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A sad fact remains this Christmas – 60% of children in LGBT+ families have zero legal rights to one of their parents – five years on from the Marriage Equality Act of 2015.

This week, ahead of Christmas, Equality for Children have renewed their pledge to ensure that progress is made to achieve equality for all children of LGBT+ families. By Christmas 2021, the grassroots group hopes to achieve 100% parental rights for all LGBT+ families.

Sadly, this is not the case today.

 “This Christmas we think of all the children of LGBT+ families who have been left behind…As it stands today, only one parent can be a legal parent, which of course is perilous in the event of bereavement, illness and more,”  Ranae Von Meding, Equality for Children.

Currently, ONLY 40% of LGBT+ families have the same rights as heterosexual couples, leaving behind 60% of children as not having access to full legal parental rights – and this is five years on from the passing of the Marriage Equality Act of 2015

“For most Irish families, this is the happiest time of the year. It should be a time of joy and celebration. Yet for those who are still not considered a legal family, it can be a really difficult time full of uncertainty and pain,” says Ranae von Meding, CEO of Equality for Children.

It is important to acknowledge that some LGBT+ parents in Ireland now have the same rights as heterosexual parents. This is a huge step in the right direction. However, many families still fall outside of any legal framework – and in these cases only one person in an LGBT+ family can be a legal parent – leaving an unknown outcome for families in the event of bereavement, illness and more.

Despite the progress being made, LGBT+ children are #stillnotequal.

The protections promised in 2015 by the government under the Children and Family and Relationships Act, dictate a very particular LGBT+ family makeup. They finally came to fruition earlier this year and the first parental orders were issued early in the summer. This has been a source of enormous relief for hundreds of families. However, it is not enough. Around 40% of children of LGBT+ families benefit from this bill. That leaves the other 60% with no legal connection to one of their parents. And that simply is not good enough.

Equality for Children recognises that progress has been made with the Assisted Human Reproduction Bill at Oireachtas Committee stage, as well as the ongoing work from the Special Rapporteur on Child Protection, Dr. Conor O’ Mahony, to investigate parental rights for LGBT+ families using assisted human reproduction. These are significant developments and have the potential to provide pathways to legal recognition for hundreds of more families.

 Equality for Children is a grassroots campaign which was launched in October 2019 – campaigning for equality for all children of LGBT+ families in Ireland. It was started by a collective of concerned parents and allies, who were tired of waiting for their families to be given the recognition they deserve.

The campaign has garnered support from people who are willing to help across social media, fundraising, lobbying, design and more, but the task group is asking people to support them through volunteering to join them in the fight for full equality.

 “The reason why this campaign is so important is because many children of LGBT+ parents are still on the dangerous sidelines of grey legislation. We are #StillNotEqual, and our children ultimately suffer the most, until something changes. We look forward to working with government departments in the coming months to progress these crucial issues.” she commented.

To find out more or see how you can help visit their website at www.equalityforchildren.ie.

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How can we show our appreciation for the affordable style in Penneys while also contributing to charity services supporting children? 

The ISPCC Childline have joined forces with our fave retailer for the Penneys Makes Cents campaign. 

All Ireland-winning camogie star Anna Geary has teamed up with the partnership which aims to make it easier for Penneys customers to support children and young people across Ireland.

From February 17 to 24, Penneys Makes Cents will give it's customers a chance to ‘Add a little. Do a lot’ for the nation's listening service for kids.

Children and young people make over 380,000 calls, texts and online contacts every single year to Childline's free phone line, live text and web chat services.

These kids seek a listening ear and feel as though they have nowhere else to turn when they make the call; they are experiencing trauma, abuse, neglect, fear and loneliness and vitally need help. No child should have to live through this.

Ireland's Fittest Coach, Anna Geary, spoke about the campaign with pride;

“I am delighted to support this fantastic partnership between ISPCC Childline and Penneys. With the support of Penneys and its customers, the vital Childline service will be there for every child and young person in Ireland at every hour of every day and night in 2019 and beyond."

To help keep Childline listening to children and young people, head down to Penneys between February 17 and 23 to donate 50 cent or more to ISPCC Childline. Even a little amount goes a long way.

Ireland’s only 24‐hour listening service for children desperately needs your help when purchasing your Penneys items, and the ISPCC’s Childline service will receive 100 percent of all donations raised in the campaign.

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Iconic Brit actor Hugh Grant is desperately appealing to burglars who broke into his car to return the stolen movie script, in a bizarre set of events.

On Sunday evening, the Love Actually star claimed the thieves ran away with the as-yet-untitled movie script, which was hidden inside a bag. 

The 58-year-old is devastated, having lost weeks of notes and intense work on his next project.

The Hollywood actor wrote:

"In the unlikely chance that anyone knows who broke into my car tonight and stole my bag, please try and persuade them to at least return my script. ‘Many weeks worth of notes and ideas."

"And perhaps my children’s medical cards. Coach Films, Ealing St Mary’s Ealing Green W5 5EN," he concluded.

Grant has three kids, and presumably doesn't want their medical card information rotating around London.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Hugh is currently preparing work for the upcoming movie Toff Guys, directed by Guy Ritchie, which centres around the antics of a British drug lord.

HBO series The Undoing, starring Nicole Kidman, will also feature Hugh's acting skills.

We hope he gets his script back, is there NO DECENCY left in the world lads?

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It's a BOY.

Kim and Kanye are reportedly getting ready to welcome another baby boy into their lives.

The couple have opted once again to use a surrogate, after Chicago was born on January 15, 2018.

However, this time they've opted for a different woman to carry their fourth child.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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The household is about to get a whole lot busier as the boy is reportedly due in May.

So it means, they'll have two girls and two boys – sounds like the ideal number, right?

WRONG – Kayne wants SEVEN, yes seven children.

In an episode of Keeping Up With The Kardashians, Kim revealed to friend Larsa Pippen in October that Kayne was stuck at that number.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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However, Kim wasn't so keen with the idea of such a large brood. 

She explained: "Kanye wants to have more. He's been harassing me. He wants like seven. He's like stuck on seven."

"[Seven kids is] crazy. I could never, especially in like the world we live in."

"I've been kinda hesitant about having more kids because it literally keeps me up at night, thinking about how my kids will survive in a crazy world like this," she added.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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The 38-year-old then later detailed that four little humans were enough.

"I don't think I could handle more than that," she added – FAIR.

We can just about manage ourselves, nevermind four dependents.

Congrats to the family and we can't wait to see what they call him. 

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Reports are rife that Kim Kardashian and Kanye West are expecting their fourth child via surrogate, according to Us Weekly.

Multiple sources have told the publication that a baby boy is due to arrive in early May, and will be their second child welcomed through a surrogate.

Chicago West was born via surrogate on January 15, 2018, and is the couple's youngest daughter.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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The famous couple have two other children; North West and Saint West. Kim Kardashian was allegedly advised not to have any more natural pregnancies by doctors after two complicated births.

Another birth could prove life-threatening for Kim, after she suffered from placenta accreta during her first two baby deliveries.

In August, Kardashian rejected tabloid claims that Kimye were planning their fourth child, telling Harper's Bazaar:

"I don't know, I don't know, I read that, I read something…none of that was true," she said, coyly.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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"But I've been really open about it and talked about it on our show, so…I don't know. We start filming season 16 next week, so if I think about it more and it's gonna happen, you'll definitely see it on the show. But as of now, no."

The reality television star and member of the most famous family in America spoke to ELLE in 2018 about her torn emotions over baby number four.

"I dunno," she commented. "My home and my heart feel really full right now, in the best way." She then made it absolutely clear that four kids would be more than enough for her, with her lack of time.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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"I don't think I could handle more than that," she said.

"My time is spread really thin. And I think it's important that in all couples, the mom gives the husband as much attention as the kids."

We hope they confirm the rumours soon, what exciting news.

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Renowned Hollywood actor Eddie Murphy has become a father for the tenth time, welcoming a beautiful baby boy with his fiancé Paige Butcher on Friday.

Murphy's publicist released a statement on the couple's behalf, saying that their new bundle of joy Max Charles Murphy weighed 6lb 11oz.

The 57-year-old Beverley Hills Cop actor has nine other children, and Max is his second child with 39-year-old Paige Butcher.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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The couple have been dating since 2012, and their second child, an adorable little girl named Izzy, is now two-years-old.

Max Charles Murphy is 29 years younger than Eric, his eldest half sibling, who Murphy had with former partner Paulette McNeely. 

The actor and comedian has five other children were with his ex-wife Nicole Murphy, who he spent 22 years with, and had Bria, 28, Miles, 25, Shayne, 23, Zola, 18, and Bella, 16.

His son Christian was born while Murphy was with Tamara Hood, and his daughter Angel is from his relationship with Spice Girl Mel B.

The statement also commented that both Paige and Max are healthy and doing well.

How does he keep track of them all, it's legit Cheaper By the Dozen.

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Kim Kardashian and Kanye West welcomed their third child into the world earlier this year, but it looks like one of the parents is feeling broody again.

Mum-of-three Kim admitted her husband is eager to expand their family even more. She told close friend Larsa Pippen that Kanye wants to have at least seven children.

“Kanye wants to have more, though. He’s been harassing me,” she confessed.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Kim Kardashian West (@kimkardashian) on

Kim explained that her husband wants at least four more children with his reality star wife: “He wants like seven. He’s like stuck on seven.”

There’s no doubt her friend was stunned by her confession: “Okay, he needs to name his next album Seven and like lighten up on the kids situation. Seven kids is crazy!” she joked.

Kanye may be keen on growing their brood, but Kim admitted being a mum these days isn’t easy. The businesswoman admitted she is worried about her children and their futures.

“I’ve been kind of hesitant about having more kids just because it literally keeps me up at night, thinking about how my kids will survive in a crazy world like this,” she revealed.

Kim currently has three children with the 41-year-old rapper.

The duo share five-year-old daughter North, two-year-old Saint and eight-month-old daughter Chicago.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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The parents were hit by a wave of speculation claiming they were planning baby number four in the summer, but Kim quickly responded to the rumours and said it was nothing but fake news.

Kim has been enjoying being an auntie to two new nieces, after sisters Kylie and Khloe both gave birth this summer. 

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Beyonce maybe the ultimate pop diva, but she's also the Queen bee at multi-tasking.

Bey slayed her 36th year on this earth – and honey, doesn't she know it.

In celebration of her birthday on September 4, the singer has just put up a post on her website.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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The birthday girl has managed to squeeze quite a lot into 12 months.

Her post reads: "At 36, I became a mother of three, I breastfed twins. I renewed my vows with my husband of ten years."

"I came back home to the stage to do Coachella, after pregnancy. Then my husband and I released our album together, everything is love."

She reflected on how big the last year has been for her and thanked fans for the love they've shown her.

"This year has been monumental for me. I thank God for everyone in my life," she wrote.

"Thank you for all the positivity and for the beautiful birthday wishes."

"I'm looking forward to continuing to learn from my past, living in the present, and surrendering to the future.

The  37-year-old finished up with "I love you hive, B."

If you're ever looking for motivation to work hard, look no further than Beyonce.

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Pink is one of those celebrities that have always been real.

The 38-year-old is currently on a world tour with her Beautiful Trauma album and who has she taken along with her for the ride?

Her two gorgeous children, 7-year-old daughter Willow and 1-year-old son Jameson.

As well as her husband, professional motocoss racer Carey Hart. 

Pink has been keeping fans updated about the tour as well as how much her kids are enjoying it yet it was her spouse who gave us a glimpse into the rather more relatable side of parenting young children.

The picture showed Carey attempting to peacefully use the bathroom but being thwarted by toddler Jameson sitting by his feet and his older daughter Willow peeping around the corner.

Can parents ever get a minute of peace?!

The couple, who have been together since 2001 and married since 2006, have been open about the on-off nature of their relationship in the past, even discussing how they sought marriage counselling. 

 

Walking into the venue today.

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Just like their marriage, parenting has been a topic that Pink has candidly spoken about.

She recently uploaded a photo of Willow and herself, and asked her followers how they would advise her in juggling two kids.

She wrote, ''the older she gets the less clear I am on how to guide her. Do I take the raw honest tough way? Do I cuddle her and tell her to not to worry? Do I let her be sassy knowing I want her to be strong and need her to be strong to survive in this world?''

One person said, ''you will only find out along the way. You are a beautiful person. Keep it real.''

We have no doubt that Pink will definitely continue to do that. 

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The number of homeless children at risk has soared according to reports at State chhild-protection watchdog Tulsa. 

This is due to concerns for their welfare and safety.

This comes in the aftermath of a family of five having to sleep in a Garda station for the night when there was no emergency shelter available to them. 

According to The Irish Times, the issue with homeless families having to sleep rough in cars has worsened in recent times.

In correspondence on April 30th from Focus chief executive Pat Dennigan to Minster Zappone, he said that the situation “has deteriorated over the last few weeks”. 

In April, 32 families were left with no choice but to approach Garda stations, as no emergency accommodation beds were available.

“Of these, 12 families (20 children) reported to us the following day they had slept rough, mostly in cars,” Mr Dennigan told Ms Zappone.

Mr Dennigan has explained that he may publish the actual numbers of families that had to report to Garda stations at night each month on their website.

“Our board has repeatedly expressed grave concern for the families in this position and also that our services are being caught in an unacceptable position by the failure of the wider system,” he said.

This is a crisis that looks like it isn't going to be solved any time soon.

Figures emerging from the Department of Housing show a recorded 9,872 people as homeless in June 2018, 3,824 of whom were children.

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Some women in the public eye achieve phenomenal success, yet still, end up infinitely tied to a narrative that reduces or demeans their accomplishments.

Actress Jennifer Aniston is one of these women. It doesn't appear to matter that she is one of the most prominent women working in Hollywood, one of considerable influence; the media seem fit to think her worthy of nothing more than tabloid fodder.  This is the woman who was left "broken-hearted" and "childless" after golden boy Brad Pitt "dumped" her for Angelina Jolie (she had the last laugh though) and then again with her ex-husband Justin Theroux. "Poor Jen!" is what the world cried. Alone again. And still with no children. 

It never gets mentioned that it was perhaps Jen who chose to end her marriage to Theroux or, her decision to not have children – something that has stigmatised her for her entire career – was due to deeply personal reasons and not because she was selfish and career-obsessed. 

 

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In a new interview with InStyle, she addresses this obsession by the media, in her most candid interview yet.

"It's pretty crazy. The misconceptions are "Jen can't keep a man," and "Jen refuses to have a baby because she's selfish and committed to her career." Or that I'm sad and heartbroken. First, with all due respect, I'm not heartbroken," she said. 

The fact that women are expected to make marriage and children a priority in life is something that the media – and everyone else – latches onto, particularly if they decide to reject this route in life. Aniston identifies with this stereotyping, and says that the insensitivity in such assumptions makes it even harder for women to tell their own story.    

"Those are reckless assumptions. No one knows what’s going on behind closed doors. No one considers how sensitive that might be for my partner and me. They don’t know what I’ve been through medically or emotionally. There is a pressure on women to be mothers, and if they are not, then they’re deemed damaged goods. Maybe my purpose on this planet isn’t to procreate. Maybe I have other things I’m supposed to do?"

And by keeping this "Poor Jen" narrative going, all we are suggesting is that she has failed deeply in some way. Remembering that we don't know anything about the ins and outs of the circumstances that lead to her marriage ending or her decision to not have children, no paper seems to ever suggest that this is a woman taking charge of her own destiny. The headlines suggest that she is a very rich and famous spinster, and to reduce her accomplishments to this is deeply insulting. 

 

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"Women are picked apart and pitted against one another based on looks and clothing and superficial stuff," she continues mentioning sexism in her industry. "When a couple breaks up in Hollywood, it’s the woman who is scorned. The woman is left sad and alone. She’s the failure. F that. When was the last time you read about a divorced, childless man referred to as a spinster?"

"In my personal experience, I've been treated worse verbally and energetically by some women in this industry," she said of her experiences with harassment in Hollywood. 

In an elegant op-ed in the Huffington Post last year, she also addressed this topic. “We don’t need to be married or mothers to be complete. We get to determine our own ‘happily ever after’ for ourselves.”   

 

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But even though she keeps saying it, we keep dismissing her. We keep demeaning her worth, her accomplishments because she lacks a ring on her finger or a baby and those (admittedly adorable) Instagram announcements that come with them.

Jen deserves better. She doesn't want or need our sympathy. She doesn't need us to obsess (because it's generally women that do, not men) over whether she'll return to Brad to mend her supposedly broken heart (she won't). What she needs is to be recognised as being a woman whose life accomplishments are worth more than who she decided to marry. 

She thrived when her supposed golden boy and Prince Charming disappeared; she never needed rescuing.  And she doesn't need anymore I'm sorrys.      

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As if we didn't love him enough, David Beckham has proven once again, he isn't just a pretty face. The footballer is Unicef's Goodwill ambassador and of course, is an adoring dad to four children. The star has us swooning and sobbing as he pens the realities of being a dad for Unicef's early childhood development campaign, Early Moments Matter.

Here is the heartwarming letter: 

"There are many emotions that run through us when we think about our children. But for me and for the many dads and mums I’ve spoken to about parenting over the years, it comes down to two things – love and fear. It is these emotions that push us to achieve more for our children, every day.

I recently travelled to Indonesia with Unicef, to Semarang in the Central Java Province to see the work of my 7 Fund for Unicef, which is helping the most vulnerable children get the best start in life, by empowering them to speak out, providing them with support, and protecting them from violence so they can unlock their incredible potential.

While I was in Semarang I met with a group of dads and their young children. We sat together, discussing the realities of fatherhood. And this notion of love and fear that takes over when we have kids, rang true in every one of them.

 

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This Early Childhood Development centre in the community is run so that parents and their young children have a place to spend time together and have a safe place to read and play together so I joined in one afternoon.

There is one dad in particular that I won’t forget. Imam, a 31-year-old father of a little boy called Vincent. Imam spent the first year of his son’s life working long days to try and make ends meet. He missed many precious early moments – the moments that often stay in our minds forever. His first laugh, his first words, his first steps,

Imam missed all of these to put food on the table. Focusing on being the main breadwinner was a tough ‘decision’ for him to make and one that left him full of fear. In the brief moments they would spend together, his son didn’t want to be near him. Imam feared that he’d missed his chance to build a special bond with Vincent.

He feared his child would grow up thinking his father didn’t love him, when actually his love is what pushed him to do his best to earn enough to give his child all the things he could ever need.

 

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On the day I met this father and son – whose story I imagine resonates with millions of dads across the world – you’d never guess that there was a day where Vincent didn’t want to be near his dad. He was clambering all over him, pulling at his face, laughing in response to the shapes he was making with dad’s cheeks.

Imam made the hard decision to change and to risk the income he really needed to support his family. He managed to get a new job, and as a result he was able to work less hours and spend more time with his son.

Imam now takes on a much bigger role in parenting – preparing his food, picking out his clothes, getting him bathed and dressed. But the biggest change he tells me about is the fact he now has time to play – one of the most important ways of building a child into who they will become.

In the fathers’ group I also met Ary, a father of two girls whose youngest is the same age as my daughter Harper. He told me about how he copes with his daily frustrations and anxiety.

 

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To cope, Ary told me that when he felt stressed, he would go on a fast bike ride to burn off some steam and to focus his thoughts. Even just a short bike ride would mean that when he arrived back home he would be able to be present and in the right state of mind to spend quality time with his kids.

It really helped me to talk to the group of dads in this way, and I’d encourage more dads to talk and share their experiences. Imam and Ary reminded me of when my kids were small; I didn’t want to miss a second, but of course there were times that I couldn’t be there. I feared they would do something for the first time and I wouldn’t be there to see it.

Just like Imam, I knew that spending as much quality time with my kids as I could, especially when they were young, was the most important thing in the world. And like Ary, I also realised pretty quickly, that there are never enough hours in the day to do all the things we want to do with our kids so as long as we make whatever the time available to us quality time, where we are present, as dads we’re winning.

I know through my work with Unicef that the first 1,000 days of life are the most critical time for a baby’s brain development, and their experiences during this time can have lifelong consequences – good and bad.

 

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We as parents all have an incredible opportunity to shape how our children’s brains develop. But without support, parents will continue to struggle to give their babies the play time, good food, and a whole lot of love they need.

All the fathers that I met spoke of their dreams and aspirations for their children. Every generation wants the next to be better, to have more opportunities and achieve their full potential. But we need to start from the very beginning to make this possible.

I’m still learning new things about fatherhood every day. You never stop learning. I was 24 when I had Brooklyn. Four kids now and nearly 20 years of experience as a father, and you never stop learning.

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