LesBiGay Families

Adoption Star/Amherst – places children with lesbian and gay parents

PrintGateway-Longview seeking. . .LGBT!. . . .foster parents!
10 Symphony Circle/Buffalo,  NY  14201
Contact: Kara Marong-Houlahan, MSW
(716) 783-3198  or (716) 783-2909
Gateway-Longview is a child and family service organization that has been providing care,
counseling, and support to countless children and families since 1890.  Over the years, Gateway-Longview’s programs and services have changed to meet the ever changing needs of children and families in our community.  We welcome ALL individuals and families, including members of the LGBT community, who are interested in learning more about becoming foster parent(s).


Pride & Joy Fam LogoPride & Joy Families
Lesbian and Gay Family Building Project of the Ferre Institute
124 Front Street/Binghamton,  NY  13905

The Lesbian and Gay Family Building Project, a program of the Ferre Institute, Inc., also provides its Directory of Family Building Services for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) People. The Directory is designed to assist LGBT people in upstate New York in finding health and human service providers that will help them build and strengthen their families. Click here!

BOOKS          BOOKS          BOOKS          BOOKS

From Notes from the Windowsill:  Celebrating children’s books loved by adult readers and reviews also from that site.
King & King* written and illustrated by Linda de Haan and Stern Nijland. Tricycle, 2002 (1-58246-061-2)
One day, a queen decides she’s had enough of ruling, and it’s time for her son to find a suitable princess and get married. “When I was your age, I’d been married twice already,” she grumbles. The prince agrees, though he’s never much cared for princesses… and none of the ones who show up manage to change his opinion. Then in walks the last princess, beautiful golden-haired Princess Madeleine–and her brother, Prince Lee. It’s love at first sight, and the two princes, known as King & King, live happily ever after. The final panel shows the two Kings kissing, their lips hidden behind a red heart.  (3 & up)

Molly’s Family* by Nancy Garden. Illustrated by Hsaron Wooding. Farrar Straus Giroux, 20054 (0-374-35002-7)
Kindergartner Molly is upset when she draws a picture of her family–Mommy, Mama Lu, and her puppy Sam–and is told by other children that “you can’t have a mommy and a mama.” Even after her mothers assure her that they are both her “real” parents, she decides to leave her picture home instead of bringing it for Open School Night. But thinking about the other kids in her classroom makes her realize that Mama Lu was right when she said “there are lots of different kinds of families,” and the next day she brings her picture back. The message is both realistic and positive; unfortunately the blandly written and equally blandly illustrated story offers little beyond that. (4-6)

Daddy, Papa, and Me” by Leslea Newman. Illustrated by Carol Thompson. Tricycle, 2009 (978-1-58246-262-2)
This is advertised as being the first board book featuring gay parents; assuming that’s true, I’m glad the first ones are so appropriately board-bookish, with a text in simple rhyme and mixed media illustrations that are bright and lively.  The story is about a (no specified gender) child playing with daddy and papa: daddy helps paint, papa helps bake; daddy strums on a guitar, papa drums; daddy shows how to sew, papa shows how to throw; “Daddy’s plane goes zoom, zoom, zoom! Papa’s car goes vroom vroom vroom!” Nothing all that special, but nothing that makes you feel like you’re hit over the head with a hammer, either. {At the time this was written]. . .it’s the go-to book for those looking for an enjoyable board book in which gay parents are taken for granted. No trauma, no speeches, just a normal day in a normal life. (1-4)

The White Swan Express* by Jean Davies Okimoto and Elaine M. Aoki. Illustrated by Meilo So. Clarion, 2002 (0-618-16453-7)
On one side of the world, four Chinese baby girls are snuggling, burping, smiling and yawning in their orphanage cribs. Meanwhile, in four different cities in the North America, four very different families, including a lesbian couple and a single woman, awake to the same wonderful realization: that this is the day they will travel to China to meet their new daughters.  This joyfully touching story describes the international adoption process in terms that are meaningful to both children and adults, showing the immense amount of preparation made–“diapers and baby carriers, knitted hats and blankets… bibs and baby food, and booties and warm sweaters”–as well as the hopes and fears of the people who will soon be new parents. So’s watercolor illustrations have an appropriately Chinese feel, while giving the families distinctly Western personalities. (4 & up)

The Family Book* written and illustrated by Todd Parr. Little, Brown, 2003 (0-316-73896-4)
This follow-up to The Mommy Book and The Daddy Book is slightly more serious in tone and messages, reminding us that not only do all families like to hug each other, but that “all families are sad when they lose someone they love.” But no Parr book could be too serious, not when it’s filled to brim with brightly colored illustrations. Parr has extra fun this time by showing both human and animal families: naturally, the big family is made up of rabbits, and a family in which everyone eats different things is a dog, a cat and a rabbit. There’s also a mixed-race stepfamily, a multicolored group of two mom/two dad families, and families as small as one dad with a baby.  (2-6)

My Really Cool Baby Book* written and illustrated by Todd Parr. Little, Brown, 2001 (0-316-60365-1)
A deliberate departure from the dreamily sentimental world of most baby books, this book is meant for the baby too–when it’s a bit older. Boldly outlined and brightly colored board book-style pictures surround fill-in boxes that let parents keep track of whether a baby was born in a hospital, at home, in an elevator or even on another planet; another page commemorates special occasions like first smile, first tooth and first burp. Less traditional families will also appreciate a page for adoption info and a page for family members that includes stepfamily; you can also fill in multiple numbers of moms, dads and other family members. The humor and simplicity of this book will encourage parents to keep it filled, and someday delight its original subject.

And Tango Makes Three* by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell. Illustrated by Henry Cole. Simon & Schuster, 2005 (0-689-87845-1) We’ve long needed a picture book like this, a warm, charming and true story about two boys who fall in love and start a family. The two boys are penguins, Roy and Silo, and they do everything the other penguins do: “They bowed to each other. And walked together. They sang to each other. And swam together. Wherever Roy went, Silo went too.” When the two try to hatch a baby penguin, devotedly sitting on a rock to warm it, their keeper gives them an egg to foster. “Roy and Silo knew just what to do. They moved the egg to the center of their nest. Every day they turned it, so each side stayed warm.” And one day, “out came their very own baby!” Named Tango, “because it takes two to make a Tango,” the chick is the very first penguin in the zoo to have two daddies.  Written with a simple, accessible rhythm, and never didactic, this story makes the point that any loving parents can create a family with easy grace. The light watercolor illustrations give lively expression to the penguins’ faces, without ever making them seem less than real.  (4 & up)

Mom and Mum Are Getting Married!* by Ken Setterington. Illustrated by Alice Priestley. Second Story, 2004 (1-896764-84-3) The status of gay relationships has come a long way since Heather first come out with her two mommies–and so have picture books, thank goodness. When Rosie’s mom and mum decide to get married, the main conflict is whether Rosie will get to be a flower girl and whether she and her brother Jack are responsible enough to take care of the wedding rings. Narrated by Rosie herself, the book is totally matter-of-fact about mom and mum’s relationship, never even mentioning (why would she?) what the actual biological connections in her family are. All ends well and family and friends all join in the happy celebration, tenderly illustrated with glowing watercolors. Perhaps this story is a bit idealized, but why not celebrate a beautiful ideal? (4-10)

One Dad, Two Dads, Brown Dad, Blue Dads* by Johnny Valentine. Illustrated by Melody Sarecky. Alyson Wonderland, 1994 (1-55583-253-9); 2004 (1-555-83848-0)
If the title of this book makes you think of Dr. Seuss, you won’t be disappointed by the text, a lively story with a familiar syncopated rhyme scheme and a goofy sense of humor. Lou, who is brown, has two dads–who are blue. Of course his friend has lots of questions about what it’s like to have blue dads: “Do they work? Do they play? Do they cook? Do they cough? If they hug you too hard, does the color come off?” But as Lou explains, “Did you think that they simply would stop being dads, just because they are blue?” And no, they didn’t drink too much blueberry juice as young boys, or play with too many blue toys: “They are blue because–well–because they are blue. And I think they’re remarkable wonders–don’t you?”  It’s delightful to see a book about alternative families that makes its point in such a playful, entertaining way. Young children probably won’t get the unspoken analogy between blue dads and gay dads–unless they happen to have two dads themselves–but the overall theme that dads can be different and still be dads can be appreciated by anyone. This book would definitely get a star rating if the illustrations were above average: their exaggeratedly “normal,” cartoony style complements the story nicely, but just isn’t distinctive. It’s an awfully close call though. Highly recommended either for read-alouds or as an easy reader. (3-8)

* – reviews not by GLYS

COLAGE – Children of Lesbians and Gays Everywhere
WNY chapter ~ www.clearahead.com/colage.nsf

Human Rights Campaign/PARENTING
This site contains a great deal of info and many links including “Custody and Visitation Laws: State by State,” adoption, donor insemination, foster parenting, surrogacy, etc.
National website  www.colage.org

coverage, commentary & community ~for people with brains *and* an
Family, Parenting & Parental Rights

Books on Lesbian & Gay Parenting
American Psychological Association

Books on Parenting in Alternative Families
The Institute for 21st Century Relationships

Choices Counseling & Consulting
Contains a variety of resources.
The website of Arlene Istar Lev, LCSW, CASAC

Empower Yourself as a Lesbian or Bisexual Parent
Short, but perhaps helpful to someone.

Family and Parenting – resources on Lesbian.com

Family Pride Coalition– advocacy, education, support

Gabi Clayton’s Resources: Family/Friends/relationships
Gay.com- Families
Lesbian and gay parenting: A new family form

Gay Parent Magazine

Independent Lens – “Daddy & Papa”
Info about the film, but the URL takes you to “Gay Parenting: Fact vs. Fiction”

National Gay & Lesbian Task Force
The Issues: Parenting

The Ultimate Gay & Lesbian Parenting Resource
(offers merchandise for sale, but along to top are links to info)

Partners Task Force for Gay & Lesbian Couples
The Web site contains more than 250 essays, surveys, legal articles and resources on legal marriage, ceremonies, domestic partner benefits, relationship tips, parenting, and immigration. The Web site contains more than 250 essays, surveys, legal articles and resources on legal marriage, ceremonies, domestic partner benefits, relationship tips, parenting, and immigration. www.buddybuddy.com

“The Gay Parent: Challenging the Myths” by Demian © October 2004, Demian

Proud Parenting.com

Supporting the loving and caring relationship between Transgender Parents and their Children.

ACLU: “Arkansas Anti-Gay Foster Care Ban Overturned 12/29/2004

American Academy of Pediatrics
Coparent or Second-Parent Adoption by Same-Sex Parents

Adoption Education Center – Working with Gay and Lesbian Adoptive Parents

Lambda Legal Overview of State Adoption Laws (12/15/04)

NCLR – National Center for Lesbian Rights