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THE world’s No.1 LGBT PARENTING Magazine TWITTER # pinkparenting

issue 11 SEP/OCT 2013 £3.95 11

The stories, science and all things parenting for the modern family!!





SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2013 07 WE LOVE Packed with news, reviews, and fantastic gadgets for the whole family to enjoy.

14 Q&A WITH... SARAH GARRETT We catch up with co-owner of Square Peg Media, Sarah Garrett about her life, her work and the importance of being a good mum to her twins.

16 COVER STORY: ALEC MAPA We learn more about the actor and comedian Alec Mapa and how being a father to adopted son Zion has changed his and his husband’s life.

20 HAPPY FAMILIES: TED & BARRY Ted and Barry tell their surrogacy journey, with all its ups and downs, and how they are now the proud dads of two beautiful little boys.

24 WHO’S THE DADDY Sheena Lewis explains why choosing who’s sperm to use is so important when deciding to have a child.

27 TEEN TEETH Cheryl Butz is back to discuss how oral hygiene in teenagers is so vital for a healthy smile and offers some advice on what you can do to help.

30 CALM KIDZ With kids back at school, Lucy Miller gives some great yoga tips on how to keep your children calm and find their inner zen.

37 TRAVEL – COUNTRYSIDE KIDS Why not treat you and your kids to a lungful of fresh air at these luxurious countryside hotels.

43 TASTY PACK LUNCHES Annabel Karmel offers some great ideas for the dreaded pack lunches which are easy to make and your kids will love.

51 BEHIND THE BRAND: JACK & JILL We hear from Jack & Jill, the child friendly dental range from Down Under, about why they started, their journey so far and their plans for the future.

55 YOUR LEGAL QUESTIONS ANSWERED Law firm HowardKennedyFsi answer more of your parenting related legal questions.

56 ASK THE DOCTOR Dr. Gad Lavy is back to answer your questions and shares some good advice along the way.




SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2013 TWITTER # pinkparenting


THE world’s No.1 LGBT PARENTING Magazine

issue 11 SEP/OCT 2013 £3.95


The stories, science and all

things parenting for the

modern family!!






Group Publisher Jeff Crockett Managing Editor Giorgio Severi Art Editor Damian Browning Contributors Cheryl Butz, Louisa Ghevaert, Annabel Karmel, Lois Langton, Dr. Gad Lavy, Lucy Miller Business Advisor Thomas Taylor Interim Sales Manager Carlo Mendez Sales Representatives Martha Adison, Pier Minole Accounts Manager Jennifer Gardner

Welcome to Pink Parenting We are very excited to be sharing issue 11 with you, filled with helpful articles, real-life stories along with the best tips and tricks on how to be the best pink parent. Our celebrity cover story this issue is actor and comedian Alec Mapa, his work as a gay rights activist and fundraiser, and being a devoted dad to adopted son Zion, from California’s foster care system. For our Q&A we chat with Sarah Garrett, from Square Peg Media and the driving force behind the Alternative Parenting Show about life, work and what being a parent means to her. Sheena from Lewis Fertility discusses the sperm donor question of ‘Who should be the Daddy’, and we hear from Lucy Miller who shows us how we can keep our kids calm with the help of yoga. And finally child dentist expert Cheryl Butz is back to explain the importance of teenage dental hygiene. So with all this and loads more, why not grab yourself a cuppa, sit back, relax and enjoy our magazine. Happy reading! Team PP

US Sales Representative Sean Morrison Client Liason Officer Connie Wilson Printed in the UK by The Magazine Printing Company using only paper from FSC/PEFC suppliers. Advertising Enquiries Contact details: Pink Parenting Magazine Suite 318, Building 50, Argyll Road, London SE18 6PP Tel: 0843 2895844

Annabel Karmel

Dr.Gad Lavy

Sheena Lewis

Annabel is the UK’s leading child

Dr. Lavy is the medical director and

Sheena Lewis has researched into

nutritionist and best-selling author of

founder of New England Fertility, and is

male fertility for over 20 years. She

books on feeding babies & children.

an internationally recognised speaker

has a strong commitment to assist

Annabel was awarded an MBE in

and author on the topics of infertility,

couples with infertility and regularly

June 2006 for her outstanding work

assisted reproductive technology,

champions the cause in print and

in the field of child nutrition.

surrogacy and egg donation.

on TV, radio and online globally.

Lucy Miller

Cheryl Butz

Louisa Ghevaert

Lucy is a personal trainer, children’s

With over 25 years of experience,

Louisa is a expert in fertility and

fitness specialist, nutritionist and

Cheryl is the director and founder

parenting law. Her knowledge covers

freelance journalist. She loves

of Toothbeary, the children-only

international and UK surrogacy,

nothing more than looking after

dental practices located in Windsor

donor conception, co-parenting and

her body and helping others to

and Richmond, offering top quality

embryo storage. She also regularly

reach their goals too.

dentistry for children.

speaks at UK fertility sector events.








THE MEGA T-REX IS A TITANIC AND STRONG DINO THAT EASILY transforms into a giant and powerful construction vehicle! You can control it with your voice – tell it to move, launch the drill, flash its lights and more! There are lots of different that you can choose from. Pressing the different buttons activates lots of fun phrases, interesting facts and great sound effects. Press the roar button on the tail to see the jaw move with fearsome roar sounds! There are

lots of manipulative parts too, making this dino tower above the rest!!, £59.99






BETTING FIRM PADDY POWER HAS TEAMED UP WITH STONEWALL TO SEND RAINBOW bootlaces to every footballer across all 134 UK professional clubs in a bid to eradicate

homophobia within the game and also to show support for gay players. With a challenge to all players to lace up during their matches on 21 and 22 September, Stonewall is hoping that this simple message of support can kick-start something bigger and help drag football in to the 21st century, making the game a better place for gay players and fans.


GETTING YOUR KIDS TO BED DOESN'T NEED to be a chore with these super-cute and

EVERY YEAR SINCE 2007, APPLE HAS RELEASED A NEW iPHONE. THIS YEAR, HOWEVER, the Californian based mega-corporation has release two new iPhones to tantalise their

fans, and with almost 1 in 10 5-year olds owning a smartphone in the UK, the iPhone 5C might be the perfect phone for your child. Now coming in a variety of bright funky colours, made predominantly from plastic that is more durable than the previous models, and now available with matching or contrasting covers, this phone will keep your child occupied for hours, but make sure to get insurance that covers lost or damaged phones!

stylish all over bunny print pyjamas from Ava & Luc. They are slightly fitted in style, but are roomy enough to ensure that your child is comfortable all night long. Made from 100% sumptuously soft organic cotton, you can be sure that your little angel will sleep sound., £24, free phone with various mobile tariffs.

GADGETe of th h mont «






WITH 16 NEW MINIFIGURES IN SERIES 11, THE LEGO MINIFIGURE COLLECTION continues to grow. Each minifigure comes in a sealed “mystery” bag with it's own accessories, display plate and collector’s leaflet. Inspired by movies, sports, history and everyday life this series includes a Yeti, Scarecrow, Holiday Elf and a Gingerbread Man, all perfect to put in party bags or just as a treat!, £1.99 from various high street stores


ANY BUDDING CHEFS IN YOUR HOME WILL LOVE THE NEW RANGE OF baking ware and accessories from TumTum. From mixing bowls and sugar

shakers to cute cookie cutters and aprons with matching chef hats, your little cooks can whip up their favourite cakes and biscuits safely using utensils specifically made for small hands. Watch out though, you might have the next Gordon Ramsay living right under your roof (minus the bad language of course).

EDITOR’Sthe PICK ofnth mo «, utensils £7, baking set £17.50, tin, hat & apron £15







WHEN PENGUIN LEAVES BEHIND THE SNOW and ice for a tropical beach getaway, things don’t start off quite the way he had planned. Penguin quickly realises that he can’t ski on sand, or sledge and don’t even think about skating on sand! But just when is about to give up and go home, Penguin meets someone very special who reminds him that it’s not where you go on holiday, but who you go with that matters. A heart-warming story written and beautifully illustrated by author Salina Yoon perfect to read to your kids before bedtime!


MAINTAIN A HEALTHY HOMEMADE DIET FOR YOUR little ones with these super-handy Squeezee Food

Pouches. Allowing you to have the convenience of a portable, mess-free food pouch, while still providing your little monkeys with fresh homemade food and the ability to reuse the pouch over and over again!, £19.99, £4.99


THE NIKON COOLPIX S02 IS A STYLISH COMPACT DIGITAL CAMERA offering an effective pixel count of 13.2-million pixels, and equipped

with a CMOS sensor for improved image quality for shooting in dark surroundings, and a large, 2.7-in. monitor, all fitted in a body ultra-compact enough to fit in the palm of the hand or fit into a pocket. ., £120




Email us at Next information events on 26 September and 22 October in Morden.




25-27 OCTOBER 2013


NOW IN IT'S 12TH YEAR, THE BABY SHOW CONTINUES TO BE A haven for all expectant mums, dads and parents of young

BLAZING THE FLAVOUR TRAIL FOR BABIES, ANNABEL KARMEL THE UK’S number one parenting author and leading expert on feeding babies, has

let little ones do the talking (well, gurgling) for her new range of Organic Baby Purees and Sauces. Annabel tested a host of flavours and food combinations on a pint-sized panel, assessing every squint, shriek and smile, to create her most flavoursome baby food range which tastes as good as homemade. Launched in a handy pouch complete with a nifty twist nozzle, Annabel’s eight stage one and two organic purees include delicious combinations such as Fruity Apple, Blueberry & Vanilla, Yummy Moroccan Chicken and Tasty Chicken & Butternut Squash, and is a convenient way for parents to cook up homemade meals.

children. With over 300 well known brands and 200 specialist exhibitors showcasing the latest in top-of-the-line infant essentials alongside innovative baby products and parenting must haves, this is the place to be for any new parents or parents to be!


Keep an eye on our Facebook Page, @pinkparenting for our upcoming competition with Cuski, for a chance to win one of their stunning Sweet DreameezZ muslin squares, designed to be used as a sleep shade for your little baby. Simply drape it over the pram, buggy or cot and allow your little one to nap even on the brightest of days!




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As one half of the successful LGBT and Diversity specialist media company, Square Peg Media, Sarah Garrett takes time out to chat about growing up, her views on how society has changed regards to lesbianism, her reasons for starting The Alternative Parenting Show and most importantly, being mum to gorgeous twin daughters that she had via sperm donation. Q. What was growing up like for you and were you bullied for being gay? SG: I had a very happy childhood in that my mum and dad were really cool with me being gay. I suppose I was lucky in a way because my elder sister came out as lesbian so it gave my parents a bit of time to get used to the idea, so when it was my turn there was no problem. I was never bullied at school for being gay, thank god, but I was made fun of for being different. My mum is from Malaysia and my dad is British, so I was different from the rest of my classmates. It was just stupid banter, but I know that some children go through hell as a result of their sexuality, which I find really hard to hear about. It’s hard enough to grow up as it is, and now with social media and everything, I can imagine that some poor kids feel like they can never escape from it. It really is unfair which is why


I support charities like Diversity Role Models and Elly Barnes, who do such fantastic work to try and change the way society deals with these issues, but fundamentally I think it all stems from how the parents are and what they are teaching their children.

Q. You now have gorgeous twin girls, but when you were younger did you always want to have children? SG: Growing up I had always mentally planned that by the age of twenty six I would have children, but I think nowadays women, whether they are straight or gay, decide to focus on their career first and then have children. I know that often people think that it never seems to be the right time to have children, especially in today’s economic climate. The cost of living keeps going up and they are always worried about whether you are in the


right place or have enough time or money for kids, but what I have found out is that there is never a right time, and now that I have my kids, I have never looked back and thought I wished I had never done that. You learn to cope, and believe me with twins it is no easy task, but you manage, and you appreciate so much what they give back, it is all so worth it.

Q. How were your twins conceived, what was the process like and would you like to have any more children? SG: In 2006 I went to London Women’s Clinic and was going to be fertilised using a sperm donor, 2006 was when the laws surrounding sperm donation was changing and children conceived via a sperm donor had the right to know who their father was at the age of 18. I could have opted for an anonymous donor, but I believe that my children have


CHILDREN BRING A DIFFERENT LOVE AND A RESPONSIBILITY INTO YOUR LIFE. HAVING SOMEONE AT HOME WHO YOU HAVE UNCONDITIONAL LOVE FOR BUT ON A PRACTICAL LEVEL AS WELL. IT DOES MAKE YOU MORE ORGANISED AND YOU LEARN ALL THESE NEW TRAITS ABOUT YOURSELF THAT YOU NEVER KNEW YOU HAD. you had. Getting up early and having a routine. I‘ve never been that organised, but now I have to be, but it comes naturally. I do miss the downtime where I get to put my feet up and have a cuppa, but like I said, it is all so worth it.




the right to know who their father is if they want to. My sperm donor choice was more down to fate rather than choosing him from a catalogue, which I felt was a bit sterile. It was just by chance that he came in and was willing to be a known donor just as I was starting the process. As far as more kids, I have thought about adopting a child, but I am also open to having more children myself as well, so it’s a case of watch this space I guess.

Q. You talk about your kids giving back and the satisfaction it brings, has being a parent changed you? SG: Children bring a different love and a responsibility into your life. Having someone at home who you have unconditional love for but on a practical level as well. It does make you more organised and you learn all these new traits about yourself that you never knew


Q. How do you find the time to run a successful company and be a good parent, is time management the key? SG: It’s a bit of a juggling act. Now my kids are older we have a routine which has become the norm. We get up early, get ready, have breakfast then it’s off to school and I go to work, and when they come home we have dinner and I’ll put the kids to bed, sometimes I will carry on and do some work, but normally at that time I’m ready for bed too. When I look back to when my twins were born, I was in a constant state of anxiety as I didn’t know if I was doing it all right, I have no idea how I managed to do it, but I did and I have no regrets. I loved every minute of it and still do.

Q. You obviously love being a mum, but what qualities do you think are needed to be a good parent? SG: I think it’s a bit instinctual, but you have to have that caring nurturing part of you and the ability to put someone completely first before you. I’m not saying it’s not a challenge sometimes, but if you take a step out and look at the overall picture it’s a great feeling. Kids need to know where they are coming from with a solid foundation and boundaries in place. You don’t need to be over strict, but there needs to be a balance as kids get confused a lot easier and you just have to give them the right messages. It’s amazing to see how quickly kids develop and pick things up as you’re the one teaching them that stuff.


Q. You have published g3 magazine for 13 years, have you witnessed a progressive change in society and it’s views on lesbianism? SG: One thing that really stands out to me over the years of doing g3 is gay women who are getting their own identity. Initially I think lesbians were quite lost. Obviously gay men have always been much more visible but lesbians were always on the side lines. I truly believe, when I started g3, that there was a need to give a voice to lesbians and coming out, but now women, and men, are a lot more confident with their own sexuality. It’s not such a big deal in today’s society. Nowadays you see lesbians in all different walks of life, who have either started their own business, done remarkable things or have made it to the top of major companies. It seems like lesbians have become a lot more ambitious over the last decade and are now being recognised on their merits rather than their sexuality which I think is great.

Q. You have been organising the ‘Alternative Parenting Show’ for 3 years now, why did you start it and what have been it’s highlights? SG: After having my own twins, I experienced firsthand how you have to navigate your way through the process. Parental responsibility, adoption, it’s a minefield and can be quite daunting, so I really understood the need for others out there to know what to expect and the options that are available to them. So that is why I started the show. One of the highlights is watching people come in, so excited at the idea of taking that first step in starting their own family. It’s such a massive deal for so many, and I love to see their enthusiasm. I remember a gay couple at our first show, they were so looking forward to becoming dads and the show gave them that confidence boost that they needed, and last year I met them again and now they have twins too. It was a great feeling to see them as a complete family and that’s the philosophy of the show, helping those who want to become proud parents just like me! Sarah Garrett is Co-Founder and Managing Director of Square Peg Media. For more info please visit




Since the early 1990s, actor and comedian Alec Mapa has appeared in many top television shows from Friends to Seinfeld, The Cosby Show, Law & Order to NYPD Blue. More recently, he’s been cast in Desperate Housewives and Ugly Betty Betty, two standout shows of the last ten years, as well as comedy films Marley & Me and Don’t Mess With The Zohan, all whilst crafting his own comedy stand-up shows. However, Alec’s greatest achievement came in 2010 when he adopted five year old Zion with husband Jamie Hebert. His journey to family life and parenthood was, at times, difficult and testament to his determination and drive to succeed.

stand-up successes aside, work was slow and uninspiring. When the national tour of M Butterfly concluded Alec found himself unemployed and so he turned to stand-up comedy. However, in 1992 disaster struck. His beloved mother passed away, his personal relationship broke down and just 12 months later his best friend, Dawn, died of complications relating to AIDS. Alec was devastated, reflecting in an interview last year that “… the universe just handed me all my life lessons on a single platter.” Of this time Alec admits that had it not been for Monica, whom he credits as his role model, he might not have survived this difficult time.


lejandro ‘Alec’ Mapa was born in San Francisco in 1965. His conservative Catholic parents had arrived in the US from the Philippines several years earlier, making him a first generation Asian-American. His early upbringing was strictly religious. His family lived directly opposite their local Catholic church, which, together with his sister Monica, Alec attended daily. Growing up gay in 1980s’ San Francisco, the son of émigré Filipinos of firm Catholic faith, presented Alec with a unique set of challenges. Eventually, he would channel those experiences into his defining one-man show, I Remember Mapa, serving both to kickstart his career and exorcise some personal demons. The first 15 years were hard for Alec. In 1983, he moved to New York, where he enrolled at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. He won his first break in the late 1980s as understudy to BD Wong in the Tony-award winning Broadway debut of M Butterfly but, limited



After a prolonged period of reflection and recovery Alec channelled his experiences into his comedy show I Remember Mapa, which he would take on the road for the next five years. The show was met with favourable reviews and TV guest appearances followed from Friends to Dharma & Greg, as well as a second one-man show, Pointless, which regaled audiences with the travails of a gay Hollywood B-lister in search of love. In 2001, Alec landed a lead role as Vern Limiso in the ill-fated CBS sitcom Some of My Best Friends alongside Jason Bateman (Arrested Development, Juno). It made him the first gay Asian lead in TV history. Sadly, as a result of poor promotion and scheduling difficulties, declining ratings meant the show was pulled after just eight episodes. Nevertheless, Alec maintains that Some Of My »








Alec married producer Jamie Hebert in 2008 and in 2010 the couple adopted Zion, via California’s foster care system.

Since the early 1990s, Alec has appeared in many top TV shows and films including Ugly Betty, and Adam Sandler comedy Don’t Mess With The Zohan, all whilst crafting his own comedy stand-up shows.

» Best Friends provided a turning point in his career, telling the Gay and Lesbian Times in 2010 that through the show he met “… everyone on television and I haven’t stopped working since.” The following year, whilst Alec was performing Pointless at a Los Angeles theatre, he was approached by an intern who asked him on a date. That man was Jamie Hebert and he and Alec have been together ever since. Just as Alec’s personal life stabilised, so too did his professional life. In 2005, following a three year recurring role in sitcom Half and Half, Alec was cast as Vern, personal assistant to Eva Longoria’s character Gabrielle, in the eight season multi-award winning drama Desperate Housewives. From there Alec returned repeatedly as Suzuki St Pierre in the cult ABC comedy drama Ugly Betty, as well as roles in comedy films Marley and Me and Don’t Mess With The Zohan.

These days, Alec is a dedicated fundraiser for AIDS charities and LGBT rights organisations such as the Matthew Shepherd Foundation. In 2005, he received the prestigious Davidson Valenti GLAAD award for advancing the cause of LGBT equal rights and has recently helped out with the Asian Pacific AIDS Intervention Team (APAIT), which makes AIDS education materials available for US speakers of Mandarin, Vietnamese and Tagalog.


In 2010, Alec took on a new and enduring role, as he and Jamie adopted five year-old Zion from California’s foster care system. The idea to start a family took hold when Jamie accompanied Alec as he was performing on one of Rosie O’Donnell’s R Family Cruises for same-sex parent families. Alec told Edge Magazine in 2012 “All of a sudden, we saw what was possible. We saw real life happy kids and exhausted parents. We saw families. I looked at my husband and it felt like that was the next step for us.” Like Alec and Jamie, growing numbers of same-sex couples are starting their own families. Today, there are various options available to gay mums and dads to be, including adoption, fostering, co-parenting, donor conception and surrogacy. Each option is subject to specific legal requirements, making it advisable to obtain expert legal advice before undergoing any treatment or entering into any parenting arrangement. The law is not always ‘joined up’ and it can be a legal minefield for prospective parents that can create a legacy of legal problems, worry and uncertainty if it is not tackled proactively from the start. Adoption law and practice in the UK can be complex and lengthy. There are around 4,000 children in the UK each year that need to be adopted. Many of these children are at school and have siblings who need to be placed together. Some of these children have complex or special needs which require sensitive handling and


In 2008, Alec and Jamie married. This was before the introduction of Proposition 8, legislation that prohibited same-sex marriage in California. Alec was a vocal opponent of the law and an impassioned advocate for LGBT rights. The San Francisco of Alec’s youth was that of Castro Camera, The Alice Club and the Briggs Initiative; the beating heart of the gay-rights movement. He was 13 when in 1978 former City Supervisor Dan White entered San Francisco City Hall and shot and killed Harvey Milk, the first openly gay man elected to office in the United States. Alec came out to his family the following year. In New York in the 1980s, he was confronted by the ravages of AIDS, as colleagues and friends succumbed to the virus at a terrifying rate. In previous interviews Alec recounted how during production for M Butterfly, it was commonplace to attend a funeral or memorial once a month. Back home in San Francisco, a similar picture prevailed. As a young gay man coming of age in the 1980s, Alec felt it was hard not to become politicised.





Soft leather shoes designed to give total comfort for little growing feet infinite amounts of patience by adoptive parents. For those considering adopting a child from overseas they will need to comply with the vigorous inter-country adoption process and ensure they obtain the right immigration law clearance for their child to enter and reside in the UK. Alec and Jamie’s experience and journey to parenthood was no picnic. As he explained in an interview earlier this year “We became parents instantly so we didn’t know that kids have meltdowns, we didn’t know that they can’t stay up all night”. They also discovered that foster children are sensitive to change, which brought additional challenges. The transition from red carpet show man to PTA attendee, for a man who admits to having lived life with a reckless abandon, was never going to be easy but, for Alec at least, the time had come. Nevertheless, the responsibility that accompanies such an addition to the family did bring some abrupt changes and unanticipated experiences for the Mapa-Hebert household, which Alec drew on for his most recent comedy stage offering, Alec Mapa: Baby Daddy. In 2012, Alec raised sufficient funding to take Baby Daddy to DVD. As he explained in an interview with Edge magazine last year, he hopes that by taking the show to a wider audience, he will be able to expedite the growing acceptance of society towards LGBT families. A recent study by the Pew Research Centre found that although between 2007 and 2011, the proportion of people who view gay parents as bad for society reduced from 50% to 35%, there is still much work to be done. Louisa Ghevaert is a leading expert in UK fertility, surrogacy, parenting and family law, a prominent author and a passionate supporter of parents, children and families. She is a partner with Porter Dodson LLP


+44 (0)1495 311123





Barry is the kind of guy who when he has his heart set on something, he won’t let it go until he gets it, and being a father was just one of those things. With two beautiful boys and maybe more on the way, we hear from Barry about how he and his partner Ted met, their ultimate decision to start a family, their surrogacy journey and the joy they experienced at finally becoming dads.


ed and I met in Chicago back in 1995. I was working on my PhD Counseling Psychology in Indiana and Ted was doing his residency for dermatology in Kansas City and we both just happened to pick to go on a holiday weekend to Chicago. When we met we were both in our own relationships, so it really did start out as a friendship. But in a turn of events about a year later we both found ourselves without partners so we decided to give us a go, and in October 2000 we decided to have a religious commitment ceremony. We were both raised Catholic so we had a very traditional church wedding, with all our friends and families and it was a great day.


Shortly afterwards, while I was working at the South Illinois University as a staff psychologist, I approached Ted and told him that I was ready to start a family. However, at that time Ted was still very much invested in building his dermatology practice so it was not really a good time for him. The problem with me is the more I can’t have something, the more I want it. We had talked casually about going to a third world country and adopting a child but I felt really drawn to having our own children that had a biological legacy to our family. I would adopt tomorrow if I had the chance, but there is something about seeing a part of your family through your own children. Unfortunately, Ted was not quite as ready. Life was good, we had started to make good money so we were



travelling quite a bit and we were investing money in a lot of different real estate projects that were interesting to us. Another factor that came into play at that time was my age and I began to worry if having a child was ever going to happen, we were probably in our early 40s when we started to think about starting a family as I was aware that if we were going to go down the surrogacy route, it might take time. There were many discussions (and arguments) over this and it came to the point where I almost felt like I had to choose between my husband and having a child, which seemed like an impossible decision. Feeling at an impasse, I decided to wait and see what was meant to be. Much to my surprise, the following Christmas Ted gave me the perfect gift! He wrote in his Christmas card to me that he felt he was ready! He realized, while reading Twas the Night Before Christmas to my two young nephews who were sitting on his lap, that he was ready to have children of his own.


The first thing we had to think about was where we should go to make this happen. We did a lot of research on the internet for surrogacy agencies that catered to the LGBT community, but in the end we decided to use Alternative Reproductive Resources (ARR), an agency in Chicago. I placed a call to them up and set up our first meeting. We met with their Director, Robin von Halle, who provided us with information regarding the surrogacy process, fees, and a potential timeline. We filled out all of »



I ACTUALLY HELPED DELIVER MY OWN SON WHICH WAS AN AMAZING EXPERIENCE. JUST HOLDING HIM IN MY ARMS WAS SO UNREAL TO ME. ALL THE HARD WORK AND STRESS WE HAD GONE THROUGH JUST MELTED AWAY. » the forms and paid all of the fees then waited to be matched with a surrogate. It seemed like forever, but finally after about 6 months, we got a call to say we had been matched and a date was set to meet her. We first met our surrogate, Kristle, in August and we hit it off right away. We were so nervous but there was no need to be as there was an immediate connection. We left the meeting and called the agency right away to say we very much wanted to work with Kristle as our surrogate. Before we knew what was happening, we were back at the Doctors getting all the preliminary tests done and looking for an egg donor. It wasn’t long again before we found a suitable donor, we did the retrieval but for some reason it wasn’t working and Kristle was not becoming pregnant. Our Doctor told us everything was perfect and the eggs were good quality, but it just wasn’t happening.


We really started to panic as we had invested so much time and money and there was no guarantee that it was going to work. After about a year of trying and lots of stressful nights, Kristle finally became pregnant and once that happened, it was a breeze and nine months later Jack was born. I actually helped deliver my own son which was an amazing experience. Just holding him in my arms was so unreal to me. All the hard work and stress we had gone through just melted away. The only thing that mattered was Jack was born healthy without any complications.


It was such a wonderful feeling to bring our son home. Getting up in middle of the night every few hours to care for him was an adjustment, after all, we were no longer in our 20s. Soon, we felt like old pros and


the three of us settled into a comfortable routine. Not long after, Ted asked me if having a child was everything I dreamed it would be. I said that it was – and more, but I felt like Jack needed a brother or sister. He agreed with me saying that he would like to know that Jack has a sibling to look after each other in the future. We had a few embryos left over from the last time, so we used them and once again it took almost a year and more sleepless nights for Kristle to become pregnant, but once she did, it was smooth sailing, for the most part. This time Kristle told us we were pregnant on Father’s Day which was fantastic. Before we knew it, we were back in the hospital and Michael was being born. Again, that feeling of love overwhelmed us and we could hardly believe how blessed we were to have two beautiful, healthy sons. Now Jack had a little brother to play with and protect as they get older. Being a dad to two wonderful boys has been the best experience ever. The joy and happiness they bring us every day is beyond both our expectations. Don’t be fooled though, raising two young children is definitely a challenge at times, but so worth it. I love being a father and know Ted does too. It was something we were meant to be and something that completes us, both as men and as a couple.



Get Get expert Get expert Getexpert expert Get expert Get expert fertility fertility fertility fertility fertility fertility information information information information information information and and support and support andsupport support and support and support online online with online with onlinewith with online with online with Boots Boots WebMD Boots WebMD BootsWebMD WebMD Boots WebMD Boots WebMD THE SURROGATE’S STORY Let us support Let us support Let us support Let us support Let us support Let us support you you in taking the you in taking the youin intaking takingthe the you in taking the you in taking the first first step. first step. firststep. step. first step. first step. Right from the very first meeting with Barry and Ted, there was an instant connection between us all, and I just knew that I wanted to help them start their family. Unfortunately we had several failed transfers and went through a few egg donors but each time I didn’t manage to become pregnant. All in all, it took just over a year for me to become pregnant and once that happened, it was breeze. The nine months flew by without any problems. Throughout the whole pregnancy, I just knew that I wanted Ted and Barry to be a part of the birth just as much as I wanted my own husband there when I had our children. I really understood what this meant to them both so I was more than happy to have them in the delivery room as I wanted them to be the first to hold their newborn child. This was not about me giving birth, but about them starting their long awaited family. Seeing the expression on Ted and Barry’s faces when they held their new born baby boy, for the first time was priceless, and watching how they bonded with him made me realise how our journey together, with all its ups and downs, had been so worth it. Soon after Jack was conceived we discussed the possibilities of giving him a sibling and I was happy to try again for a second baby when Jack was about 6 months old. It took us another year to conceive, but after we got over that hurdle, 9 months later I gave birth to another baby boy which they named Michael. In hindsight, the way things worked out was great, because had I fallen pregnant right away, I would never have gotten to know Ted and Barry so well, and we may not have become as close as we are now. I went in to this process thinking that I might make a couple of friends but what I actually gained was a whole new family.

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Planning to have a child is a very exciting time for all involved, but if you are in a gay relationship, the question of who will be the biological father and whose sperm to use will undoubtedly come up. With surrogacy as a viable method, we hear from Professor Sheena Lewis, from Lewis Fertility Testing who takes time out to explain what options there are, and what you should consider when making this very important decision.


ust as heterosexual men have a deep desire to have a child, so do gay men. In the past when it was difficult for gay men even to acknowledge their partners openly, having a child together was almost out of the question. Even thirty years ago, when IVF made having a baby without having sex a possibility, the treatment was strictly regulated to make it available only to married or co-habiting heterosexual couples. At last, everything is changing. As society becomes more accepting of gay relationships and more sensitive to issues of equality and diversity, the numbers of couples wishing to have their own biological family is increasing, year on year. Since 2003, there has been a 21% increase in the number of same-sex couples and single men having fertility treatment (Grover et al, 2013). In the UK, the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act finally received Royal Assent and became law on 17 July 2013. This has opened the door for many more same-sex couples to seek fertility treatment with surrogacy. But for same-sex male couples there is a conundrum. Each partner could be the biological father. Whose sperm will they use in their fertility treatment? Who will be the biological father of their child?




The simplest way is just to toss a coin. The partner who wins provides the sperm. For many, this is too random a way to make such a weighty decision. Another way is for both partners to produce a semen sample and have sperm from each man added to the test tube. There are several advantages to this choice. It prevents the couple having to make the extremely difficult decision of who will be the biological father. Through the generations of humankind, the egg has always been presented with millions of sperm and has only been fertilised by one. Why not let nature take its course? Although many couples choose this option, it avoids making an important decision together, and could lead to feelings of resentment from the non-biological father towards his partner and possibly his child. Is it a good idea to leave such a huge decision to chance? The third possibility is to choose, on a rational basis, which partner will provide the sperm. But how should the couple decide? In one of the very few studies published to date, 76% of couples chose to inseminate eggs with sperm from both partners and 24% decided to use sperm from only one partner. How did the second



group choose? Age seemed to be an important consideration. The average age of the man whose sperm were chosen was 40 years compared to 37 years in the partner whose sperm were not chosen. The reasons given in this study were that the older man might feel “his time was running out”, or that “his age might give him a greater genetic connection to the child”. I wonder. In one case, the couple chose the partner who had no prior biological children. That seems a fair decision, but bear in mind is that this is a small, one-off study with just 37 same-sex couples. The difference in the partners’ age is small (40 v 37 years). Further, larger studies will be needed to see if this is a just a chance finding or if the same result is found in other studies, and in other countries. As a scientist working on male fertility for the past 30 years I would suggest that the male couple should use scientific information to choose the best sperm. The health of the child is highly dependent on the health of the sperm that fathered him or her. When a couple enquires about fertility treatment, they will be offered a semen analysis to check their sperm quality prior to

Reference: “Assisted reproduction in a cohort of same-sex male couples and single men” by Stephanie A Grover a, Ziva Shmorgun a, Sergey I Moskovtsev a,b, Ari Baratz a,b,c, Clifford L Librach a, Reproductive BioMedicine Online (2013) 27, 217– 221

fertility treatment of any sort. While this is a starting point, it is limited in what it can tell us about male fertility potential and has very little prognostic value is predicting how successful any fertility treatment will be. Over the past decade research has been focusing on better tests for sperm quality. DNA quality is more important than the number of sperm in a man’s ejaculate or the speed at which they swim. After all, DNA is the genetic make-up of the child. Numerous studies show that sperm DNA damage testing is better for male fertility diagnosis and for predicting successful treatment. With sperm DNA testing, bespoke advice can be given on which type of fertility treatment most likely to work for each couple. With this information couples can make an informed, wise decision together on whose sperm to use to create the baby of their dreams. Sheena E M Lewis is Professor of Reproductive Medicine, Queens University Belfast, Chair British Andrology Society, Co-ordinator, ESHRE Special Interest group in Andrology and Co-author of British Fertility Society Andrology guidelines, 2013



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Living with teenagers is like belonging to a secret club – if you are not part of it….you can’t possibly understand what it’s like. So trying to get your teens in taking any form of healthcare seriously is a tall order. But fear not, following on from last issue’s fab feature on kids dental care, Dr. Cheryl Butz, from children’s only dental practice, Toothbeary, shares her great teeth-tips to get your troublesome teens to realise the importance of good dental care!


Starting with the exfoliation of the remaining milk molars between a large age span still considered normal i.e. between 8 and 14 years of age, the pubertal child is challenged on many fronts, leaving oral hygiene of least importance in his view. The wobbling and soreness of teeth exfoliating make tooth brushing more unpleasant and because they are usually no longer under stringent supervision at this age, poor oral hygiene may go unnoticed by the parent. When poor brushing causes gum inflammation and bleeding upon brushing, the adolescent might think they are brushing too hard and then may decide to stop, thus beginning a vicious cycle of poor brushing habits. As an experienced children’s dentist at Toothbeary practices I can foresee the beginning of gum disease at a very early stage. Additionally the hormone changes in puberty can influence gum bleeding and confuse children and parents, not to mention the » possible start of smoking habits which exacerbate the condition.


eenagers are the most misunderstood group of patients in dentistry. They are physically adult but have a multitude of complex behaviour characteristics affecting both general and dental health, which need appropriate specialist attention to ensure oral well-being for their future. They are too old to be coerced and sometimes too emotionally young to understand the consequences of uncooperative behaviour. This means that if the child has not already been well guided and appropriately treated in the dental environment, it is more difficult to cope with issues of anxieties, phobias, hypersensitivities and/or bad habits both in the teenage years and well beyond.





» In order to influence a teenager as a parent, it is necessary to understand what motivates them in general. Peer emulation, peer pressure and peer influence all play major roles in physical and emotional development of the child at this age. So, if it’s cool with my friends, it’s cool. If it’s embarrassing, forget it. Luckily this can be used to an advantage in some ways. For example, oral hygiene is more easily “sold” to a youngster if it is put into the context of not having bad breath, or having whiter teeth.

usually discovered in x-rays called bite-wings, used to check the contact areas which cannot be directly viewed or directly brushed by the toothbrush. Dental floss and limiting simple carbohydrates such as pasta and white bread in addition to sugar is to date, the only preventative measure known to be effective in patients prone to decay. Experience has shown me, that these patients usually had the same type of decay between the milk molars. Unfortunately this damage is irreversible. The following risk factors are likely to be associated with proneness to decay: detrimental tooth shape, tooth hardness or tooth position (crooked teeth), frequent sugary and carbohydrate snacks, sugary drinks, inadequate or infrequent tooth brushing, mouth breathing, food that doesn’t require proper mastication (fast foods), insufficient saliva through lack of proper mastication, sticky foods like crisps and breakfast cereals. Well if that doesn’t sound like a typical teenager’s diet, I don’t know what does… At Toothbeary regular visits ensure we correct these areas of concern in the early teenage years, if not already before. Early interceptive orthodontia can help to guide growth in the right direction before the milk molars exfoliate. Ideally a child before puberty would have sufficient dental advice and guidance to facilitate good habits easily. In summary, the teenage years are critical for dental health. We need to all focus on getting them through with as little damage to the teeth as possible. Our goal should be a young adult with straight healthy teeth, healthy gums and a vibrant smile as a direct result of proper care.


Orthodontic treatment nowadays is usually very easily accepted by teens, as the prospect of having beautiful straight teeth is normally something all teenagers agree on as being desirable. At this age, young men and women start to notice each other more and more, especially facial features and a nice smile. TV and Celebrities also play their part in making orthodontics relatively ‘cool’, bushy-browed brace face Betty Suarez on ABC’s Ugly Betty was the epitome of ‘geek chic’ whilst working for fake fashion magazine Mode and Niall Horan of boy-band One Direction was, until last month, wearing braces to attain a perfect pin-up smile whilst engineering world domination with the band. So a once hated procedure can now be seen as fashionable, but it is important that the dentist discuss these things with the patient personally and not only through the parents. At Toothbeary we find that kids will do more for their hygienist if parental pressure is taken out of the issue as too often a futile power struggle develops at home concerning general hygiene. We ask the parents to bring them in, and we’ll take care of the rest.


Cheryl Butz is Partner and Clinical Director of Toothbeary, a friendly, children-only dental practice, providing top quality dentistry, located in both Richmond and Windsor. For more information on kids oral health please visit

Besides the issues involving long term health detriments due to gum disease, one of the saddest events for me is the 16 or 17 year old teenager who suddenly develops decay between the premolars and molars. Hidden between the teeth this decay is




Yoga isn’t just for adults – it’s great for kids too!

Many children live a fast paced lifestyle flitting between school, busy parents, sports and activities. But like adults they need some quiet time – but that’s boring right? Especially when surrounded by computer games, smart phones and TV’s. Yoga could be just the thing you’re children need to balance out all that over-stimulation, while giving them some structure and enjoyment – and you some peace and quiet!






eaching yoga to children has proven to have tremendous health benefits and can give them the means they need to handle many life situations. According to a study by the California State University in Los Angeles, yoga has been proven to improve students’ behaviour, academic performance and physical health, while another study from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, also found that young children who do regular yoga will lose weight. “There are many emotional benefits of children’s yoga,” explains Claire, Yoga Teacher and Programme Development Manager from YogaBugs (, which brings yoga into schools and works with children up to the age of 13. “For instance balancing postures help teach children to focus the mind, which improves concentration and give them better control over thoughts and actions, while helping your child to release day-to-day anxieties though a variety of postures such as forward bends which calms the body and mind and back arches that can help with anger issues. “Yoga can also improve memory retention,” adds Claire, “while developing creativity and promoting healthy sleeping patterns.” Basically everything that can make a parents life easier – especially as the Summer Holidays come to an end and the new school term starts.


Look across the pond and you will see that the yoga-for-kids trend is massive. There’s yoga in Central Park, Circus Yoga, Sunset Yoga on the Hudson and Karma Kids Yoga to name a few. The trend is now gathering pace in Britain, too. For instance, the characters on BBC children’s programme Waybuloo now practise ‘’yogo’’ and yoga teachers are setting up classes across the country. Classes range from £5 to £14 in London and in some cases you may get school programmes, which offer before or after school classes so parents don’t have to trek to yet another club.


Yoga for kids isn’t like Yoga for adults. “Any children’s class or activity, needs to be fun and interactive and something that children will feel comfortable taking part in,” says Claire. What’s great about kids yoga is that you aren’t restricted to silence or your yoga mat - you can have all sorts of adventures such as ‘Trekking through the Jungle’, ‘Meeting Pirates at Sea’ and ‘Going on a Bear Hunt’. “Teachers also tend to use traditional stories that children already know and love like The Three Little Pigs,” adds Claire. “Yoga with children is as limitless as your imagination and it can be exciting, challenging, and fully interactive.” With great concepts like this, children have a lot to look forward to when attending a class and as parents you can be safe knowing that they will have fun, while using breathing exercises to improve their concentration and strengthening exercises to support their abdominal muscles and balance. “All yoga postures will also help support the immune, respiratory, circulatory and digestive systems,” says Claire, “while strengthening the core stabilising muscles of the »





Meditation is great for calming the mind and boosting children’s concentration. Start sitting down in a cross-legged seated position and place your hands in a Mudra where their thumb and index finger are touching in a circle. Ask your child to close their eyes and count in their head by moving their thumb to their middle finger (one), thumb to ring finger (two) and then their thumb to their baby finger (three). Do this for a minute or so to help them concentrate and calm their minds.

» abdomen and back. It’s also so good for helping children to become conscious of the bodies, while learning how to look after themselves and becoming more aware of what they eat.”



Unlike most kids’ competitive sports, yoga creates an all-inclusive environment that doesn’t thrive on winning or performing better than another participant. This type of activity teaches kids to work together and support their peers rather than compete to come out on top. But what should you be looking for in a teacher? “There are many very talented yoga teachers out there, but not all can relate to children,” explains Claire. “You should ask for testimonials, look on their website and ask if you can try the selected class before you commit to a block.” You also need to bear in mind that your child may be shy the first class and may not join in, if this is something new to them. Be patient with them. Once they see how much fun the other children are having they will come round. If classes aren’t available to you right now – then why not trying your own yoga class at home? YogaBugs ( yogabugs) has a great interactive adventure on YouTube that can be watched and used at home and there are lots of Kids Yoga iphone Apps like My First Yoga – Animal Poses for Kids (Free from iTunes) and books like Imagine That! A Child’s Guide to Yoga (available from that can help you make yoga fun in their own environment. “Just remember to let your child go at their own pace,” says Claire, “and always ensure that you never correct their postures and put them in to an unconformable position.”


Do yoga out in the garden or in your living room by purchasing some yoga cards like Yoga Pretzels: 50 Fun Yoga Activities for Kids and Grownups (available from or Yoga Deck 1 (available from and ask them to pick ten or so cards and lay them out. Each card, will tell you how to get them in to the pose and explain why you should do it and the benefits. Perform the pose following the instructions on the cards, making sure they hold the pose whilst breathing for four in through the nose and out through the nose. Some of the yoga poses are called tree, butterfly and bridge so let your inner child and imagination come out by making up a story about the pose. It is a great way to keep them engaged and in the zone.


If your child isn’t totally familiar with their left or right hands and feet, buy some stickers to help. You can get superhero stickers or Peppa Pig ones and say left Batman foot forward or right Superman hand to touch the floor. It makes yoga so much more exciting and will teach them their left and rights too.


Come up with a theme using children’s books for inspiration, such as The Desert Island Adventure or The Little Mermaid. Tell a story » and they won’t even realize they are exercising.




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Stretch one leg out in front and bring the other foot against your thigh. Inhale to stretch your spine. As you exhale, bend forward to kiss your knee! Repeat on the other side. Sing or listen to “Somewhere over the Rainbow.”

Sit on your heels, with your arms at your side. Lean forward, head to floor.







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Perched above the picturesque Cornish sailing town, Fowey Hall offers plenty to entertain adults and children alike. The original inspiration for Toad Hall in the Wind in the Willows, this hotel is truly a special place to stay. Here the whole family can enjoy all the delights of a traditional seaside holiday, from rock pooling and crabbing to sailing and kayaking or simply building sandcastles on the beach all followed by a supper of the finest fresh fish and shellfish. With a home-from-home atmosphere, this hotel has everything you and your family needs to go on that well deserved break. FOR MORE INFO, RATES AND SPECIAL OFFERS PLEASE VISIT WWW.FOWEYHALLHOTEL.CO.UK OR CALL 0844 482 2152




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With the summer holidays over and the kids back in school, the challenge of what to pack into their lunch box can sometimes be tricky, but fear not as Annabel has done the hard work for you with some of these easy to put together meals bound to tickle even the fussiest of taste buds.




TASTY PACKED LUNCHES The oats in these moreish flapjacks give a slow energy release for your child and the dried fruit is full of fibre keeping children going on busy days. They are also fun for children to make themselves.

Ingredients • 85g butter • 90g brown sugar • 55g golden syrup • 100g rolled oats • 30g Rice Krispies • ¼ tsp salt

• • • • •

40g desiccated coconut 30g chopped dried apricots 30g cranberries 30g raisins 40g chopped pecans (optional)


Method Preheat the oven to 170°C/325°F. Line a 20cm square tin with baking parchment, with the parchment coming up the sides. Put the butter, sugar and golden syrup in a large saucepan. Heat gently, stirring occasionally, until the butter and sugar have melted. Remove from the heat and mix in the remaining ingredients. Spoon into the tin and press out in an even layer (a potato masher is good for this!) Bake for 25 minutes, until golden around the edges. Cool completely, then lift out of the tin and cut into 12 small bars. Prep: 5 minutes | Cook: 35 minutes | Makes: 12 bars Couscous is low fat and it’s really quick and easy to prepare. This couscous salad would be good for a lunchbox or after school snack - one of my tasty healthy recipes.


Ingredients Couscous • ¼ cup / 45g couscous • 125ml / ½ cup hot vegetable stock • 20g red pepper, diced • ½ medium carrot • 2 spring onions, sliced • 1 tbsp raisins • 1½ tbsp pine nuts toasted Salad Dressing • 1 tbsp olive oil • 11½ ½ tsp tsp lemon juice • ½ tsp honey • Salt and pepper

Method Put the couscous in a bowl. Pour over the hot vegetable stock and leave to stand for about 10 minutes. Fluff up the couscous with a fork. Stir in the diced vegetables, raisins and pine nuts. Whisk together the dressing ingredients and stir into the couscous. Season to taste. Prep: 15 minutes | Cook: No cooking | Serves: 2





Spanish omelettes are good eaten hot or cold. You could cook this for your own supper, and then wrap a piece up in foil and store in the fridge ready for your child’s lunchbox the next day.

Ingredients • 100g new potatoes • 1 tbsp olive oil • 1 small onion, peeled and finely chopped • 1 courgette, diced or grated • 2 tomatoes, skinned, de-seeded and roughly chopped • 4 eggs • 1 tbsp milk • 2 tbsp freshly grated Parmesan cheese • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

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Method Bring a lightly salted saucepan of water to the boil, add the new potatoes, reduce the pan to a simmer and cook for about 12 minutes, until tender. Drain, leave to cool and then cut into slices. surrogate baby making your dreams come true

Heat the oil in an 18-20 cm non-stick frying pan. Add the onion and sauté for 2 minutes. Add the chopped courgette and sauté for about 6 minutes. When the courgette is cooked, add the tomatoes and cook for 2 minutes, then stir in the sliced potatoes.

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Beat the eggs together with the milk, Parmesan cheese and a little seasoning. Pour the egg mixture over the vegetables and cook over a medium heat for about 4 minutes or until the eggs are set underneath. Meanwhile, preheat the grill to high. Place the frying pan under the grill with the handle sticking out if not metal and cook for about 3 minutes until golden and set. Remove from grill and when the omelette is cold, cut into wedges and wrap in foil. Prep: 5 minutes plus cooling | Cook: 47 minutes | Serves: 4

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Wraps are excellent for picnics and school lunchboxes. You can take the chicken mixture along with you, then encourage everyone to put together their own individual wrap.

Ingredients • 4 cooked chicken breasts, skinned & chopped into 2 cm pieces • 1 tbsp mango chutney • ½ ripe mango, peeled and chopped into small 2cm pieces • 6 tortilla wraps

• 6 tbsp light mayonnaise • 1½ tsp curry powder • 1 tbsp lemon juice • 6 spring onions, sliced • 1 bag mixed salad leaves

Method Mix the mayonnaise, curry powder, mango chutney and lemon juice together in a large bowl. Add the chicken breasts and mango, then toss together.


Place one tortilla wrap on the work surface. Lay a few slices of spring onion on one side of the wrap, place a handful of lettuce on top, then spoon the chicken mixture on top of the leaves. Roll up into a long wrap then slice in half and serve. Repeat with the remaining wraps and filling. Prep: 15 minutes | Cook: No Cooking | Makes: 6 portions




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As one of the top organic toothpastes available for children, Jack N’ Jill has taken the toothcare world by a storm, and is showing no signs of slowing down. We hear from co-owner Rachel about why she and husband Justin started the company, the problems they encountered along the way, and what their plans are for the future.

Behind the brand...

t all started when we had our first son, Dali and we decided to change our eating and shopping habits because of him. We were living in New York at the time and we started going to Farmer’s markets, buying unprocessed food and we soon became aware of all the chemical and other additives that was in our daily lives and diet. We then needed to buy personal care products for Dali and we were introduced to the online cosmetics database by a good friend. It really resonated with us as a wonderful resource for parents searching for non harmful products for their kids. Soon after Dali’s first teeth appeared, we found ourselves in the local health food store looking for his first toothpaste. We knew we needed a toothpaste he could swallow and thought that a health food store seemed like the obvious place to find a safe children’s toothpaste.


After trying all the leading brands that were available we noticed that none of them tasted very good and Dali resisted brushing his teeth at every attempt, which is not a great way to start out a lifetime of brushing! Also, their safety profiles weren’t that great on EWG. Not one toothpaste we could find on the market in the US that had a zero safety rating. (i.e. all the ingredients are totally safe to ingest). It was clear to us at that time how and where the improvements needed to be made with these products. We probably took a particular interest in toothpaste because of an obscure family owned toothpaste that had been out of production for years. Jack N’ Jill was a brand owned by Justin’s father for longer than he could remember and was originally started by an Australian company in 1949. (Justin’s father had purchased the brand in the 80s) We had an epiphany one day soon after, while standing in front of the oral care


section of Wholefoods in Union Square, NY. With Justin’s background as a pharmacist we were pretty sure we could craft a superior formulation and make what we thought would be the safest and yummiest kids toothpaste available. So we set about creating a new identity, philosophy and formulation for the old brand name, Jack N’ Jill! Twelve months later we had left New York and were back in Australia where we began preparing for our first production run. We had machines from the 1960s in storage from the ‘old’ Jack N’ Jill, so our first task was to refurbish and restore them to working order. Countless problems, unforeseen repairs and obscure missing parts was the name of the game for the next six months. Eventually we were ready to make our first production run of 10,000 of each flavor of toothpaste. One Saturday morning, once all the hard work had been done – we were awakened » by a phone-call from a friend who said



» there had been a huge fire in an adjacent warehouse and an explosion of fuel had destroyed the wall and roof of our factory. Many things were destroyed but luckily and by some miracle – not our precious machines and empty tubes that were sitting in boxes waiting! This caused a delay of six months whilst the warehouse was rebuilt and everything was cleaned of soot. Finally the first production run was underway – we enlisted the help of family and friends and stayed up working late into many nights with temperamental machines and unforeseen challenges. Justin oversaw the making of every single tube until eventually we got through the first production run of 50,000 tubes. Throughout this time we had been developing the website, our other products (toothbrushes etc) and taking photos of our kids and the products to have it ready to launch once the toothpaste was made. Of course throughout the process there were all sorts of little ‘mistakes’ we had to correct – like forgetting the toothbrush boxes would need to be sealed and sitting late into the nights sticking on seals to 20,000 boxes!! After a final period of quality control and lab testing for the toothpaste, Jack N’ Jill was finally ready to launch as a refreshed brand. We launched our new website in June 2011 and soon after attended our first trade event – a Natural/Organic products show in Sydney. We had not attended a trade event before, but were excited by the challenge


WE ONLY HAVE AN INTEREST IN DEVELOPING PRODUCTS THAT WE REALLY BELIEVE ARE THE SAFEST AND BEST THAT WE CAN MAKE FOR CHILDREN. IT IS EASY TO STAND BEHIND YOUR OWN BRAND WHEN EVERYTHING YOU TALK ABOUT AND PROMOTE IS WHAT YOU TRULY BELIEVE AND HAVE STRIVEN TO CREATE. and confident that everything we stood for with Jack N’ Jill would be recognized by the community. We were overwhelmed by the response from retailers, distributors and the general public. It was really satisfying to know we had been right and that many other people also felt there was a real gap in the market for good children’s toothpaste. By the end of 2011 we were stocked in over 600 stores in Australia. In early 2012 we established Jack N’ Jill Pty Ltd UK, and in March of 2012 we officially launched in the UK at the Natural Organic Products Show in Olympia and the UK website went live. We now have distribution in many international markets including; Australia, Czech Republic, Hong Kong, Indonesia Japan, Jordan, Netherlands, New Zealand, Singapore, Slovenia, Sweden, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, UK and the USA. We have enquiries from all over the world every day and so are kept very busy managing all aspects of this business. We have learnt an incredible amount about retailing products, packaging, transport, import/export and distribution logistics. We manage our own marketing and social media presence and talk to customers everyday, sometimes every minute! A huge part of our business is online and whether it is our wonderful Facebook community or our many online wholesale/retail customers – we


are connecting with like minded parents in an organic way and the brand is building naturally in this way. Although it has grown a lot in the last two years it is still very much a family business. We employ people in Australia, the UK and the USA to help us distribute Jack N’ Jill – but the bulk of the work still happens in our front room! A lot of the board meetings happen over the kids dinner time and crucial decisions are often made while simultaneously performing mundane household duties! Working from home has become a way of life for us and now a conscious decision while our children are young and we are able to be around them on a daily basis as much as possible. Jack N’ Jill is an amazing and wonderful business and brand and we are so grateful that it is becoming what we dreamed. We will continue the Jack N’ Jill philosophy as we grow and develop new products. We only have an interest in developing products that we really believe are the safest and best that we can make for children. It is easy to stand behind your own brand when everything you talk about and promote is what you truly believe and have striven to create. For more information on Jack N’ Jill including stockists, where to buy and latest news please visit


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I am single gay dad to a wonderful daughter of 3. I wanted to know what the process is to set up a will so that everything that I have is left to her, as I am on only child and both my parents have passed away. Would it make more sense to set up a trust fund?

I have two children of 7 and 10 via unknown sperm donors and am very happy with my life. I have read that my children have the right to seek out their father when they reach the age of 18 which is not a problem for me but I am worried in case the fathers are not interested and will reject my children. Is there anything that can be done to avoid this? What are the laws?




Anonymity of a sperm donor depends on when the donation was made. Those who donated sperm after 1 April 2005 are, by law, identifiable. Your eldest child is 10 years old, as the donation was made before 1 April 2005, the donor is automatically anonymous. Your child can therefore only access non-identifying information provided by the donor at the time of the donation. However, the donor can choose to remove his anonymity. If this is the case, when 18 years old, your child will be able to request and obtain his name and last known address. The biological father of your 7 year old will be identifiable if his donation was made after 1 April 2005, or if he donated before this date and has chosen to remove his anonymity. Again, if this is the case your child, once reaching the age of 18, is entitled to request and receive the donor’s details. Both of your children, regardless of whether or not the donor or donors are anonymous, can ask for non-identifying information when they reach the age of 16. This includes the donor’s height, hair colour, occupation, medical history, goodwill message and pen portrait. If your children want to find this out before they turn 16, you can apply on their behalf. You are also entitled to apply for this information. The donors have no legal rights to contact your children and any decision to initiate contact is solely that of the children. Naturally, you have concerns as to what the outcome of any such contact may be, however I am afraid that there is nothing you can do to pre-empt or affect this. The donor may or may not wish to be contacted and until any contact is made, you simply cannot be sure what the outcome will be. As their mother you naturally want the best for your children. You can help them make the decision by answering any questions they may have, managing their expectations as to possible outcomes so they can make a fully informed decision and by supporting them in any attempts to make contact if they choose to do so. Having the love and support of their mother will go a long way, regardless of the result.

You should see a solicitor about making a Will. You can find recommendations for solicitors that are expert in Will-making at If you die before your daughter reaches the age of 18, your estate will have to be held in trust for her anyway. By making a Will, you can choose the trustees of that trust, as well as setting out its terms. Possibly the most important thing you can do in your Will is to nominate a guardian or guardians, being those who would raise your daughter if you died before she reaches the age of 18 years old. Most problems come out of home-made Wills, so it’s worth investing in getting it done properly.


We are a lesbian couple who already have children, and are planning to get married. My partner has asked me to sign a postnuptial. What is this and should I be worried?


If you have not yet married, your partner is probably looking at a pre-nuptial/registration agreement. Generally, people prefer to sign the agreement before their marriage otherwise one party may no longer be willing to do so after the marriage has taken place. The agreements look to regulate how assets and income are held during the civil partnership and how they should be dealt with in the event of the breakdown of your relationship. Many couples hope that the agreement will avoid the acrimony often associated with having to arrange finances at the end of a relationship. Although not formally binding under English law, the Courts have ruled that properly-entered into agreements should generally be upheld unless one party can show that it would be unfair to do so. There are certain pre-conditions that need to be met for the agreement to have a chance of being upheld, including: (i) you must both enter into the agreement of your own free will; (ii) you must both understand the consequences of the agreement and so you should both seek independent legal advice to help ensure that the agreement is valid and upheld; (iii) there must be full and frank disclosure of each of your financial resources.


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GENDER DETERMINATION AND SELECTION EXPLAINED: A frequent question that is often asked is what is Gender Determination and Selection, and what are the related procedures. Here, Dr. Lavy explains the science behind the two preferred methods of gender selection.


Separating male from female sperm seems logical but very difficult to achieve. The sperm sample is processed and male and female sperm are separated usually based on the minute difference is size between male and female spermatozoa. The fraction containing the desired gender is then used for insemination. Most methods proposed over the years did not achieve a reasonable success and have been abandoned. The only method currently showing some promise utilises flow cytometry and cell sorting. It provides a sperm sample “enriched” with male or female sperm. Using these samples increases but does not guarantee success or the chances of having a child with the desired gender. The initial trial in the US had been abandoned due to lack of approval by the Federal authorities. Sperm sorting is applicable for same sex male couples using a “traditional” surrogate (the surrogate is inseminated with “sorted” sperm) but not in for couples using an egg donor and a surrogate. For those couples in vitro fertilization is the only option.


he gender of your baby is determined by the “gender” of your sperm. While all the woman’s eggs are “female” and carry the X chromosome, sperm cells are equally divided between male and female. Half of the sperm carries the male chromosome and the other half carries the female chromosome. The gender of the baby is determined by which sperm fertilises the egg. When fertilised by a male sperm, the baby will be a boy and vice versa. Methods to affect the gender and allow parents to choose the gender of their child have been sought since ancient times. These include timing of sexual intercourse relative to ovulation, dietary modification and many more. However, scientific studies have shown that of all the methods available only two have merit; sperm sorting and in vitro fertilisation combined with genetic testing.






In a blog post following his October 2011 interview with New York Magazine, Zachary reflected on the tragic reality that, in the same year gay marriage could be legalized in that state, bisexual teen and New York State native Jamey Rodemeyer could be driven to take his own life by others’ homophobia. ‘In light of Jamey’s death,’ Zachary wrote on his website, ‘it became clear to me in an instant that living a gay life without publicly acknowledging it is simply not enough to make any significant contribution to the immense work that lies ahead on the road to complete equality.’ It was a powerful statement of intent: ‘... while [Jamey’s] death only makes me wish I had done this sooner, I am eternally grateful to him for being the catalyst for technique change within me.toNow I can only hope to serve as A popular used treat infertile couples is also the samesuccessful catalyst forfor even one other person in this proving gender determination. Theworld.’ process of long eggs sincefrom been the fertilising Trevor IVFZachary involved has removing theinvolved woman’swith ovaries, Project, a US in based set up to combat worryingly those eggs the organisation laboratory and placing the the embryos thus high rates of suicide amongst LGBT teens,offor he made created back in the uterus. The process In which vitro fertilisation an Gets Better’ video, urging crisis-hit teens seek help. over He has‘Itbeen simplified and increasingly more tosuccessful is partnered-up with Jonathan Groff, of Glee fame, and a thealso past two decades. regular of the entertainment news has shows andadapted magazines, Thisfeature basic method of fertility therapy been over which him a sex role male modelcouples for other young gay own by time tomakes help same create their


using an egg donor whose eggs have been harvested, their own sperm to fertilise the donor’s eggs, and a surrogate who carries Zachary chose his next determination role carefully, with production the pregnancy. Gender with his IVFown is then achieved company, Before the(Pre-implantation Door Pictures, raising the Diagnosis). initial $3 million with the use of PGD Genetic budget to start Call (2011) a slick A cellrequired is removed from filming. each ofMargin the growing embryos three financial thriller, which charts thefertilisation actions of which a Wall at Street days after the egg harvest and this firm point during a 24 hour period that begins crash of 2008. As well have grown to contain about 6-8 the cells each. Removing the as his fundraising, casting and single cell does not affect theproduction viability ofroles, the Zachary embryosalso and played onegenetic of the testing centralofcharacters, allows for that singlesenior cell. risk analyst Peter Sullivan. Despite a talented Kevin Spacey, Demi The chromosomes in thecast, cell including are then viewed and analysed. Moore and Jeremy widespread critical acclaim and various The gender of eachIrons, embryo is then determined by looking for the awards, film was a modest success, just $16 Determimillion. X and Y the chromosome. (XY for male, andgrossing XX for female). Nevertheless, it underlined commitment his nation of ‘Chromosome 21’ isZachary’s often combined with to gender art and to ensuring his embryos work remains to the determination in order that to avoid carryingrelevant Down syndrome. World Margin Call premiered in the Autumn they of Thearound parentshim. will then have a choice of which embryo(s) 2011, justuse as the gathered pace. When the wish to and Occupy transfer Movement to the uterus. Gender determination cast reached New York accurate on their and publicity tour, and through IVF is extremely reliable andZachary is not associother castbirth members were to visit Wall isStreet’s Zucotti ated with defects. Thequick process however associated with Park, thousands of anti-capitalists camped out in a smallwhere decrease in the success of the procedure. peaceful demonstration for and several IVF is becoming Gender determination selection


increasingly more popular with IVF particularly with gay couples. Couples considering this techniques should be aware Zachary has that enjoyed success stage,istelevision and on the of the fact even thoughonthere no increase in birth big screen and this with makes a force to be there reckoned defects associated thehim embryo “biopsy”, appears Zachary stands out in asthe an odds openly man in Hollywood. His be a small decrease of gay success. future private family life will be followed As work with and other new and technologies ethical issues closely relatingbyto many the worldand in the years ahead andasthis him a genderaround determination selection as well thegives disposition platform to bring about change. Space may Couples well be the final of the “undesirable” have also been raised. contemfrontier but, if itselection is, Zachary’s workcounselled may allow on theall LGBT rightsof plating gender IVF are aspects movement to in boldly go where it has not yet the process order to allow them to gone makebefore. an informed decision that is right for them. Louisa Ghevaert is a leading expert in UK fertility, surrogacy, Dr. Lavy and New England team willsupporter be attending parenting andthefamily law andFertility a passionate of the Alternative Parenting Show on theis21st September. more parents, children and families. She a partner withFor Porter information please&visit Dodson Solicitors Advisors


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robert eichberg 1945 – 1995

ounded in 1988 by Robert Eichberg, a psychologist from New Mexico and Jean O’Leary, an openly-gay political leader from Los Angeles, National Coming Out Day (NCOD) is an annual ‘coming out’ celebration that raises awareness of the LGBT community and civil rights movements. Taking place on October 11 each year, commemorating the anniversary of the 1987 National March in Washington for gay and lesbian rights, the day is observed in a wide variety of ways, from workshops and rallies to parades and speakers, with participants, whether they be LGBT or straight allies, encouraged to wear pride symbols such as pink triangles and rainbow flags. The first headquarters of the NCOD was located in the West Hollywood, at the California offices of the National Gay Rights Advocates with just 18 states participating in the first NCOD, and received huge coverage in the national media. In its second year, the headquarters were moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico and participation grew to 21 states. After a media push in 1990, and a merger with the Human Rights Campaign, NCOD was finally recognised in all 50 states and seven other countries. With participation continually growing, the day is now recognised in many countries around the world, including Australia, Canada, Croatia, Germany, Poland and the UK. In the U.S., the Human Rights Campaign sponsor events as part of their National Coming Out Day, offering support and resources to LGBT individuals, couples, parents and offspring to promote awareness of LGBT families living open and honest lives. Thanks to the hopes and vision of Robert and Jean 25 years ago, NCOD encourages those in the LGBT community to come out to friends and family on October 11, knowing that they do so in solidarity with thousands of others around the world, leading to a safer world without fear of discrimination or intimidation.

Jean O´Leary 1948 – 2005

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 not have any liability for errors or omissions. Readers who have questions should consult their healthcare providers or other competent sources of information and guidance. © 2013 All copyright G&J Media unless otherwise stated. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission is strictly prohibited.




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Occasionally, Occasionally, Occasionally, even even even nature nature nature needs needs needs aalittle little a little help. help. For couples couples trying trying to conceive, conceive, aalittle a little help. ForFor couples trying toto conceive, little knowledge knowledge can can go aalong a long way. way. Dr. Gad Gad Lavy Lavy knowledge can gogo long way. Dr.Dr. Gad Lavy and and our our team team have have been been pioneers pioneers ininin and our team have been pioneers providing providing fertility fertility therapies therapies for over over 20 providing fertility therapies forfor over 2020 years. years. Of women women who who seek seek help, help, two two out out years. OfOf women who seek help, two out of ofof three three three end end end up upup giving giving giving birth. birth. birth. Call Call Call us usus to toto start start the the conversation. conversation. We’ll We’ll start start with with aa a start the conversation. We’ll start with simple simple consultation. consultation. Chances Chances are, are, you you simple consultation. Chances are, you may may have have many many more more options options than than you’re you’re may have many more options than you’re aware aware of. It’It’ssIt’one s one little little step step that that could could aware of.of. one little step that could lead lead to your your own own little little miracle. miracle. lead toto your own little miracle.

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PP issue 11