Excellent idea this is, so many who think they are clever always seem to miss the point that everyone’s different
The God-botherers mustn’t have heard of it yet…10,9,8,7,6,5…
“Nottingham social worker writes book on gay adoption” – stop press – what an exciting headline.
Brilliant! Well done, Mr. Merchant! I really hope this makes it into schools. I remember the sorts of books I used to read in school at that age. All of them full of positive messages and encouragement. But never anything to do with LGBT. Not in the slightest. How wonderful to think that one day books like this will be commonplace, that just as my generation was taught to respect people of other races, future generations will grow up respecting people no matter their sexuality or gender identity.
As a gay, adopted, social worker who is also hoping to adopt myself, can I just extend my thanks to Mr Merchant….it’s a bloody brilliant idea and I hope it’s a good read when I manage to get a copy.
And pleasing to see, if the PinkNews picture is truly a representation of the artwork in this book, that the adoptive parents have got clothes on this time!
I remember the big hoo-ha there was years ago when “Jenny Lives with Eric and Martin” hit the children’s libraries. Parents weren’t having it. There was hell. And gay activists got really upset but, not being versed in the world of education, they just didn’t see that had had the book not featured so many pictures of the little girl in bed with two clearly naked men it would have been more likely to have passed the “Suitable for Children” test. Children’s books just simply don’t feature naked parents in bed. Both parents in buttoned-up pyjamas, maybe. You don’t go into nudity in the world of child-education. You keep childhood clothed, sex-free, and innocent.
So this new book thankfully joins those which present the same message but in an acceptable manner.
I strongly disagree with the implication that Jenny Lives with Eric and Martin pictured two naked men. I have seen the appropriate photograph from the book, and saw no genitalia whatsoever. Replacing the accurate ‘shirtless’ (which men are legally allowed to do *in public*, and *often do* on those rare occasions the weather is appropriate, never mind in private in their own bed) with ‘naked’ (which obviously has sexual overtones in our current society, seen as especially inappropriate when caring for a child) was done intentionally by the right-wing press and Conservative party as a smear against the book, which bravely confronted a difficult issue at a difficult time with the intent of helping children come to terms with their atypical family structure.
Regardless, the more material that is published and made publicly available on the topic, the better.
BenB, Your post made Eddy’s point perfectly!
“I also wanted to write a book to help and support children who are being parented by gay men.”
What about gay women? I feel that far too often us lesbians are simply overlooked. Although I think the book is a good idea and fully support it, it is a shame there seems to be no mention of lesbian parents.
Sammy, write one! Just do it. You’ll be surprised, I bet. Just write it and make it real, from your experience. Then hunt around for a good water-colourist to do some illustrations and get it published. Getting a book published is easier than you think. At the very least you could get it run off in black and white (even in colour) and that would be better than the kids having no lesbian role-models at all.
BenB, there wasn’t just “a photograph” in the “Jenny Lives with Eric and Martin” book, there were big black and white in-your-face photographs on each page! And quite a lot of them showed Eric and Martin in bed. Yes, the duvet was up to their waists and thankfully hid the genitalia but you don’t hit children with such bold nitty-gritty pictures and nudity, particularly via rough black and white photographs! Children are attracted by colour and skilful illustrators know how to depict things so as to communicate effectively with the child. The Jenny book was the work of activists who didn’t know enough about producing a book that children might like. The story was uninteresting for children too. Anyway, now there are about half a dozen excellent story-books for children featuring alternative families. The more the better.
I wonder if there is a way standardized method in place to purchase books like this and donate them to local libraries? Is there any agency in place that does such work?
Jonathan, a few years ago there was a large warehouse in Islington, North London, that specialised in providing schools with unusual books for children, i.e., the good material that the average primary school teacher doesn’t order in from the usual sources. I don’t know if they are still running. I hope so. I think they had a system in operation whereby they sent schools their catalogue. But of course the problem then is that if the Head or the teacher in charge of the library doesn’t approve of this “alternative stuff” the books just don’t get ordered. Even if you went along to such a supplier and purchased a dozen such titles yourself and then marched along to a school of your choice you can’t be sure that your gift will be accepted or, if it is, that it will actually make it into a classroom. There are an enormous number of teachers in primary schools, and secondary schools, who think they know “what’s best” for children. Deposit your gift of such books in a C-of-E-administered school, for example, and the teachers are not likely to allow them anywhere NEAR the children. So your best bet is to lodge them at a school you know is a good bet, probably a city school with a multi-cultural multi-ethnic intake.
Sadly… reading through that article I was honestly hands down expecting the ending to go “this book is going to be banned in pretty much all the civilized world and was dubbed as anti-family, immoral and sinful.”
an unsurprising ending.
But in that same logic that those groups have provided I wanna get the bible banned too, its very anti-progressive, Bigoted, Hateful, morally misleading and is a tool used to bash and justify hate against anyone who is not straight or christian.
Jonathan no11. my local library is always glad of donated books, another way is to go into the lirary and get them to order it for you then it goes on the shelves for a few years. I was shocked and dismayed that my local library didn’t have any decent books about homosexuality when my son came out a year and a half ago. i got them to order 3 which they willing did.
Thanks for these positive comments. As a Gay Dad myself, I just wanted to write something to fill a huge gap on the bookshelves. Incidentally BAAF published a “sister” book last year “Josh and Jaz have three Mums” This is about two children adopted by a Female couple. I am pleased to be able to support Lesbian adoption and fostering to the same extent that I do for gay men, however I think that Men may feel more reluctant, and anticipate a tougher time in the application process. I can confirm from the inside that this is becoming increasingly untrue. Opposition to being Gay and general Gay issues is all around us, however I must challenge Riono’s comment about “God bother’s” with a counter claim that I know a great number of genuinely religious people who are very supportive, and so we must avoid generalising.
I am surprised to read that Lambeth are calling for gay couples to become foster parents. My same-sex partner and I spent eighteen months being assessed and sent on training courses by Lambeth. Then last Christmas we were called-in to be told that our application to be foster parents was being terminated immediately and without discussion because we were not heterosexual. Human Rights group Liberty believe both our Human Rights and the Equality Act may have been breached by this action. It has now taken us six months just to get agreement from Lambeth to take our complaint to level two of their complaints procedure. In light of our experience, do you think it right that Lambeth should be making this appeal when most gay couples will not be accepted by them ?