, home to a sizeable gay population including many couples with children, is considered one of the most gay-friendly cities in the US. “We are always happy to welcome our European patients,” Hesla says. “We not only have the opportunity to introduce them to an amazing part of the United States, but we get to watch their biggest dream come true. It doesn’t get better than that.”

For additional information about Oregon Reproductive Medicine’s services, or are interested in scheduling an appointment, contact: 2222 NW Lovejoy. St., Suite 304, Portland, Oregon USA 97210 Phone: 877-567-4994 or 503-274-4994

See us at the Alternative Families Show at the Grand Connaught Rooms, Covent Garden, London on Saturday 17 September 2011






Whether you are planning for a baby, expecting a baby or already have a family, here are some great destinations for every stage of parenthood, to help you relax, and offer an escape from the stress of everyday living.



FOUR SEASONS RESORT / BORA BORA If your idea of paradise is white sand and crystal clear waters, then look no further! The resort which opened in 2008 is set on a 54 acre lagoon, facing Bora Bora’s towering Mount Otemanu. The Four Seasons Bora Bora boasts 100 exotic over-water suites, all fantastically designed with your comfort in mind, with hammocks set up for sunbathing during the day and stargazing at night, allowing you to totally escape and immerse yourself within the spirit of French Polynesia. For an added treat why not stroll down to the spa, where wooden walkways lead to a variety of treatments rooms. The exquisite Kahaia Spa Suite, with its glass floor suspended above the lagoon is an ideal haven for treatments including hot stone massage, Balinese massage and Sea of life facials. This hotel offers an oasis of tranquillity and the ultimate getaway for couples thinking about starting their family.



This small luxury Gay Resort and Spa located on Mexico’s beautiful Tulum Riviera Maya, has private oceanfront views of the barrier reef, and is minutes away from ancient Mayan ruins – a perfect place to unwind.


As one of Prague’s leading 5-star boutique hotels, the award winning Le Palais offers luxurious suites, relaxing spa treatments, fine dining and is only a romantic 10 minute stroll to the beautiful historic old town.




july / AuGuST 2011 – ISSuE 01


BOscOlO ExEdRA MilANO / MilAN, itAly

If shopping is your idea of relaxing, then why not try this hotel, located in the heart of Milan’s fashion district, a stones throw away from as much shopping as you can handle!


iBizA cORsO hOtEl ANd sPA / iBizA, sPAiN

This Hotel is reported to be the best on the island, with its state-of-the-art interiors and funky decor set within the historic landscape of Ibiza, with the Old Town located nearby.

ciNQ & sEPt / lANgUEdOc, FRANcE If you are thinking of going away while you are expecting, either naturally or with your surrogate, it doesn’t have to be stressful, so why not pack yourselves off to a traditional wineproducing village in the unspoiled Languedoc region, which offers great seafood at its bustling ports along the coast. With a home from home experience, the Cinq & Sept offers 5 delightful self catering apartments, all with the mod cons you would expect, such as free WIFI, flat screen TVs, air conditioning, and a private heated pool set in the gardens of this 18th century building – perfect for those late night naked swims. The Languedoc region in southern France is becoming one of the most popular destinations for gay holidays in Europe. Montpellier, the capital of the region, is France’s second “gay capital” - with lots of great bars, cafes, and restaurants. The local beaches are wide and sandy with some that are wild and secluded - while others have trendy beach clubs where you can sunbathe on their sun decks while waiters serve you cocktails.

ISSUE 01 – jUly / AUGUST 2011




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Post PreGnanCY Paradise With the kids JW Marriott Phuket resort & sPa / Phuket, thailand If you already have a family, and are looking for ideas, why not explore the Phuket Resort and Spa. Just 15km north of Phuket Airport and set against a backdrop of lush greenery with the sound of waves gently lapping at beach this hotel is going to be a winner for the whole family.

ISSUE 01 – jUly / AUGUST 2011

With over 11 bars and restaurants to choose from, each offering its own distinctive menu, Indulgence is the name of the game. The Marriot resort also offer the “Family indulgence in Phuket”, a comprehensive package which includes your rooms, meals, an organised picnic on the beach and an endless list of activities, including Batik painting, Thai dancing, yoga, face painting and for those who might get bored of that, how about a bit of circus training with a flying trapeze thrown in! And if that really isn’t enough, another great day for the entire family is the “Thai Ginja cooking course for kids and families” where everyone can learn with one of the hotel chefs how to make authentic Thai dishes. They offer spa treatments for kids of all ages, so after learning to fly the trapeze or knocking up a phad thai, you can sit back relax and get pampered. With all these fantastic activities, what’s not to make your holiday here the best family holiday to date?


hotel adler therMae / tusCanY, italY

Situated in the heart of Tuscany, this hotel offer a kids club open all week, leaving you to relax at the fabulous spa or take a swim in the natural hot spring pool.

GreCotel kos iMPerial / kos, GreeCe

This hotel has already carved itself a niche as the most luxurious on Kos, providing a wide variety of family accommodation and activities making it a great family destination!


We opened our doors in May 1994. Since our inception, we have become the leader in Reproductive Medicine and Assisted Reproductive Technologies on the Island of Crete. We have assisted thousands of people from across the country and around the world obtain their dreams of starting a family. We are committed to offering you affordable and successful treatment in your family building process. Dr Jacumakis Ioannis

For information contact : Monica Tsouroupaki mobile 00306972247074 24 Zimvrakakidon St., Chania 73136 Crete, Greece Telephone: +302821090955 / e-mail:



Pink Parenting’s Giorgio and Jeff recently caught up with two inspirational Americans who have opened their home up to 12 kids via adoption. Steven and Roger Ham tell their struggle to change the lives of their adopted children whilst battling with legislations and same-sex adoption laws.



teven and Roger Ham have always wanted a family, from the first day they met, but bringing together this dream has not been easy. Steven and Roger are a gay couple who live in Arizona, a state where two men can’t get married nor adopt children together. In this unbelievable story of adversity and triumph, Steven and Roger Ham have managed to adopt 12 children against all the odds. Both men grew up in large families, Steven as the youngest of 14 children and Roger as the youngest of 12. They met at a bar in Reno, where Roger was bartending and Steven was a frequent customer - a lot more frequent once he met Roger. They fell in love on their first date, and had been together eight years when they finally decided they were ready for a child. Steven and Roger first considered adopting a baby through a private agency. But as Steven did more research on adoption in late 2001, they changed their minds and decided to adopt from state foster care. “With so many kids in the system, we would get the child that we wanted and help a child that no one wanted,” Steven says. He could even picture her: a girl, maybe 3 or 4, perhaps with dark skin and curly hair. But with so many laws surrounding gay marriage and adoption in Arizona, this was going to be a battle like none either had experienced. “The more someone tells me I can’t do something, the more determined I am to do it,” Steven says, “People can think whatever they want to think. We know what makes a family a family.” “We were determined not to let anyone stand in our way to do what we thought was best.” adds Roger. It seemed ridiculous to the pair that, when there are 10,000 children in the Arizona state care, that the priority wasn’t simply to find the best home for each child regardless of parents’ marital status or sexual orientation. “A loving home is a loving home,” Roger says. “Our kids have two parents who love them,” Steven says. “Not all of their friends do.” After months of classes, filling out piles of paperwork and passing background checks and home inspections, Steven was licensed in 2002 as a foster-adoptive parent, meaning he could take in foster children with the intent of adoption. Roger, too, attended the classes and went »





july / AuGusT 2011 – IssuE 01


above left: Ambrose, now 4, has been with Steven and Roger since she was 10 months old above right: Steven and Cooper Ham through the same checks, although he was not officially licensed. Had they been married, the two would have been licensed as a couple, but Department of Economic Security policy requires that single people be licensed individually. Ten of the Hams’ children are adopted from Arizona, two from Washington State. Both dads’ names appear on the birth certificates of the two from Washington. But legally, the 10 children adopted in Arizona belong only to Steven, as the State does not allow same-sex couples to adopt, or for a same-sex partner to adopt a partner’s children. With this in mind, a rather complicated series of legal actions had to be put together to cover all circumstances. Roger legally changed his last name to Ham in 2007, so everyone has the same name and there was less explaining to do when he picked up the children from school or took them to the doctor. A lawyer drew up papers that, in case something happened to either dad, guardianship of the children goes to the other. Medical releases ensure that either dad can take the children to urgent care, and paperwork filed at school means either can pick the children up.

ISSUE 01 – jUly / AUGUST 2011

The more someone Tells me I can’T do someThIng, The more deTermIned I am To do IT, PeoPle can ThInk whaTever They wanT To ThInk. we know whaT makes a famIly a famIly. “Honestly, my thought is, they know that biologically we’re not their parents, but they know who cares for them and who loves them unconditionally,” Steven says.

THE START OF THE HAM FAMILY How the Hams started out wanting one child and ending up with twelve begins with Michael back in 2003. Michael was living in a group home, one of 20 children in a five-bedroom house. When their caseworker sent Steven and Roger to meet the boy to decide whether to adopt him, Michael sat on the end of his bed and told them in a whisper that he got beat up by the other children because he was the smallest. “We didn’t know anything about him, but we knew he deserved more,” Steven says. He and Roger explained that they were two dads instead of a mum and dad. Michael didn’t care, and moved in a week later. The couple’s lives now revolved around a child who didn’t take kindly to anyone telling him what to do - yet then would offer to wipe down the kitchen counters and clean the baseboards. But when Michael called either of the men “Dad,” or curled up next to them


for a bedtime story, or bounced a basketball on the driveway, they knew they were meant to be fathers. But in the months after Michael moved in, he worried endlessly about his four younger brothers and sisters, who still were in foster care. When the boy and his siblings were taken from a neglectful mother, they were placed together in a shelter but soon were split up, with Michael going to one foster home, Elizabeth and Andrew to another and the twins to a third. Constantly worried about his brothers and sisters, Michael would sit for hours, rocking. When Steven and Roger tucked him in at night, he would say wistfully, “I wonder what they are doing right now.” “It was very heart-wrenching to see this little 5-year-old with these big adult concerns. He should have been playing with his Lego,” Steven says. With the help of a caseworker, the men arranged for Michael to see his older two siblings, Elizabeth, 4, and Andrew, 3, at a park. As soon as Andrew and Elizabeth got out of their foster mother’s car, they ran to Michael and clung to him.


In a system in which siblings are split up because someone wants a little girl but not a pre-teen boy, or a baby but not a thirdgrader, Steven and Roger knew they had to at least try to bring these children together. “These were kids who obviously loved one another,” Steven says. “When we saw them together, I knew they had to be together, and I was going to do anything I could do to make that happen.” The state does prefer to keep siblings together - if there is a family willing to take them all. So once the Hams had the three siblings, they turned their attention to the 2-year-old twins, Jackson and Madison, who already were scheduled to be adopted - separately. According to the state’s file, the twins had been deemed “retarded.” Their foster mother claimed the girl had an eating disorder, and that the boy would eat only crisps. Plus, Jackson reportedly was afraid of men. But when Steven, Roger and the three older children visited the twins in January 2004, Jackson wrapped himself around Steven’s leg - and pitched a fit when he left. Steven and Roger requested that the children be placed with them and their siblings. But get-


ting the twins took months longer than for the other children, because of their special needs. And as far as the dads could tell, the twins were normal. So Steven ignored the diagnoses in the twins’ files and worked with them daily, teaching them to count, the alphabet and colours, and asking, “Where are your ears?” and “Where is your nose? Then, in January 2006, Steven decided he wanted the experience of raising a child from the start, but their caseworker expressed doubt that the men would probably not get a baby through the agency’s birth-parent program - in which mothers choose adoptive parents for their babies - because they were a same-sex couple. However, he was accepted straight away and a short while after, the couple were introduced to Marcus, a 15 month old baby whom they adopted after a relative gave him back to the state. As Marcus settled in to his new home, Roger took a call from a court-appointed special advocate telling him that Michael’s 11-year-old cousin Vanessa was back in foster care in Arizona. She had been living with a relative in Chicago who had planned to »


The ham family – by The numbers 2 12 4 2 1 1 2 1 6 4 9 23 3 6 5 3 3 3

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

dads kids dogs (Crazy, spike, zeus & georgia) CaTs (ripper, zoe) parroT (Corkie) guinea pig (bella) refrigeraTors sTand-alone freezer gallons of milk a week loads of laundry a day mobile phones, inCluding dads bikes and Trikes huffy green maChines sChools bedrooms liTTle Tikes raCe-Car beds baThrooms ipads

july / AuGuST 2011 – ISSuE 01

IN THE SPOTLIGHT below: Marcus giggles at bath time, right: Roger and Steven still find time for each other usually when the kids are at school.

Sure, there are dayS when I am rIppIng my haIr out, but I wouldn’t change It for anythIng, we knew the kIdS deServed a better lIfe, and Someone who would love them, no matter what. adopt the girl, but had changed her mind. It was quickly decided that the couple would adopt Vanessa too. In October 2006, Steven and the children were in the garden, hanging fake cobwebs and setting out pumpkins for Halloween, when a caseworker arrived with a baby in her arms. “Are you Steven Ham?” the caseworker called, “I have a delivery for you,” No one had called to ask whether he would take another child. But he did of course. And so Ambrose at only 10 months old joined the ever expanding family. Later, in February 2008, a call came from a caseworker asking whether they would take a 6-month-old boy found abandoned behind a Phoenix discount store. No one even knew the name of the big-eared baby clutching a blanket, so Steven named him Cooper. When police found the boy’s mother, her parental rights were severed and Cooper was adopted by the Hams.

ISSUE 01 – jUly / AUGUST 2011

With all their children settled at home, Steven and Roger felt that they could still offer more so Steven listed himself on a national adoption registry and in just weeks, the Hams were matched with Logan, a hearing-impaired 4-year-old who was in foster care in Steven’s hometown in Washington. Then Steven learned that the boy had a sister, Isabel, 11, who was blind in one eye and learning disabled. “Well, send me the information about both of them,” Steven told the caseworker. “If I’m going to take him, I’m going to take his sister, because I don’t separate families.” It was Steven who flew over to Washington to collect the siblings. While he was gone, Roger received a call from a caseworker stating that Cooper’s mother had given birth again, this time to a girl, and abandoned her at the hospital. Did they want her? It was a no brainer - Olivia was 3 pounds, 7 ounces, so tiny Roger could hold her in his hand.


HAPPY FAMILIES AND A FULL HOUSE Finally, with 12 children in the house, Steven and Roger closed their foster-care license. Their family was complete. Neither Steven nor Roger feels the need to become gay rights activist. Instead, they guide other couples interested in foster care and adoption by helping them navigate the system, getting their paperwork in order and offering advice on everything from bedroom furniture, discipline and saving on groceries. They believe they send the strongest message simply by raising their children, and loving them. If it’s ever legal for them to marry in Arizona, Steven and Roger say they’ll be first in line. And if it never happens, well, marriage and birth certificates are not what defines their family. “Sure, there are days when I am ripping my hair out, but I wouldn’t change it for anything,” Steven says. “We knew the kids deserved a better life, and someone who would love them, no matter what. None of my kids will ever tell you, anytime in their lives, even years from now, that they didn’t feel loved.” If you are interested in finding more about adoption why not visit New Family Social, the only UK organisation working for LGBT adopters, foster carers and their children.


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EXPERT VIEWS Enough of the grown-ups’ views! In an exclusive interview for Pink Parenting, we get the scoop from Aspen Drewitt-Barlow about what it’s like to be the son of the UK’s best known gay fathers.






n 1999, 11 years after they first met, Barrie and Tony Drewitt-Barlow were the first British same-sex couple to use donated eggs and a surrogate mother to conceive. Both were named as fathers on the birth certificate of the resultant twins, Saffron and Aspen, who were born in the USA. They’ve gone on to have five children via surrogacy in total (adding son Orlando and twins Dallas and Jasper to their brood). In 2004 The Times called them “the world’s most famous gay fathers”, which may have been true at the time, although Elton and David – who the DrewittBarlow’s reportedly advised on surrogacy – have certainly taken that mantle now. Aspen Drewitt-Barlow is today a handsome blond twelve year-old, old enough to express his own opinions on parenting and family, and to talk about his life as the child of high profile gay parents. The chatter in the British newspapers about the impact of a gay parenting on young lives seems rarely, if ever, to seek the views of children of gay families. There have always been gay parents of course, whether wider society has acknowledged this or not, but until now the British children born via this kind of pioneering surrogacy haven’t been old enough to pipe up with their own views. The first thing I learn about Aspen is that he is certifiably sports-mad. “I like playing cricket, football, tennis, and swimming. I’m really into sports! Cricket is probably the sport that I like the most,” he says, then adds: “I also really like drama.” He tells me he does drama at school and has had a go at acting in productions of musicals like Grease and Priscilla, Queen of the Desert. He is a brilliant kid, really good fun, and polite. When we come to wrap up our chat, he’ll end with “Thank you, it was lovely to talk to you.” “I feel very proud of my dads [for the way they had our family],” says Aspen. “They didn’t do it behind closed doors. They get hundreds of letters all the time. They get letters from gay people’s mums, saying that they have given them hope.” Of his own grandmother, he says, “My nan never thought she have grandchildren!” He expects there may be more family members to come, too. “Dad and Daddy have still got embryos on ice,” he says cheerfully. Like a lot of 12-year-olds, Aspen is into the music of Bruno Mars, although unlike most he adds: “I’ve met him – when he was on Lorainne Kelly’s TV show, and at The Ivy once.”


I DON’T KNOW WHAT THE BEST THING ABOUT HAVING TWO DADS IS BECAUSE I’VE NEVER KNOWN ANYTHING ELSE, BUT ONE OF THE BEST THINGS ABOUT MY DADS IS HOW MUCH THEY LOVE EACH OTHER When I ask him to name someone he admires he instantly, and very sweetly, says, “Eamonn Holmes!” (I wasn’t expecting that.) “I want to be a TV presenter, like him,” explains Aspen. Has he met him? “Yeah, probably hundreds of times, because he’s a friend of Dad’s and Daddy’s.” Is he nice? “Yeah, he’s lovely.” Maybe he can get some tips from Eamonn on how to be a good presenter? “Hopefully.” Holmes interviewed the Drewitt-Barlows in 2000, when they returned to the UK with Aspen and Saffron as babies. Some newspaper articles on the family reminds us that at that time Holmes told them: “There are people who are going to say it’s not natural. [They] will say you’ve been shopping for the ultimate gay accessory.” It’s possible that some people might have interrupted this as a hint of Holmes himself being prejudiced. It’s good to hear that he clearly isn’t, and that he is Aspen’s friend and hero. Of homophobia in general, Aspen says: “We don’t really meet people who don’t like gays. All my friends at school are cool with the fact I have two dads. Often, people are interested about gay parents. I do get a lot of ‘Where’s your mum?’ and that. I have some friends who have gay parents; a lot of them have single gay parents.” I ask Aspen what


qualities he thinks makes someone, of any gender or sexuality, a good parent. “Understanding. Patience. Loving the child, and loving each other as parents. Not fighting all the time. Daddy and Dad might fight about something silly like changing TV channels, but they never have big screaming arguments, and they love each other.“ Does he fight with his siblings? “We fight all the time! But we all love each other loads really. We love going to Pride together.” What the best thing about going to Pride? “Promoting gay parenting. We just try to make it make look normal. And it is normal to me. I don’t know what the best thing about having two dads is because I’ve never known anything else, but one of the best things about my dads is how much they love each other, and I’m glad they are together.” I ask if there is anything else he’d like to say about gay parenting in general. “Well I’d say the thing that annoys me most is when people say that I will turn gay because my dads are gay. Both my dads were both brought up to be straight!” he points out. “A boy once said to me, ‘You’re going to follow in your dad’s footsteps’, meaning gay. But I just said, ‘What? rich and famous?’” We have a laugh at that. “Good one!” I tell him, and we say goodbye.


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Capping the time to conception with the Natural Intimacy Insemination Kit Conceiving in the privacy of your own home has never been easier As we all know, a woman’s egg is only fertilisable for 18 hours per cycle so it’s important to pinpoint that short period of time to optimize your chances of becoming pregnant. Using the sympo-thermal charting of your body’s natural fertility indicators, cyclotest baby does just that! Once you get the time right, you can begin the insemination process using FemCap, the latest generation cervical cap, more commonly used for keeping sperm out. It simplifies the sperm’s journey to the uterus by securely delivering semen right up to the cervix whilst keeping them safely protected from the vaginal environment. Eased into place with a touch of sperm friendly lubricant, it is fastened there firmly to hold those hard working swimmers in place without giving them any chance to escape and can be worn for hours without the woman even noticing, giving them the best chance to do their stuff. Save time, money and confusion with the Natural Intimacy Insemination Kit and start your journey to parenthood today!

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The infamous ‘Turkey Baster’ method of home insemination has been joked about for years, but with minor adjustments, it can be an effective way of conception. Here is everything you need to know to increase your chances of success.


or many people, the lack of ‘creative material’ be it sperm or ovum, can stymie their plans for a family. As appealing as the thought of backless nightgowns, fluorescent lighting and leg stirrups may be, the solution doesn’t have to be found in a fertility clinic. High costs and reduced funding for lesbian couples has made home insemination an increasingly popular option, particularly for those in the LGBT community. Home insemination using a known donor can be a more rewarding process than a traditional clinic route, possibly resulting in a co-parenting agreement or at least some knowledge of whose sperm or egg you will be using. Success rates of IVF or IUI within a clinic range from 5-25%. Home insemination has the same success rate and can be more successful due to the relaxed home environment and the freshness of the sperm. Other benefits include cost, privacy, comfort and the final say over who is involved in the process. Somewhat unfortunately referred to as the Turkey Baster method, home insemination doesn’t have to be an actual turkey baster, (eye watering thought) but rather, a needleless syringe or soft-cup to hold the sperm around the cervix. »



HOME INSEMINATION HOME INSEMINATION DOES CARRY SOME risks though, both to your health and your legal rights, so it’s really important to be sure that it suits you and your future family.

WHEN HOME INSEMINATION COULD BE CONSIDERED: When you are planning to co-parent with another single or couple, whom you know well, and a legal co-parenting agreement is in place. When you are in a civil partnership and you are planning to use a known donor with a legal sperm donor agreement in place. When the donor has had all their health screening checks, has no history of genetic disease in their family and has practiced safe sex for the last 6 months.

AS IMPORTANTLY, WHEN IT SHOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED: When you are a single woman not planning to co-parent as the donor will always be the legal father in the eyes of the law. When you are a lesbian couple, but not in a civil partnership and not wishing to co-parent. Again, the donor will be the legal father in the eyes of the law. When you do not know your donor or co-parent well enough. When your donor has not given evidence of full health screening tests When your donor may be at risk of infection, (not practising safe sex, donating to other women by natural insemination, has ever been an intravenous drug user) If you do find the right donor or co-parent, you may wish to start trying for a child right away. Before this, your donor must visit their doctor or local GUM clinic to get a complete series of infection screening, to include HIV, Hepatitis B & C, Chlamydia, CMV, Syphilis, Gonorrhoea and Genital herpes. (It is important to be aware that many of these tests will not show as positive if they have caught an infection within the last 28 days) The woman should also consider getting tested for infections and get a vaginal swab


THE MOST IMPORTANT THING TO GET RIGHT WHEN PERFORMING HOME INSEMINATION IS THE TIMING. INSEMINATION ON THE RIGHT DAY WILL GREATLY IMPROVE YOUR CHANCES OF SUCCESS. MANY WOMEN PRESUME THAT THEY OVULATE ON DAY 14 OF THEIR 28 DAY CYCLE BUT THIS MAY NOT BE ACCURATE taken to rule out any possible vaginosis or thrush. Bacterial vaginosis is present in as many as 20% of lesbians. It is not a sexually acquired infection, rather an imbalance in the natural bacteria. Bacterial vaginosis has been linked with reduced conception and higher risk of early miscarriage. There is now a new product, Zestica Conception Kit which prepares your vaginal flora to reduce the chance of infection. The next important thing is to get legal advice and a properly drawn up legal donor or co-parenting agreement. This may be an extra expense, but will help prevent any potential problems, further down the line.

THE INS AND OUTS Basically, all you need is a your chosen sperm and a syringe. However, there are ways to maximise your chances of success.

1. 2.

Choose latex free syringes - latex can damage sperm

Use a speculum and extender tip with the syringe. This ensures that the sperm reach the cervix and helps them on their journey.


Use a sperm friendly lubricant – the wrong lubricant can damage sperm, whereas a sperm friendly lubricant can help their motility.


Have an orgasm following insertion of the sperm, this causes the cervix to dip down into the sperm and again helps them on their journey.

5. 6.

Tilt and raise your pelvis with cushions for 30 minutes after insemination.

Use a soft-cup following insertion of the sperm (this is placed around the cervix and can be worn for up to 12 hours to keep them in their place)


The most important thing to get right when performing home insemination is the timing. Insemination on the right day will greatly improve your chances of success. Many women presume that they ovulate on day 14 of their 28 day cycle but this may not be accurate, it can be between day 11 and day 19. Sperm and eggs only have a chance of meeting for around 48 hours, so how to make sure they do? Ovulation tests show as positive when your hormone LH rises just before ovulation but performing a positive ovulation test and then racing down the motorway to pick up sperm is not always very practical. The better option is to track your ovulation with tests and charting basal body temperature. Determine the actual day your egg is released and make plans for the following month. Inseminations can then take place ideally 2-3 times just before ovulation and on the day of ovulation, so that the sperm have time to make their journey to the fallopian tube in time to meet the egg. Other ways of getting your timing right include using fertility monitors to predict your fertile window, such as DuoFertility. This new product is able to give advanced warning of your ovulation by several days and has been shown to be as successful as a cycle of IVF when used for 6 months. Above all, home insemination works best when those involved in the baby making process are relaxed, happy and positive. It can be a real alternative to IVF for many couples and helps create modern gay families with pride.

For further information about home insemination, home insemination kits and fertility options please visit Pride Angel the No.1 fertility resource for same-sex couples


Intelligent Profile DuoFertility fertility monitor




he reasons why people choose assisted reproductive techniques are as diverse as the couples using them, however for many the struggle to conceive is simply about timing. Knowing when a woman will be fertile, sufficiently far in advance to make plans and ensure that sperm meets egg, is for many the only barrier to conceiving at home. DuoFertility is a new fertility monitor and service developed at the University of Cambridge to help couples to start a family. A woman simply wears a patch the size of a 50p coin under her arm, which measures her physiology thousands of times every day. This information is sent over the internet to the fertility centre in Cambridge, where experts analyse it and provide predictions of peak fertility up to a week in advance – and confirm ovulation once it has occurred, so you know that you tried at the right time. Furthermore, should the fertility team identify any underlying issues, a report can be prepared for you and your doctor explaining exactly what has been identified and what this will mean for you. The medical data supporting DuoFertility is impressive – a recent study of 99 women with significant history of infertility and who were eligible for or who had been through IVF, showed the same pregnancy rate as a further cycle of IVF after just 6 months of use. All this without visiting a clinic, injecting fertility drugs, or parting with thousands of pounds. Not only this, but for couples without a history of serious fertility conditions, DuoFertility offer a “Pregnant in 12 months or your money back” guarantee.


Reduce alcohol; alcohol has negative effect on fertility both for men and women. Eat well; it is important that you are eating well when trying for a baby, as this will improve sperm and egg quality. Stop smoking; this is critical both to get pregnant but also for the health of the baby. Get the timing right; there are only a few days when you can get pregnant. DuoFertility can help you know in advance which days give you the best chances of pregnancy.

DuoFertility is available from or direct from the manufacturer for just £495 on

SPECIAL OFFER!! Pink Parenting readers receive £25 off at with code PINK





Family Project The HUMAN RIGHTS CAMPAIGN FOUNDATION FAMILY PROJECT works for fairness and equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender families. Through partnerships with a broad coalition of organizations and individuals, the Family Project dramatically improves the way key institutions serve our families with its three main initiatives: WELCOMING SCHOOLS: A comprehensive, LGBT-inclusive approach to addressing family diversity, gender stereotyping and bullying in elementary school environments. HEALTHCARE EQUALITY INDEX: Establishes the "gold standard" for healthcare institutions regarding policy and practice with LGBT families. ALL CHILDREN – ALL FAMILIES: Provides innovative resources and training to help foster care and adoption agencies welcome and support LGBT families. Visit the Human Rights Campaign website at WWW.HRC.ORG/FAMILY for more information.



I’ve perfected this Teriyaki Chicken Burger recipe after much trying and testing on enthusiastic friends and family. Great burgers like these are at the heart of a great barbecue.

Spending sunny weekends with family and friends relaxing in the garden with a barbecue or picnic is what summer is all about. Here are 3 easy and healthy recipes to enjoy al fresco.

Ingredients • 1 tbsp soy sauce • 1 tbsp hoisin sauce • 1 tbsp honey • Quarter tsp ginger (fresh grated) • Half red onion (55g) chopped • Half tsp olive oil • 1 clove garlic, crushed • 225g minced chicken • 20g breadcrumbs • 1 tsp chopped parsley

Method Mix together the soy, hoisin, honey and ginger and set aside. Sauté the onion in oil for 8 to 10 minutes until soft. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Transfer to a bowl and cool slightly, then mix in the chicken, breadcrumbs, parsley and salt and pepper to taste. Form into 4 burgers and arrange the chicken burgers in a barbecue basket and cook over medium hot coals for 5 minutes each side, until cooked thoroughly. Medium hot coals mean you should be able to hold your hand over the BBQ comfortably for 10 seconds. Brush burgers with teriyaki sauce, turn and cook for 1 minute, brush with sauce again, turn and cook for a further minute. Repeat brushing and turn once more and then serve. Makes 4 burgers







The secret of this salad’s success is it’s delicious dressing which children seem to love. I make up a big bottle and keep it in the fridge as my three children put it on everything. This picnic salad makes a delicious summer lunch and can be served either warm or cold.

Ingredients • 150g pasta bows • 60g French beans • 60g carrots, sliced • 100g frozen sweetcorn • 5 cherry tomatoes, quartered Dressing • 25g onion, finely chopped • 2 fl oz vegetable oil • 2 tbsp rice wine vinegar


• • • • • • • •

(or use 1 ½ tbsp white wine vinegar) 2 tbsp water 1 tbsp chopped fresh ginger root 1 tbsp chopped celery 1 tbsp soy sauce 1 ½ tsp tomato puree 1 ½ tsp caster sugar 1 tsp lemon juice salt and pepper

Method Bring a pan of lightly salted water to the boil, add the pasta and cook until al dente , about 10 minutes but each pasta is different so follow the instructions on the packet.

These are one of my favourite cookies and my son likes them too. These cookies are an unusual but irresistible combination of dried apricots, cream cheese and white chocolate. They are quick and easy to make and take just a few minutes to prepare. You can involve your kids to make these, they would love it.

Ingredients • 8 tbsp (1 stick) unsalted butter • 4 oz cream cheese • Half cup superfine sugar • Half cup all purpose flour • Quarter cup chopped dried apricots • Half cup chopped white chocolate or white chocolate chips



Meanwhile, put the beans and carrots in a steamer and cook for 4 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350°C. Line some baking sheets with parchment or other baking paper.

Add the sweetcorn to the steamer and cook for 3 to 4 minutes or until tender.

In a large mixing bowl cream together the butter and cream cheese. Add the sugar and beat until fluffy. Gradually add the flour, then fold in the apricots and chocolate. The dough will be quite soft – don’t worry! Drop heaping teaspoons of the mixture onto the baking sheets and bake for about 15 minutes until lightly golden. Allow the cookies to cool and harden for a few’ minutes, then transfer to a wire rack. Makes about 18 cookies


Combine all the dressing ingredients in an electric hand blender or food processor, adding a little salt and pepper and process until smooth. Combine the cooked pasta with the vegetables and tomatoes and toss with the dressing. The recipes on this page are from Annabel’s book ‘Feeding Your Baby & Toddler’ the Teriyaki Chicken Burger is from ‘Complete Family Meal Planner’ for more information please visit


Top foods to eat to boost your fertility! A healthy weight and well-balanced diet for both men and women before you conceive will boost your fertility, ensure you are at the best of your health during pregnancy and make sure that you have the energy you will need when your baby finally arrives. Laura McLoughlin, Tesco Diets Nutritionist

What’s important? Folate Why? Helps prevent neural tube defects in your developing baby. Foods: A 400mcg daily folic acid supplement, leafy green veg, beans and citrus fruits.

Iron Why? Boots your iron stores to prepare for increased iron needs during pregnancy. Foods: Red meat, pulses, dried fruits and leafy green vegetables.

Vitamin C Why? Improves iron absorption in your stomach and boosts immunity. Foods: Citrus fruits, kiwi fruits, berries, peppers and leafy green vegetables.

Calcium Why? Essential for your baby’s development and helps to protects mother’s bones. Foods: Dairy, leafy green veg, dried fruit, sesame seeds, beans and chickpeas.

Looking for a fertility clinic that’s right for you? Choose a Fertility Clinic: a complete guide to all UK fertility clinics from the government regulator search by treatment types such as egg and sperm donor treatment and by age and location detailed success rates staff and support services

Alcohol Cutting it out will boost fertility, remove any alcohol related risks when you do get pregnant and limit your intake of “empty” calories for a healthy weight.

Special Offer for Fertility Readers! 2 weeks extra free* If you are looking to follow a healthy, balanced diet, we offer 16 personalised diet plans and support from nutritionists to help you every step of the way. To find out more and get 2 weeks extra free go to today. *10 weeks for the price of 8 at a cost of £2.99 per week. To avail of this offer you must go through

Choose a Fertility Clinic

Battersea Dogs & Cats Home 150 years of dedicated care In 2010, Battersea Dogs & Cats Home commemorates 150 years of dedicated service to London and its surrounding communities. The Home has taken in over three million dogs and cats since it was founded in 1860 and today remains as firm as ever in its commitment never to turn away a dog or cat in need of help. Text HOME to 70123 to donate £3 to Battersea and help us continue our work. Texts cost £3, plus network charge. Battersea Dogs & Cats Home receives: Vodafone £2.70, T-Mobile £2.47, Orange £2.62, O2 £2.65.

WJ1773_BDCH_Generic2_PinkParenting_297x210.indd 1

14/6/11 17:03:13



You can adopt in the UK whether you are gay, lesbian, heterosexual, single, married, unmarried or civil partners. Adoption law can be complex with different legal processes for each type of adoption, including: Adoption of a looked after child in state care Intercounty adoption (adoption of a child from overseas) Adoption of a step-child (the child of a partner or spouse) There are around 4,000 children in the UK each year who need to be adopted. Many of these children are of school age and have siblings who need to be placed together. Some of these children have complex or special needs. An adoption order reassigns legal parental rights from a birth parent to an adoptive parent, creating a new legal family for the child on a permanent basis. The child usually takes the surname of the adoptive parent and obtains the same legal rights as if he/she had been born to them, including inheritance rights.


Surrogacy is becoming an increasingly popular family building option in the UK and internationally. There are two types of surrogacy. A host (or gestational) surrogacy arrangement is where a surrogate carries the pregnancy and the child is conceived using the egg and sperm of the intended parents (or using either the egg or sperm of a third party donor). This means the surrogate has no biological connection with the child. A straight surrogacy arrangement is where a surrogate conceives a child using her own egg and the intended father’s sperm. The surrogate mother is therefore the biological mother of the child. Surrogacy is a restricted but legal practice in the UK. It is illegal to advertise for a surrogate mother or to advertise yourself as a prospective surrogate mother. Commercial surrogacy organisations are prohibited in the UK, although there are various not for profit surrogacy organisations which help put intended parents and surrogate mothers in touch with each other (in the absence of a willing friend or relative). Surrogacy law in the UK can be complex and it expects intended parents to pay a surrogate mother no more than reasonable pregnancy related expenses. Surrogacy arrangements are informal and surrogacy contracts are not binding in the UK as a matter of public policy. Surrogacy law in the UK treats the surrogate mother as the legal mother of the child at birth and her spouse or civil partner as the child’s legal father or second parent. Intended parents must therefore apply to court for a parental order within six months of the child’s birth to reassign legal parental rights to themselves and extinguish the legal status of the surrogate parents on a permanent basis.

You can legally become a parent or care for a child in the UK in a variety of different ways, including: Becoming a foster carer Adopting a child that is looked after by a local authority Adopting a step-child (private adoption) Intercountry adoption Surrogacy


There are many different types of fostering in the UK. Foster carers can provide emergency care for children for a few nights, short breaks to give children with special needs a pre-planned short stay (and some respite for their usual carers) and remand fostering where a child is “remanded” by the court in the care of a specially trained foster carer. Foster carers can also offer long term and permanent care for children that cannot return to their birth family but choose not to be adopted, being typically older children that have regular contact with relatives. “Family and friends” or “kinship” fostering enables children looked after by a local authority to be cared for by people they know, including uncles, aunts, siblings or grandparents. Private fostering helps parents make arrangements with someone who is not a relative to care for a child for more than 27 days. Special rules have to be complied with and the local authority must be notified and visit to check the child’s welfare. All foster carers are registered and contracted with a local authority, voluntary or independent agency. There are no upper age limits for fostering and a wide range of foster carers from different backgrounds are needed. Foster carers receive special training and assessment and undergo an annual review to check they are still suitable to continue fostering. They also receive an allowance to cover the costs of caring for the child in their home.


USEFUL WEBSITES British Association of Adoption and Fostering – Surrogacy UK – Childlessness Overcome Through Surrogacy – Louisa Ghevaert, UK fertility and parenting law expert at Porter Dodson Solicitors and Advisors –




Behind the brand...

ANNABEL KARMEL Since publishing her first book, The Complete Baby and Toddler Meal Planner, 20 years ago, Annabel Karmel has become a nutritional guru for every parent in the country.


o date she has written 24 books on food and child nutrition, developed a range of organic purées, snacks, pasta and ready-meals as well as recently filming her own kids cooking show on CITV called Annabel’s Kitchen. I recently caught up with Annabel for a chat to learn more about the Annabel Karmel brand and her passion for child nutrition. Annabel’s story of how she became a house-hold name started in 1991 after the birth of her son Nicholas. As he grew up, he became a very fussy eater. Not having much experience at that time of fussy eating, Annabel became increasingly concerned. “I just felt that I wanted to give my child the best start in life” she says, “I felt quite vulnerable when he didn’t eat properly but


the only books I could find had bland recipes, so I started adapting the healthy foods we ate as a family, like soups, into things he could eat” At the same time, Annabel was running a baby group, with 70 mothers, and found that they were an invaluable source of comfort and support to her during Nicholas’ early years. “I would go in and ask all my friends if their kids were fussy and found that a lot of mums also had fussy eaters and that this was a lot more common than I thought” This spurred Annabel into doing some of her own research and started to give Nicholas her own home-made recipes. “I started to take my recipes to the mothers in my group asking them to go home and test them out on their kids”, she says laughing. “They all came back saying that the recipes


were fantastic, and suggested that I write a book on feeding babies and to include all of my recipes that I had written” A year prior to giving birth to Nicholas, Annabel tragically lost her daughter, Natasha, to a viral infection at just 13 weeks. “I remember thinking at the time what a fantastic legacy it would be to Natasha to write a book to help mothers bring up their children on healthy foods - and this was great way to help me get over my loss” she says. “I had no idea how to write a book, I didn’t even know how to switch on a computer, but I dedicated two and half years speaking to experts on child nutrition, actually talking to everyone and anyone that would listen” she laughs. “When I started to write the book, which was based on scientific facts and research, I found that there were so many misconceptions about what to give and what not to give a baby – no wonder the food was tasteless – we were all worried about adding something nice that it would end up boring!” »



You owe it to Your child. it’s not good enough that You give them sterilised long-life purées for the first Year of their lives - it just doesn’t make sense.

“With no real reason why not to add garlic, herbs and cheese to baby’s food, I blew away all the misconceptions on feeding babies.” The Complete Baby and Toddler Meal Planner initially struggled to get published, being rejected by 15 publishing houses before finally Random House agreed to give Annabel a chance. Her book went on to sell over 4 million copies, and is still one of the top cookery books sold in the UK. Annabel has also worked as a children’s food consultant for Marks & Spencer and designed the children’s recipes for Asquith nurseries. In 2007, launched ‘Make Your Own’, a range of baby food equipment for Boots, including utensils, cutlery and ice cube trays. “I thought that if all these big companies are approaching me to help them develop their range, why not try build my own brand?” Annabel recalls, “I remember the experience being very scary as I was contemplating trying to compete with big companies with their well established brands, who had a lot more money and resources behind them” “I knew that the one to four-year-old market was an area that was neglected, all

ISSUE 01 – jUly / AUGUST 2011

the supermarket food was for four years and older. So I decide to develop recipes within that age group, which were all very low in saturated fats and salt, but still very tasty”. Annabel launched her own range of healthy meals for young children, now sold in Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Waitrose, and last year also launched a range of organic sauces and pastas to all the major supermarkets in the UK. When asked about the future of baby food and child nutrition Annabel replies. “My dream is to put fridges and freezers, in the baby food isle, in every supermarket, so as to allow parents to buy fresh food, as there are always going to be mums, or dads, that don’t cook, so why shouldn’t they have good quality food for their babies?“, she says enthusiastically, “The market is still being dominated by long-life foods, which is shame as babies need good healthy nutritious food” Also on Annabel’s quest is to promote the importance of showing children how to cook. “I am very keen to get kids cooking” she explains, “I remember when my children were younger I would invite all their friends over and we would cook together, I found it was a great way for them to enter the adult world and they felt very grown up, I got them into learning a life skill because we all know how important it is to cook otherwise we would just live on junk food”


“No ready-meal will taste as good as fresh made, that’s the honest truth” Annabel says matter of factly, “so it’s very important to learn how to cook!” Annabel has just finished filming her own TV show on CITV where she cooks with two loveable puppet penguins called Jimmy and Pearl. The show, Cooking with Annabel is only on for ten minutes at a time and has been an instant success, being one of the most popular on the ITV website. With so much going on in her life, it is a wonder how she has had time to do anything else, but Annabel has won a string of awards including a Lifetime Achievement Award from Mother & Baby magazine, to being awarded an MBE in June 2006 for her outstanding work and contribution to children’s nutrition. It is true to say that Annabel has revolutionised baby food and child nutrition, and she firmly believes that parents these days, are more receptive to the idea of good nutrition thanks partly to high profile press campaigns and the work of celebrity chefs such as Jamie Oliver. Annabel finishes up our chat with some wise words; “You owe it to your child. It’s not good enough that you give them sterilised long-life purées for the first year of their lives - It just doesn’t make sense to me”


With Annabel Karmel’s chilled meals in your fridge, you will always have a tasty and nutritious dish for your growing toddler, even when you don’t have time to prepare something yourself. Now available in Dunnes Stores. Download Annabel’s iPhone App and get 100 recipes perfect for babies, toddlers and the whole family.

Available on the App Store for €5.99.


ASK AWAY... Clinical Psychologist and mum Dr. Sam Fraser, answers all of your parenting questions and queries.


problems, or your child hasn’t outgrown it by the early teen years, talk to your doctor. Other ways that can help are: listening to soft relaxing music, establishing a regular sleep schedule with earlier bedtimes, not allowing your son to drink to much before bed as a full bladder can contribute to sleepwalking, and finally make sure your son’s bedroom is quiet, cosy, and conducive to sleeping.

Me and my partner are expecting our first child via surrogate in September. We have sat down and discussed when it is best to tell our daughter that we are a gay couple. As we cannot agree on this – we would love to know your advice. – Scott and David, London

The age of your daughter clearly effects how you tell her and also at what point you tell her. However it’s important that when you do decide to tell her, you use language that is age appropriate and that she will clearly understand. Rather than over loading her with details at this stage, it is often best to introduce the idea and then allow her to ask questions and raise her concerns. Generally, it helps to explain to her about how much you both enjoy being parents and what happiness she has brought to your lives. Describe how there are many different types of family and ways in which people can make babies.



It is a good idea to allow your daughter to be involved in the care of the baby from the outset, as it is the best way of getting her to positively bond with her sibling, and give her the opportunity to establish herself in a sisterly role. Children learn through your modelling of behaviour so if your daughter sees you being gentle and caring, and recognising the vulnerability of the newborn she will follow suit. Don’t forget to always praise your daughter whenever you see her touching the baby gently. Make a big fuss about her being the important “older sister.” Let her help with simple tasks such as sprinkling baby powder or putting on socks etc. Try not to use phrases such as: ‘be quiet and don’t wake the baby’ or ‘I just have to feed/wash the baby so I can’t play with you now’ as this can make your daughter feel that her siblings comes first. Try to elicit how your child is coping by asking simple open ended questions; What is it like have a sister/ brother? What’s good about it? What’s bad about it? Try to normalise her feelings too, perhaps by telling her how you felt when you or your partner had a new sibling. As you are doing so, continue to give her love and attention and expect some regressive behaviour to gain your attention. These will pass. And finally remember this experience is new to her too!

I adopted my seven year old son last year, and recently he has started sleep walking and has no recollection afterwards. I have little experience of this and am worried. What can I do to get him to stop or is this something that he will grow out of? – Debbie, Southport

Sleepwalking is far more common in children than in adults, as most sleepwalkers outgrow this by their early teens. Factors that may bring on sleepwalking include: fatigue, irregular sleep patterns, illness or fever, certain medications and stress and is rarely caused by an underlying medical, emotional, or psychological problem. Sleepwalking in itself is not harmful, however, episodes can be dangerous since the child is not awake and may not realise what they are doing, such as walking down stairs or opening windows. So it is vital to keep your son out of harm’s way i.e. locking outside doors and windows and maybe installing a stair-gate. Try not to wake your son when he is sleepwalking because this might scare him. Instead, gently guide him back to bed. Unless the episodes are very regular, causing your child to be sleepy during the day, or is putting himself in harms way, then there’s usually no need to treat sleepwalking. But if the sleepwalking is frequent, causing


How can we stop our three year-old daughter being jealous over our newborn baby. We are trying to spend time with her to make her feel like we have not replaced her, but it doesn’t seem to be working. Can you help? – Kelly and Tan, Manchester

Dr Sam Fraser is a registered Clinical Psychologist who specializes in child and adolescent mental health and substance use. Sam lives and works in Brighton. She is married to a Psychiatrist and has a 12 year-old daughter and too many pets!




There’s never been a better time to think of parenting. Recent changes have made it easier for lesbian, gay and bisexual people to become parents. Stonewall’s plain English guides for men and women are invaluable if you don’t know where to start. Join us now and help us continue this vital work. Become a Friend of Stonewall at or visit to find out more about our family work.

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or anxious, or like many women pretty nauseous. At all times I look to encourage pregnant women to be aware of their bodies and to nourish themselves so that they may nourish their child, both during pregnancy and vitally in the post-natal month too.


It’s important to look after your digestion in the first trimester as you are providing so much blood and energy for the foetus. Many women experience nausea because their digestion system is working so hard. Eat plenty of warming, slow cooked foods like soups and stews. Steer clear of spicy, hot foods. Take is easy and rest as much as possible. This is isn’t always easy as you might not be telling many people you are pregnant, but have lots of early nights and don’t try to burn the candle at both ends. Spend time with people who make you feel good, giving stressful friends or colleagues more of a wide berth during this time. Draw in calm, happy energy from the world around you.


The second trimester is all about creating a healthy balance for you and your baby. You will likely be getting your appetite and energy levels back. This is a time for ‘not too little and not too much’ in all aspects of your lifestyle. So go out and enjoy yourself but also take time to relax and take care of your heart. Eat little and often to prevent energy highs or lows.


uring pregnancy your body is amazingly sensitive and intuitive and so it is a wonderful time to focus on your health and wellbeing. With my patients I have realised it is often the time when concepts of cultivating and promoting wellness tend to really make sense. After all, for much of our lives we think of our health only when things go wrong, but when preparing for motherhood we realise that simply being healthy can make such a positive difference. As an acupuncturist specialising in fertility and pregnancy I’ve always provided an integrated approach to healthcare, combining Chinese medicine with complementary and


Don’t throw yourself into hardcore exercise and also try to keep things calm on the work front. conventional Western medicine. It’s this fusion that focuses on your whole body, and your emotions, rather than just one part. We always try to prevent conditions whenever possible, rather than cure, which can be especially helpful in pregnancy. There’s much you can do yourself to promote your wellbeing during pregnancy. As well as acupuncture I find that yoga, acupressure and reflexology can all be very helpful. Good nutrition through plenty of natural, whole foods is important, as is lifestyle, and also the less obvious factors like giving yourself time and space, listening to your body and listening to your heart when you are feeling tired perhaps,


Keep your Qi (the Chinese medicine term for energy or life force) moving nicely by regular walks, good for the body and clearing the mind. Don’t be tempted to sleep in too much as you may end up feeling a little sluggish.


During this time you want to protect and build up your energy reserves in preparation for labour and motherhood. Many women even feel physically warmer as your metabolism increases. It’s important to focus on the job ahead and get the painting and decorating done nice and early rather than at the last minute!


Act as it is it winter, keeping warm and dry and away from damp. If you go swimming always dry your hair afterwards as many women are more susceptible to colds and damp related conditions like oedema during pregnancy. You may experience intense mood swings – at times elated at the thought of becoming a mother, while at others tired, achy and apprehensive. Take time to relax and breathe deeply to help keep your heart in balance. Try not to compare yourself to others. This is something I see many women do, and of course not just during pregnancy. It’s helpful to remember every pregnancy journey is unique and individual to you.


I encourage you not to rush back into ‘normal’ life as quickly as you are physically able after giving birth. I love the phrase ‘nourish the mother to nourish the child’ and during this precious time it’s more important than ever. In Chinese medicine, baby and mother are even treated as one person for the first six months, the connection is that strong. Don’t rush around ‘doing stuff’ while the baby is asleep but take this time to rest and recover yourself.

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Build up your energy and vitality gradually with nourishing foods like chicken soup (the best food for wellbeing in the world) and comforting soups and stews. Don’t go out in the cold weather, this is a time for warmth. Don’t eat raw or cold food; you need to stay warm both on the outside and the inside.

Be aware that your emotions will be very vulnerable at this time so keep yourself protected.


Simplify your diet and eat little and often Try taking 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar in hot water Add 1-2 drops of peppermint oil to a bowl of boiling water – don’t stand over it or inhale but simply let it freshen the air Listen to how you feel, do you need to just rest and take it easy or would a gentle walk be more what you need?


Breathe deeply and slowly to help minimise the acid reflux Sleeping propped up by pillows can help A simple salad of pineapple and papaya with lemon juice and mint can sooth heartburn or indigestion Drink peppermint tea Try grated white radish with a small dash of soy sauce


Sip room-temperature or warm water throughout the day Choose whole foods where possible for the fibre and roughage you need Lightly cooked foods are easier to digest than raw Gentle exercise can help get things moving

For more information on Pregnancy Wellbeing please visit Emma’s website at

call us on

+44 (0)208 316 4323 or e-mail us at WWW.PINK-PARENTING.COM



n my search to find fantastic family friendly restaurants, I stumbled upon ‘tibits’ in the West End. This relatively new restaurant is nestled in the hidden gem of Heddon Street just off Regent Street. The location itself is an oasis of calm from the hustle and bustle of the main road where you can sit inside or out, and enjoy some tasty vegetarian food. tibits also offer a great selection of homemade delicious cocktails, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic, and a very comprehensive list of wines. Stepping inside, the restaurant is decked in bright coloured velvet flock wall paper and lots of cosy sofas, with relaxing, chill-out music being piped throughout the premises. Their buffet, called the ’food boat’ (or ‘love boat’, as the staff like to call it) offers 40

ISSUE 01 – jUly / AUGUST 2011

totally different and unique dishes, and that’s just for the savoury. My favourite has to be the red pepper hummus with harissa and teriyaki kernel – a perfect combo with their homemade olive bread rolls – but the buffet includes food to suit all tastes, from salads, Oriental fried rice, other Asian concoctions to typical Middle Eastern vegetarian cuisine. Plus there are loads of different sauces and chutneys you can help yourself to, and a variety of homemade bread rolls. They also have a good variety of desserts too, from lemon posset to sticky toffee pudding. If you are a parent, you will know that going to restaurants with children can potentially spell disaster. That’s why the buffet setup at tibits is such a great idea when dining with the kids. There’s no sitting around to wait


for orders to be taken and food to arrive – instead you get instant gratification! And their pricing system is very sensible as well, and helps minimise waste, involving weighing the food, so you can just take exactly the quantity you want and if you take less you pay less. In addition to the delicious food, the large venue also boasts a downstairs kid’s zone, fully equipped with chalkboards, toys, games and crayons. You can choose to either eat downstairs overlooking your little angels, or alternatively eat in the main restaurant and indulge in a little playtime after your meal. So if vegetarian restaurants aren’t your first choice when dining out – think again! – as the tibits restaurant aims to convert even the most cynical of carnivores!

12-14 Heddon Street, off Regent Street london w1B 4DA.Tel: +44 (0)207 758 4110 mon - Sat 09:00 am - midnight Sun 11:30 am - 10:30 pm (food served until 30 minutes before closing)


Everyone gives you advice when you’re having a baby

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you compile a list of the absolute best baby products for your needs (this can also be a gift list for friends & family).

And with prices matched to John Lewis, we save you time and stress with the comfort of knowing all the goods are competitively priced.

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There is the added bonus of being able to play with, and compare, everything from prams to sterilizers to cots and car seats, giving you a feel for all the items you want on the spot.

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n the hours after New York’s historic passage of a same-sex marriage bill, the ‘Stonewall Inn’ in Greenwich Village, the site of the riots in 1969 that incited the gay-rights movement, became a euphoric place for supporters to celebrate the development on the eve of Gay Pride Week. The news reverberated around the globe, with celebrities like Lady Gaga, Katy Perry and Ellen DeGeneres sharing in the excitement. Sparkling rings were offered and accepted and champagne corks flew to kick off wedding plans likely to add an estimated $284 million to the state’s economy, according to a report by the Independent Democratic Conference. It is estimated that about half of the state’s 43,000 same-sex couples living together will marry while more will come from further afield. New York has become the sixth and most populous U.S. state to allow gay marriage. State senators voted 33-29 on Friday to approve marriage equality and Governor Andrew Cuomo immediately signed it into law. With all these marriages predicted to take place, New York braces itself for a baby boom, as many newlyweds will want to become parents. New York may have legalised gay marriage but San Francisco is quickly setting the standard when it comes to family values among married gay couples in urban areas. Time can only tell if NYC will follow in their fellow state’s footsteps.

Neither this publication nor its contents constitute an explicit endorsement by G&J Media of the products or services mentioned in advertising or editorial content. The editorial content in this publication does not necessarily represent policies or recommendations of G&J Media. This publication is not intended to be exhaustive. While every effort has been made to ensure accuracy, G&J Media shall have any liability for errors or omissions. Readers who have questions should consult their healthcare providers or other competent sources of information and guidance. © 2011 All copyright G&J Media unless otherwise stated. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission is strictly prohibited.




A CAR THAT’S AS MODERN AS YOUR FAMILY. THE NEW FORESTER. Unlike most cars the Subaru Forester has the World’s only Boxer Diesel engine which has a low centre of gravity, which helps you roll less on corners and remain stable, even on more challenging roads. It also has a Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system, which helps it stick to the road when you need it most. So you can rely on the Subaru Forester to keep the whole family safe, wherever you’re going, whatever the weather.

Call 08430 222074 visit or text ‘forester’ to 60800 Forester range fuel consumption in mpg(l/100km): Urban from 29.1 (9.7) to 37.2 (7.6). Extra Urban from 44.1 (6.4) to 50.4 (5.6). Combined from 37.7 (7.5) to 44.8 (6.3). CO2 emissions from 174 to 167 (g/km).

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11/03/2011 16:50pm

Pink Parenting Magazine - Issue 1  

With modern life comes the modern family as many gay and lesbian couples seek to fulfil their biological needs of having a family. Pink Pare...