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The Your Stories section is all about you! Please take a minute to tell visitors of the ILGA website about what LGBTI life is like in reality. Please submit your personal story and share your experience!

YOUR STORIES
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Readers Experiences

This is what people are saying about life for LGBTI people in BELGIUM...
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Monika (user currently living in BELGIUM) posted for gay lesbian bisexual readers on 19/03/2014 tagged with adoption, lgbt families, sexual orientation
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Homosexual parents of children aged 4 years and those who finish 4 years before July 2014 needed for scientific research!

Dear Parents,
I would like to warmly invite You to take part in a scientific survey, which is concentrated on the psychological and sexual development of children of homosexual couples.

I decided to focus my master thesis on this issue, due to the fact that such research on the development of children of homosexual couples have not been made so far in Poland and such studies are rare elsewhere as well. Until now, other researchers have dealt with issues such as the development of bond between parent and child and the emotional development of children growing up in families of homosexual couples. While the sexual development of children growing up in families of heterosexual couples has repeatedly been the subject of studies around the world, those that would include the same process in families of homosexual couples are still missing. This leads to lack of enough reliable data and substantive arguments in public discourse. Due to this gap, it is a very touchy and controversial topic in Poland, especially politically.
That is the reason I decided to come to Belgium, where this issue has been more thoroughly studied and discussed. I hope that the conclusions drawn from this survey will enable to revise and enrich knowledge about the children growing up in Rainbow Families.

I would be very grateful, if You would wish to help me!
More details about the research You can find on this website:

https://mega.co.nz/#!JV5S2aCZ!nG1gCFdXXjXM0ZLwa2BSri4CwsdZ8znCao9YZJs2Fm4

Monika Puszyk
monika.puszyk@yahoo.com
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Leroux Cedric (user currently living in BELGIUM) posted for gay readers on 11/07/2012 tagged with adoption, lgbt families, human rights, laws and leadership , marriage / civil unions +10
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Hello,



We are looking for some help. Since we started the adoption program 4 years ago we cannot find our way...

So this is our story:

Frederic and I get married in March 2008. Before our wedding we were already talking about adopting one or two children. So after getting married we started the Belgian adoption program.

We had to follow 4 seminars. All people who wants to adopt have to pay and to follow those seminars. After it you have to choose between the national (domestic) adoption and the international adoption.

We choose the national adoption. So we had had the different interview with the coordinator, the psychologist and the social workers. After a year of meetings they told us to try to move to the international adoption program because of the waiting list that was very long. There were already 30 couples waiting and only one child adopted on the last 2 years. Also because we are living in the French speaking part of Belgium so we can only adopt in Brussels and the French part. Not in the Flemish part, so are the Belgian laws... Just to let you know my mum is French speaker and my dad is Flemish speaker. Since I am a little boy I speak both languages...

Listening the coordinator we move to the international program! We had to do again all the meetings with the psychologist and the social workers because it was not the same department... After more than one year, we had to past the judgment at the tribunal. Only a judge of the Tribunal can give the right to a couple if the report is accepted and if he think everything is ok. We received this right directly. So we started to look for an association who would work with a gay married couple. We did not found it in Belgium!

In the same time we had have contact with Circle Surrogacy to know a little bit more about the surrogate mothers. But until now we are thinking that it is buying a child and not having a baby just because of the price of this program. We respect the price because it is normal but it is really too expencive for us.

So we started to introduce us as a foster family. After 9 months of contact with their social workers and psychologist. They said that it was not good to introduce a "problematic child" as they said into our family because we did not have other children.

So today we have no ideas anymore and we cannot find our way. We have all the rights and we cannot get through it!

Thanks to take the time to think about our request, we really need some help.

Cedric and Frederic

cedric.leroux@skynet.be
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Inspired by the article I read today about Karel De Gucht being slammed by EJC for "anti-Semitic" comments made in radio interview, I've decided to post this. If you think about it, the word "anti-Semitic" is a particularly powerful word when you consider the amazing damage it can do to the public, professional, and/or political images of anyone accused or perceived as being "anti-Semitic" - a word that reminds people of WWII, Hitler, and the many atrocious crimes that were committed by "anti-Semitic" people.

It would be wonderful if there were a word just as powerful that the LGBTI community could use as a weapon to defend themselves and attack as well in the same way to get the same powerful results as were achieved by EJC in getting Karel De Gucht to publicly apologize once he had been successfully accused publicly by different parties as being "anti-Semitic". Unfortunately "anti-gay" or "anti-LGBTI" don't have that effect.

Maybe it's time to coin a new word, one that would get attention, be acceptable to the main stream world and obtain the kind of naming and shaming that the term "anti-Semitic" achieves.

One detail that should never be forgotten and which I personally feel gets completely overlooked or forgotten my most is that during WWII, LGBTI people were rounded up, put in concentration camps, tortured, abused, and killed just as cruelly as were the Jews, although, granted, not in nearly the same numbers.

Ideas:
1. Develop and promote positive role models and archetypes within the LGBTI communities - we are people and we bring positive value to the societies we are born into, live among, and/or work with.
2. Develop sound arguments to promote a positive image of LGBTI individuals somehow in main stream media and communications.
3. Get more laws passed to protect LBGTI from being targetted in any jokes or dialogues in mainstream media - even better make it a crime punishable by fines or imprisonment.

Just some ideas.
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What if different LGBT organisations and groups began working cooperatively on different communications campaigns:

1. Targeting LGBT that helps define and promote a positive identity for LGBT people that has a useful, positive, productive role in their local communities, societies, countries, the world, etc...

2. Targeting Mainstream audiences that communicates the positive, productive roles that LGBT people fill in society:
2.1 What % of GNP can be attributed to the professional activities of LGBT people? (Could include amount of company revenue attributable to LGBT people who are managers, CEOs, business owners too...)
2.2 What % or amount of money that funds government and/or social services within any given country is thanks to the contribution of LGBT people? (Could include amount of company tax attributable to the revenus generated by LGBT people who are managers, CEOs, business owners too...)
2.2.1 How much or what % of public education funding is thanks to tax money paid by LGBT people?
2.2.2 How much or what % of funding for security/defense is thanks to tax money paid by LGBT people?
2.2.3 How much or what % of funding for healthcare? etc...
2.3 What % of consumer economic activity/growth in any given country is thanks to the spending by LGBT people? (Could include amount of company revenue attributable to LGBT people who are managers, CEOs, business owners too...)
2.4 What is the overall contribution to academia/culture within any given country which can be attributed to output, artistic creations, publications, teaching, etc...thanks to LGBT people whether openly out or not about their LBGT lifestyle or identity?

Where this line of thinking is going is that in order to improve acceptance and integration of LGBT people within greater society, the above 2 things need to happen:
1. Work on building, reinforcing, and promoting positive identities for LGBT people
2. Work on the perception greater society(-ies) has/have of LGBT people -- if they are confronted with cold hard $ figures of what LGBT people do for society, if those numbers are non-negligible, this could help people view LGBT people differently.
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