Category Archives: Children

8-year-old to be TV’s first openly transgender CHILD actor

Here’s one thing People Magazine excluded from their list of must-knows about this child: From a medical and scientific perspective, there is no such thing as a transgendered person.

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From People Magazine: On Wednesday, Jackson Millarker will break new ground by guest starring on Modern Family which will make him the first openly transgender child actor to appear on television. Before his episode airs, Millarker and his parents are opening up to PEOPLE about his journey to the small screen. Here are five things to know about the 8-year-old actor.

  1. Why did he pick Modern Family to make his big TV debut? “When we explained the role to him, he was very excited about the opportunity to portray a character that is so similar to himself,” moms Stacey and Jen tell PEOPLE. “Jackson has been a young activist in our community and he knew that Modern Family would portray the role of a transgender child in a positive light.”
  2. Millarker transitioned at 6 years old. “We followed Jackson’s lead from a very early age and supported him in every aspect of his transition,” his parents share. “He is very wise beyond his years and was able to communicate open and honestly about his feelings and what he was experiencing. He was always a very gender-neutral child, but at the age of 4 he started experiencing intense anxiety in his daily life. As his parents, we pulled together resources and support to help us through the earliest stages of his transition, while at the same time continuing to give him the freedom to express himself however he felt comfortable,” they add. “At the age of 6, he came to us with the request to use male pronouns at home. He quickly decided that he wanted to use male pronouns exclusively, because he realized that he was in fact transgender. He entered second grade as his true self, a boy. His family, friends, and school have been very supportive from the beginning. He is now a confident, happy, healthy young man.”
  3. Eric Stonestreet and the Modern Family cast made his time on set a blast! “Aubrey Anderson-Emmons [who plays Lily] and I were near her room on the set, and the two dads were walking around the corner,” Jackson tells PEOPLE. “When Eric Stonestreet walked around the corner, he stuck his tongue out at me!” The fun didn’t end there, recalls the young actor: “My favorite moment was when I got to play the game with Aubrey! We got to do it over and over again,” he says. “It was really fun! I felt welcomed from the very beginning! In the first five minutes of meeting the cast, I was already laughing.”
  4. He loves frogs! “Since I can remember, I have enjoyed performing,” he reveals. “I have always performed plays at home for my family. When I was 6, my parents finally signed me up for a theater class! I joined a musical theater troop and I was Baloo in the Jungle Book. I love being on stage and making people laugh and smile. I also absolutely love frogs!”
  5. He wants to give fellow young actors and actresses a very special message. “Be yourself!” he encourages. “Remember that you are loved and that you, too, are special!”

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Baby born with DNA from 3 people, first from new technique

20_week_fetus

From Seattle Times: Scientists say the first baby has been born from a controversial new technique that combines DNA from three people — the mother, the father and an egg donor. The goal was to prevent the child from inheriting a fatal genetic disease from his mother, who had previously lost two children to the illness.

The birth of the boy is revealed in a research summary published by the journal Fertility & Sterility. Scientists are scheduled to present details at a meeting next month in Salt Lake City.

The magazine New Scientist, which first reported the birth, said the baby was born five months ago to Jordanian parents, and that they were treated in Mexico by a team led by Dr. John Zhang of the New Hope Fertility Center in New York. It’s not clear where the child was born.

Dr. John Zhang

Dr. John Zhang

The technique is not approved in the United States, but Zhang told the magazine, “To save lives is the ethical thing to do.” A spokesman for the fertility center said Zhang was not available for further comment on Tuesday. Others involved in the research referred questions to Zhang.

The mother carries DNA that could have given her child Leigh syndrome, a severe neurological disorder that usually kills within a few years of birth. Her two previous children died of the disease at 8 months and 6 years, the research summary said.

The technique involved removing some of the mother’s DNA from an egg, and leaving the disease-causing DNA behind. The healthy DNA was slipped into a donor’s egg, which was then fertilized. As a result, the baby inherited DNA from both parents and the egg donor. The technique is sometimes said to produce “three-parent babies,” but the DNA contribution from the egg donor is very small.

People carry DNA in two places, the nucleus of the cell and in features called mitochondria, which lie outside the nucleus. The technique is designed to transfer only DNA of the nucleus to the donor egg, separating it from the mother’s disease-causing mitochondrial DNA.

The research summary identified the mother as a 36-year-old woman and said her pregnancy was uneventful. One of the five eggs the researchers treated was suitable for use.

Critics question the technique’s safety, saying children would have to be tracked for decades to make sure they remain healthy. And they say it passes a fundamental scientific boundary by altering the DNA inherited by future generations. Mitochondrial DNA is passed from women to their offspring.

Still, last year, Britain became the first country in the world to allow creation of human embryos with the technique. In the U.S., a panel of government advisers said earlier this year that it’s ethical to test the approach in people if initial experiments follow certain strict safety steps. That report was requested by the Food and Drug Administration, which is currently prevented by Congress from considering applications to approve testing the technique in people.

Shroukhrat Mitalipov, who has worked with the approach at the Oregon Health & Science University in Portland, said that given the panel’s conclusion, “We believe it’s time to move forward with FDA-approved clinical trials in the United States.”

Henry Greely from Stanford University

Henry Greely from Stanford University

Henry Greely, who directs the Center for Law and the Biosciences at Stanford University, said Tuesday he sees nothing wrong with using the technique if it is safe and is aimed at diseases clearly caused by faulty mitochondrial DNA. But he called the research leading to the newly reported birth “unethical, unwise, immoral.” He said the approach “hasn’t been sufficiently proven safe enough to try to use to make a baby.”

Dieter Egli of the New York Stem Cell Foundation, who has done work in the area, was cautious about the implications of the new report. “I wouldn’t go out there at this point and tout the accomplishment because we don’t have enough information,” he said Tuesday. “We do not know exactly what was done. We have to wait for a fuller report,’ he said.

The child is not the first to inherit DNA from three people. In the 1990s, some children were born after researchers used a different technique. But federal regulators intervened, and the field’s interest now has passed to the new approach.

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11-year-old boy trumps CNN anchor

The Clinton News Network anchorwoman tries to bait 11-year-old Matthew Schricker with a question about the “language being used, the namecalling that’s been used in the primary,” referring to Trump tagging his GOP primary rivals with nicknames like “Low Energy Jeb,” “Lyin’ Ted” and “Little Marco,” and correctly calling Hillary “Crooked Hillary”.

Matthew calmly replies:

“I really think that listening to a few bad words coming out of Donald Trump is a lot better than people getting blown up by terrorists, people getting burned alive, people’s heads being chopped off, and people being drowned.”

Bravo, Matthew!

Good comment on the video’s YouTube page:

Svolder: “This is what CNN has to resort to. Bringing 11 year olds on the program to pick apart, and then STILL losing”

~Eowyn

‘I hate my life now’: Parents reveal why they REGRET having children

parents-regret

From Daily Mail: Mothers have been taking to social media to reveal what it really feels like to regret having children. Posting anonymously on sites like Facebook, Reddit and Quora, the disgruntled women have made startling confessions describing parenthood as ‘drudgery and monotony’.

Citing reasons from sleep deprivation to financial security – and ‘not liking kids’ – some go as far as confessing they wish their offspring had never been born.

Many have taken to the Facebook page I Regret Having Children in recent months. The group, started in July 2012 by a mother known only as ‘R’, has some 3,200 members and serves as a platform for parents to let off steam without being identified.

One anonymous member told how she was still feeling ‘intense regret’ three months after giving birth to her first child. ‘We had a great relationship before the baby, and I always felt like we could have continued the way we were,’ she said, adding that she had ‘never wanted’ a child but her husband had persuaded her. ‘A few days after having the baby I felt intense regret, and it hasn’t gone away,’ she explained.

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‘I just hate my life now, the sleep deprivation, the drudgery, the monotony, and I feel so guilty and ashamed for feeling this way. It’s not my baby’s fault, and he deserves a good mother who wants him. I am needing advice on how to deal with these feelings.’

One 30-year-old father-of-two said he felt he was ‘slipping away from everyone and everything I used to love doing’ as none of his friends were parents. ‘I made the children it’s my job to look after them and i will until the day I die,’ he wrote. ‘But I can’t can’t get the feeling out of my head that my life’s missing… Any men feel the same ?’

A heart-wrenching confession came from the mother to a two-year-old whose lack of sleep had forced her mother to miss work – before suffering a panic attack and a ‘meltdown’ where she threatened to leave her husband. ‘I do not know what to do,’ she admitted. Even when she goes back to sleep, my nerves are so shot that I lie awake and anger consumes my soul.’

The woman added: ‘I hit her yesterday and feel so guilty. I wish I never had her, she takes and takes and we are empty. We have tried letting her cry, sleeping next to her, even put a lock on her room so she would not get out. She still wakes us up.’

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One woman told how she had uprooted and moved from Venezuela to the US to be with her now-husband – who was now threatening to divorce her if she didn’t give him ‘at least two kids’. She wrote: ‘I love him so much but I love myself too much to betray my life to give it to a child.’

One of the few men to comment on the page told how he had found himself with two children he never wanted and was in the process of divorcing his wife.

In a brutally honest post, he wrote: ‘I really don’t like kids and I hate having them during my weekends. I have lost my life completely, I cannot find another woman because of my baggage and the child maintenance is crippling me financially.’ He begged fellow parents for ‘coping strategies’.

A mother-of-two told of her ‘big regrets’ after ‘losing her freedom’ when she had children. The former air hostess added: ‘My mum told me not to get married and not to have kids (…) She’s right. I should have listened to her.’

Another mum spoke of the ‘pure horror’ she felt when she realised that she ‘loved this baby so much (she) would not be able to leave it ever’ – an ordeal that led to depression and, eventually, anxiety and panic attacks.

parents-regret4

Other parents turned to Reddit for advice, with jerkstore13 making the startling admission that she ‘hadn’t slept past 6 in years’. She added: ‘I’m stuck in a place I don’t want to live in.’

Camelican said that parenting had been ‘relentlessly exhausting’, leading her to believe that she ‘wasn’t ready to stop being selfish’. She wrote: ‘I feel like having a kid closed off a lot of possibilities for me, definitely killed any semblance of spontaneity in my life.’

A mother-of-three said she ‘quite frequently’ wished she had never become a parent at all. She wrote: ‘I don’t stand a chance at doing anything significant with my life other than saying hey i raised 3 more humans.  ‘Your welcome. What an accomplishment (sic.).’

DCG

Marriage of Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt goes kaput

Although it should surprise no one, this is the big news today, so here it is.

Yesterday, citing irreconcilable differences, Angelina Jolie, 41, filed for divorce from Brad Pitt, 52.

angelina jolie

The story was broken by TMZ, which claims that “a source close to the couple” told TMZ that Jolie made the decision to file because of the way “Brad was parenting the children” and that “she was extremely upset with his methods.” That same source claims Jolie became “fed up” with Pitt’s consumption of “weed and possibly alcohol” mixed with his “anger problem.”

According to Page Six, however, it was after Jolie learned through a private eye that Pitt was cheating on her with French actress Marion Cotillard, 40, on the set of their new film Allied that she (Jolie) made the decision to divorce.

brad-pitt-makes-iluminati-hand-sign

Jolie asks for sole physical custody of the couple’s six children: Maddox, age 15; Pax, aged 12; Zahara, aged 11; Shiloh, aged 10; and 8-year-old twins Vivienne and Knox — the couple’s biological children. Pitt would have visitation rights. Jolie is not asking for spousal support.

Together, they have assets of $400 million, most of which is tied up in their many homes, including a chateau in France.

In early 2005, Pitt and Jolie began an affair when they were filming Mr. and Mrs. Smith. At the time, Pitt was married to actress Jennifer Aniston. In 2014, after 9 years of co-habiting, Jolie and Pitt got married, reportedly “for the children”.

According to the Daily Mail, “a long-time friend of Brad and Angelina” said that the divorce “has been brewing for a long time” and attributed it to the couple having grown apart. The source said:

“When Angelina underwent her mastectomy in 2013, her health and life in general became a priority for her. Her views on life changed. Suddenly she saw herself walking in her late mother’s shoes – and she was no longer that wild, fun loving woman she used to be, she was taking things a lot more seriously.

Brad was supportive, and wanted to be there for her, so they decided to marry – more for the sake of their six children than themselves. They wanted the kids to have the security of knowing their parents were committed because they had been very affected by their mom’s ill health.

Angelina wasn’t into wasting time on frivolous. Brad felt it was important for them to live life to the fullest, but as the months passed, Angelina seemed to withdraw, making the children and her work with the UN a priority.

Angelina wasn’t really interested in doing any project that took her away from the children and home, but Brad was still wanting the wanderlust, adventure-filled life that first attracted him to her.”

Jolie’s mother, French actress Marcheline Bertrand. divorced actor Jon Voight after 9 years of marriage, citing Voight’s adultery. Angelina was only 3 years old when her parents divorced, and grew up with her mother. In 2007, Bertrand died of ovarian cancer at the age of 56.

It was her mother’s early death from cancer that prompted Jolie to undergo preventative surgeries of a double mastectomy, followed by a hysterectomy.

~Eowyn

If these don’t make you smile, your smiler must be broken!


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17-year-old in ‘unbearable physical pain’ becomes first child to die by euthanasia

angel

From Daily Mail: A 17-year-old has become the first child to die by euthanasia in Belgium after the country adopted new rules in 2014. Officials confirmed the death following the announcement to remove age restrictions on euthanasia requests two years ago.

The move has made Belgium the only country where children of any age are able to choose to have the fatal injection. In the neighbouring Netherlands the practice is possible for children aged at least 12.  Those aged under 18 in Belgium must do so with their parents’ consent and they need to be in the final stages of a terminal illness.

The law passed by parliament insisted the minor would have to be in ‘unbearable physical suffering’ before euthanasia could be considered.

Dr. Death

Dr. Death

And today the head of the national committee for euthanasia discussed the first case. Wim Distelmans, who chairs Belgium’s Federal Control and Evaluation Committee on Euthanasia, said in an emailed statement that the first case was reported to his committee by a local doctor last week. He added that doctors used ‘palliative sedation’, which is when patients are placed in an induced coma.

Mr. Distelmans told the Het Nieuwsblad newspaper: ‘Fortunately there are very few children who are considered [for euthanasia] but that does not mean we should refuse them the right to a dignified death.’ 

Between 2003 and 2013, the number of patients being euthanised in Belgium rose nearly eight-fold to a total number of 8,752 cases, according to records of the national euthanasia control committee.

In the UK, euthanasia is illegal under English law and is regarded as either manslaughter or murder, with a maximum penalty of up to life imprisonment.

See also:

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