For famed musician Elton John, the highlight of the Christmas holiday was becoming a proud parent. John, 62, and partner David Furnish, 48, celebrated the birth of their son on Dec. 25. John and Furnish told US Weekly : “We are overwhelmed with happiness and joy at this very special moment … Zachary is healthy and doing really well and we are very proud and happy parents.”
John and Furnish adopted Zachary Jackson Levon Furnish-John, who was born via surrogate, on Christmas Day. The baby weighed in just an ounce shy of eight pounds. John and Furnish’s attempt to adopt a Ukrainian child last year was unsuccessful; the Ukrainian officials considered John too old to adopt and did not consider Furnish a legally legitimate parenting partner. It was only this year that British regulations allowed same-sex couples to be documented as a child’s parents on a birth certificate.
There are many high-profile gay and lesbian parents. Neil Patrick Harris and partner David Burtka adopted twins in October 2010. Mary Cheney, the daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, is raising a child with her partner Heather Poe. In support of his daughter, Dick Cheney has publicly endorsed gay marriage. Food Network’s Iron Chef Cat Cora and her spouse, Jennifer Cora, have four children. Both women were pregnant with babies three and four at the same time in 2009. Each parent had given birth to two older sons. With their 2009 pregnancies, Cora and partner carried each other’s embryos. Besides being a celebrity chef, wife, and mom, Cora is a humanitarian. She founded “Chefs for Humanity,” a global organization that strives to eradicate hunger.
Society can challenge the legitimacy of gay and lesbian parents. Children like young Zachary might face intolerance. Laws do not always acknowledge same-sex parents. Individuals attempt to apply shame to what they consider to be “unusual” partnerships. Yet in spite of social injustice, these children, and other young people raised in similar households, learn how to love unconditionally and look beyond certain superficial qualities that have nothing to do with what defines a person’s character. Finding supportive groups and organizations can be an asset to families.
Colage.org, a national movement of children, youth, and adults with one or more lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and/or queer (LGBTQ) parents, states that there are many children of lesbian and gay parents, such as 50 Cent, Anne Heche, Dorothy Dandridge, Jodie Foster, and even the son of Alexander the Great.
“Chefs for Humanity,” http://www.chefsforhumanity.org/
“Elton John, Canadian Partner Proud New Parents of Baby Boy,” http://www.thestar.com/entertainment/music/article/913058–elton-john-canadian-partner-proud-new-parents-of-baby-boy
“Famous Colagers,” http://www.colage.org/resources/famouscolagers.htm
“Gay Parents and Their Children,” http://www.chron.com/channel/momhouston/photogallery/Gay_celebrity_and_their_children.html#17095268
“How I Met Your Mother‘s Neil Patrick Harris is Looking Forward to Christmas With His Twins,” http://www.irishcentral.com/story/ent/amyandrews_gossipgirl/how-i-met-your-mothers-neil-patrick-harris-is-looking-forward-to-christmas-with-his-twins-111777439.html
“Iron Chef Cat Cora and Wife Both Pregnant,” http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/03/09/iron-chef-cat-cora-and-wi_n_173283.html
“Sir Elton John and David Furnish Welcome a New Baby,” http://www.usmagazine.com/momsbabies/news/sir-elton-john-and-david-furnish-welcome-a-new-baby–20102712