Christina Park is a reproductive attorney and founder of the Law Offices of Christina Park in Seattle, WA. She graduated from Yale Law School. Christina assists intended parents, egg donors, embryo donors, and surrogates and is proud to help build families.
Here in Seattle, WA it's not uncommon for fertility clinics to work with intended parents from Vancouver, BC. In my legal practice, I have worked with Canadian clients who travel to Washington State for egg donation / in vitro fertilization procedures. In this article, I will provide an overview of Canadian laws on egg donation, surrogacy, and embryo donation.
Is egg donation legal in Canada?
Yes. Egg donation is legal in Canada, but it is illegal to purchase eggs from a donor (or anyone acting on the donor's behalf). Compensation is prohibited, but the intended parents can legally reimburse the egg donor for egg donation expenses.
Is surrogacy legal in Canada?
Yes, but with significant restrictions. In Canada, commercial surrogacy (which involves payment to the woman for serving as a surrogate) is illegal. However, altruistic surrogacy without compensation is allowed. The intended parents can reimburse the surrogate for her reasonable pregnancy expenses.
What else should I know about surrogacy in Canada?
In Canada, it is illegal to:
Do surrogacy laws vary among provinces?
Yes. Canada has federal laws governing surrogacy, but each province has its own set of rules regarding what happens after the child's birth. Some provinces are considered more surrogacy-friendly than others -- for example, Ontario and British Columbia. On the other hand, Quebec is unfavorable to surrogacy and often avoided by intended parents for this reason.
Is embryo donation legal in Canada?
Similar to egg donation and surrogacy, embryo donation is legal in Canada. However, the embryo cannot be purchased or sold for compensation, according to the Assisted Human Reproduction Act.
*Disclaimer: Christina Park is licensed to practice law in Washington State. This blog post is for educational purposes only. Please contact a qualified Canadian lawyer for advice on Canadian legal issues.
Technorati Tags: Canadian Egg Donation Laws, Canadian Surrogacy Laws, Christina Park, Egg Donation, Gestational Carriers, infertility, Intended Parents, Reproductive Rights, Surrogacy, Surrogacy legal rights, Washington State Surrogacy laws
| | | | |
This week is National Infertility Awareness Week and the theme is You Are Not Alone. LaMothe Surrogacy Consulting has always promised to stand by the side of those needing support in their family building journeys especially for those needing to complete their family via Surrogacy. If you need guidance and education on the subject of surrogacy, LaMothe Surrogacy Consulting is offering a discount on our most popular 3-5 hour consulting package plus the free 40 minute phone call that will change your life. Mention this blog post and receive a 25% discount this week only. You can set up a consultation for a future date and pay in advance but this offer ends on April 25th! We look forward to hearing from you and assisting you on your journey to parenthood!
| | | | |
This is the LAST day of the National Infertility Awareness Week for this year and today we have Two 2 hour phone sessions with a LaMothe Surrogacy Consultant. One 2 hour session for those Intended Parents considering Surrogacy and one 2 hour session for a woman and her partner who is considering becoming a surrogate mother. This is an invaluable resource that you can use to educate yourselves on this amazing process. Normally we only work with IP's and their chosen but in this case we are happy to speak to women who are considering surrogacy (un-matched) as well!
A little about LaMothe Surrogacy Consulting:
Our LaMothe Surrogacy Consultants are dedicated to giving Intended Parents and Surrogates the education and tools needed to make knowledgeable and fact based decisions regarding their Third Party Family Building Options. The old adage 'you don't know what you don't know' is very true in the case of surrogacy arrangements. Deciphering all of the overwhelming information, surrogacy programs, laws, and relationship concerns are what our expert consultants are trained to do. Let us take the stress of figuring out how this 'whole thing works' by contacting LaMothe Surrogacy Consulting today.
LaMothe Surrogacy Consulting is NOT a matching service. We do not match Intended Parents, Recipient Couples or Singles with Traditional Surrogates, Gestational Carriers or Egg and Sperm Donors. Instead we prepare Couples and Singles, based on individual needs, to find their way through the maze of Third Party Family Building Options. We work to provide information and education on how the surrogacy process works, who are the professionals that Intended Parents will meet and hire and the questions that they need to ask during each step of the surrogacy journey.
Please check out our website HERE: http://lamothesurrogacyconsulting.com/welcome_home
How you can WIN: You can "LIKE" our facebook pagehttps://www.facebook.com/LaMotheSurrogacyConsulting?ref=hl LaMothe Surrogacy Consulting and then comment and "Like" the item that you want to win. Although there are new items every day, you can enter to win each and everyone. The contest ends at midnight on April 27th and all winners will be notified by April 29th!
| | | | |
We are so lucky to be able to offer the followers of LaMothe Surrogacy Consulting for NIAW a FREE Reproductive Wellness CD donated by Sara Rector MFT!! Scroll down for more information on this awesome give-a-way!
How you can WIN: You can "LIKE" our facebook pagehttps://www.facebook.com/LaMotheSurrogacyConsulting?ref=hl LaMothe Surrogacy Consulting and then comment and "Like" the item that you want to win. Although there are new items every day, you can enter to win each and everyone. The contest ends at midnight on April 27th and all winners will be notified by April 29th!
Sara Rector MFT is a Marriage Family Therapist who has personally experienced infertility. In the last 10 years she has been worked successfully with individuals, couples and groups experiencing infertility and has released a series of audio presentations designed to share her therapy program techniques, strategies, and insights with her listeners. Sara's CD and MP3 therapy programs are a convenient way to utilize Sara's infertility support therapies in the comfort of your own home.
You can learn more about these CD's here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=36L0xH8Ysqg and the winner will be able to choose the one that best works for his/her situation. Please Like this post and name the CD that you would most like to win: Relationship Issues and Infertility, Transition To Ovum Donation, He Said She Said The Male & Female Experiences of Infertility, Healing Pregnancy Loss or How to Use the Power of Positive Intention Conception.
| | | | |
Technorati Tags: LaMothe Surrogacy Consulting, Love Makes a Family, National Geographic Channel called In The Womb, National Infertility Awareness Week, NIAW, PVED, Surrogacy, Surrogacy Helps Make a Family Grow
| | | | |
Same-sex couples starting families are headed to primetime in The New
Normal, a fall sitcom from NBC based on two gay men looking to start a
family with the use of a surrogate. It’s one of the first expansive and
relatable looks into the process. But a local affiliate station in Salt Lake
City, Utah banned the comedy because it worries that this show about families is “inappropriate” to be watched by families.
Even in the show, Bryan and David must contend with the surrogate’s bigoted grandmother. The New Normal might be, as Jonathan Kipp of Oregon Reproductive Medicine, a leading fertility clinic for LBGT couples, “another step in showing Americans that our country’s families are diverse.” But it’s also a hint at what couples who try surrogacy experience when confronted with a culture not yet prepared for a “new normal.”
According to U.S. Census data from 2010, an estimated one-quarter of all same-sex households are raising children. The Census didn’t ask how many used alternative reproduction. But for those couples, the expensive process comes with a host of frustrations and little support during the search for a donor.
Just how expensive — costs associated with alternative reproduction run steep and can prove to be challenging for couples.
• Surrogate fees range from $20,000 to $40,000.
• Insurance coverage for the surrogacy cycle ranges from $15,000 to $25,000.
• Program coordination fees for surrogacy range from $15,000 to $22,000.
• Egg donor fees range from $5,000 to $10,000.
• Program coordination fees for egg donation range from $4,000 to $8,000.
• Doctor's office fees, labs, medications, and the like range from $13,000 to $20,000 and more.
• There will also be incidentals such as attorney fees, psychological and genetic consultations, complication insurance policies for donors and travel expenses that could add an additional $1,500 to $5,000 and up.
April Nelson, 38, an attorney, and Margaret Fiore, 49, a corporate trainer, of Mayfield, Md., began discussing whether to have kids several years into their relationship. The couple of seven years opted for IVF and now have twins, a boy and a girl named Addison and Avery, who are now almost 4 years old.
Nelson and Fiore’s journey began in the summer of 2007 when first exploring
how to get pregnant "the old fashioned way," Nelson jokes, referring to simply
using anonymous donor sperm for insemination. The couple encountered their first
hurdle, however, when it was determined by doctors that Fiore's likelihood of
producing a viable egg was minimal because of her age and hormone levels.
Then the couple spent a few months considering options, and with Nelson still
midway through law school and Fiore having always wanted the pregnancy
experience, they decided to try in-vitro fertilization (IVF) using eggs from
Nelson implanted in Fiore.
"The process was exciting and terrifying and exhausting all at the same
time," said Fiore. There were periods when both were on injection hormones and
making multiple visits each week to the fertility clinic. The couple underwent
mandatory counseling sessions to ensure they "knew what they were doing," and
Nelson had to participate in even more assessments required for egg donors. The
clinic was open affirming, but neither its policies nor the law were truly
prepared for how to "categorize" them.
| | | | |
Do you know someone trying to have a Family of their Own? Find out how to make it possible
by joining me, Sharon LaMothe of LaMothe Surrogacy Consulting, and get all the
information you need to become a family at Family of My Own Fertility & Adoption Conference on Saturday, September 29 at the Wyndham Glenview Suites.
This is the premier event in Illinois that will bring together top medical professionals and
industry experts in one room for one day.
Couples who are trying to start a family, but have questions, reproductive health and adoption experts will be available to answer questions on the latest advances in fertility as well as adoption. In addition, the business expo will feature
leading companies that will showcase products and services relevant to fertility and adoption. Sponsors of the event to date include aParent IVF, Fertility Centers of Illinois, InVia Fertility and Walgreens and to register for the event visit www.AFamilyofMyOwn.com
Posted at 05:29 PM in Adoption, Assisted Reproductive Technology, Current Affairs, Egg Donation, Embryo Technology, Fertility, Infertility, Intended Parents, Sperm Donation, Surrogacy | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
| | | | |
The HIPAA Privacy Rule is undergoing significant changes that have increased both the breadth of entities subject to the rule and the compliance work needed, with expanded patient rights. The HITECH Act passed in 2009 brings about changes to things like who is a Business Associate and who is responsible for their compliance and any HIPAA violations they make. The new requirements have a direct impact on what needs to be put into the business associate agreements you establish. There are also new requirements to allow individuals to receive electronic copies of information
held electronically, requiring that entities clearly define their HIPAA
Designated Record Set, and proposed Accounting of Disclosures rule changes make
defining the DRS even more important. Also included are new requirements to
restrict the flow of information in certain circumstances, and new restrictions
on certain uses and disclosures. Covered entities that use
electronic health records (EHRs) will need to meet new access and disclosure
rules and all kinds of business associates will need to establish new compliance
Join us for this 60 minute On Demand
Webinar – "HIPAA Privacy Rule Amendments: What’s Changed and How You Need
to Change" on Aug 22nd, 2012. This webinar has been compiled by
Jim Sheldon-Dean, who is the founder and director of compliance services
at Lewis Creek Systems, LLC, a Vermont-based consulting firm founded in 1982,
providing information privacy and security regulatory compliance services to a
variety of health care providers, businesses, universities, small and large
hospitals, urban and rural mental health and social service agencies, health
insurance plans, and health care business associates. Sheldon-Dean serves on the
HIMSS Information Systems Security Workgroup, has co-chaired the Workgroup for
Electronic Data Interchange Privacy and Security Workgroup, serves on the WEDI
Breach Notification sub-workgroup, and is a recipient of the WEDI 2011 Award of
Highlights Of The Session:
• The new regulations change the way
individuals have access to their records, and how much they can find out about
who has accessed their records.
• Individuals can now request certain
restrictions on disclosures that you must honor.
• There are new requirements
for disclosers of health information to apply "minimum necessary"
• EHR vendors must provide the new tools necessary for their users
to meet HIPAA requirements.
• Business Associates have new requirements to
comply with HIPAA privacy protections and security safeguards and are subject to
enforcement and penalties directly by HHS.
• Sub-contractors of Business
Associates, Health Information Exchanges, Regional Health Information Exchanges,
and e-Prescribing gateways are now considered to be Business Associates
limitations on marketing and fund-raising may change how entities can reach out
• How disclosures must be tracked in an EHR.
• The new
penalty structure and the new audit program mean that you are more likely to be
audited for HIPAA compliance, and you may be facing significantly higher
penalties for non-compliance than ever before.
• What policies and evidence
you need to produce if you are audited by the HHS Office of Civil Rights, and
explain what a Business Associate needs to do differently under the new
• And much more….
If interested, please register using the
registration links below :
Please apply discount code "SAVE20"
at checkout to get an additional $20 discount on early
You also get a chance to subscribe to our online monthly
subscription - Medicare Compliance & Reimbursement Alert.
This newsletter covers all CMS updates, fee schedule changes,
play-by-play on ICD-10, Stark, OIG reports, PQRS, Managed Care contracting, and
much, much more.
Please join us for Fertile Action’s June 14, 2012 Gala in Los Angeles, CA: A Visionary Evening featuring:
And back by popular demand is the fabulous Ms. Lisa Hochberg with a brand new Tasty Ta Ta’s performance! Lisa’s surrogate will be about to give birth to Lisa’s baby boy so let’s cross our fingers he does not come early!
And honoring the following amazing angels in the lives of Fertile Action patients:
The Skirball Cultural Center (Sit down dinner!)
2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd
Los Angeles, CA
Event begins at 6:30pm
| | | | |
Reviewing the book Last Acts of Kindness; Lessons for the Living from the Bedsides of the Dying by Judith Redwing Keyssar surprised and inspired me as I read it almost in one sitting…holding a tissue in one hand. Redwing (as she referred to herself throughout the book) is an amazing woman teaching us all about life through her experiences with the dying. I noticed that because of her work with hospice and oncology most of her stories took place either in the hospital, at home, or in a hospice setting. And to truly experience these deaths she spent quite a bit of time with her patients, caring for them, learning about their beliefs and helping family members and friends accept death as a part of life. We all know that we will all die but do we talk about it? No…we avoid the subject at all costs.
She asks the question Death: Medical Event of Spiritual Experience in Part One of Last Acts of Kindness. All of part one is dedicated to those who died in a hospital setting. From ‘Pulling the Plug’ to ‘A Champagne Toast in the ICU’ the reader is touched by what we mortal beings go through as we take those last few breaths.
I especially liked Part Two: Ingredients for Easing Suffering: Wisdom, Humor and Love. Parts Three and Four are also very valuable to anyone interested in seeking inner peace for themselves or a loved one. I love the fact that there are several pages of resources in the back for those who want to plan for the end of their own life or to assist older parents or patients who are suffering with cancer and other such diseases to prepare for what is surely to come.
Throughout Last Acts of Kindness you will find poetry, quotes and Redwing’s own thoughts and opinions which are very poignant in some cases and in others strait to the point. I am so glad that I read this book now, in my own mid-life. I feel I have a much better understanding of what’s to come not only for myself but for those I love and cherish.
First their Synopsis:
For Laura Ann McGehee, her body represents the one remaining financial resource that can save the family farm. For Sophia McQuistion, Laura Ann’s unusual sacrifice fulfills her own dream of having a child. Weaving together bioethics and faith in a heart-rending tale of love lost and loves found, Nobody’s Child dramatizes the ethical question we can no longer ignore in medicine: Just because we can do something … should we?
Exclusive: By Alison Palmer 21/07/2009
These women all gave a body part to improve someone else’s life. Here they explain why they were so selfless
Every drop counts
Danielle Holmes, 32 lives with husband Richard in Muckamore, Belfast, with their children Kaya, three, and five-week-old Cayden. Danielle is a manager of a logistics company and Richard is a head chef.
“As my darling son, Riley, born 14 weeks early, lay in an incubator, hooked up to endless wires and tubes I felt so helpless. All I could do was feed his tiny 1lb 11oz body with my expressed breast milk.
Despite bleeds on the brain, collapsed lungs and other complications, he limped on. But four weeks in, with all the stress and heartache, my milk dried up. I was devastated. Doctors said formula milk would be too heavy, but there was a milk bank, breast milk donated by other mothers we could use.
Before I had Riley, I was repulsed by the thought but when you are in the situation we were in, knowing the best thing your very poorly child can have is breast milk, you’re eternally grateful for another mum’s donation. I believe the donated milk gave me another five weeks with Riley before he died after surgery for a bowel infection.
So two years later, when I gave birth to Kaya, I was determined to give something back. I contacted the milk bank at Fermanagh and they sent me special bottles and an insulated box and I began expressing.
Each day, as well as expressing for Kaya, I managed 120ml for the bank which I’d freeze. It doesn’t sound much but the tiniest babies only need a couple of millilitres, so every bit counts. I donated for seven months and hope to again now Cayden is five weeks old.
I mentioned having my long hair cut off on www.baby-greenhouse.co.uk and someone suggested I give it to a charity that makes wigs for children with cancer. It’s amazing you can do something so small, so insignificant to you that can make such a massive difference to another person’s life.”
How could I deny someone a life?
Leanne Flanagan, 22, of Cardiffis single with no children and works in a supermarket.
“I opened the letter and started to read. It said: ‘To my dear donor. Thank you for giving me the gift of life. My family and I cannot thank you enough. You will never know what you’ve done for me.’
Tears rolled down my cheeks.
When I signed up to be a bone marrow donor, I gave a blood sample and filled in some paperwork but I never thought I’d be a match.
Then, on my birthday the following year, in November 2007, I received a letter saying I was a potential match. I had some blood taken, then a fortnight later I got a letter to say I was a perfect match.
My family weren’t very happy because they were worried about health implications. But for me it was clear. There was someone out there, probably with leukaemia that would ultimately kill them, who knew there was a donor who could save them.
How could I deny them a chance of life?
I opted to give bone marrow through ‘peripheral blood stem cell donation’. It was simple.
For three days a nurse injected me with a special substance to boost my stem cells. Then on the fourth day the Anthony Nolan Trust paid for us to go to Londonwhere I spent five hours hooked up to a machine at University College Hospital.
I had a needle in each arm; one took blood out into a machine that collected the cells, the other put the ‘empty’ blood back in. I felt tired but nothing more.
I knew the whole process was anonymous so, when I received the letter via the trust I was bowled over.
I’ll never know the recipient but just to know there’s someone out there, still hopefully living a happy, healthy life because of me is just wonderful.”
To join the register or to find out more about the process see www.anthonynolan.org.uk or call 0207 284 1234.
It was very humbling
Cathy Sidaway, 29, a business development manager, lives in York. She’s single and has no children.
“I was leafing through a paper a couple of years ago when I saw an advert from an anonymous couple who needed an egg donor. I thought I could be that person. It all came at a very poignant time. My friend had suffered multiple miscarriages and a relative has endometriosis and was struggling to get pregnant.
I spent some time on the National Gamete Donation Trust’s (NGDT) forum for those considering donation and called the number.
I had extensive counselling. It threw up all sorts of emotions. I was asked how I’d feel telling my own future children that somewhere they may have a half-sibling. I hope they and any future partner would understand. I also had to go through various medical tests.
It was almost a year by the time, last February, I finally donated via Guy’s Hospital, London. I had to go through a similar process to IVF to create as many eggs as possible.
They collected 14 eggs. It was a little uncomfortable but not awful. Sadly the recipient hasn’t got pregnant yet but I’m hopeful it will work out for her soon.
I donated once more and I’m just about to donate again. I met the woman online and was only going to tell her about the process, but we got on so well I offered to be her donor.
I thought I’d donate four times, but we’ll see. All I know is I can give a woman a shot at motherhood. That’s a very humbling experience.”
For more information see www.ngdt.co.uk or call the helpline on 0845 226 9193.
I knew it could save a life
Rebecca Khan, 29, lives in Borehamwood, Hertfordshire, with husband, Kyle, 32, and children, Elena, 23 months and Leah, seven weeks. She works for the NHS – and in recruitment.
“I knew blood in the umbilical cord was live-saving through my work with the blood and transfusion service. I also know it’s hard to find matches for the ethnic community. So, being half-Greek with a half-Jamaican husband, I was desperate to donate. Sadly not all hospitals have a cord blood donation team but mine, Barnet General, does. It wasn’t long before I had a call from the donation team who took me through all the details and helped me fill in a consent form that I kept in my pregnancy notes.
I was devastated when, after Elena’s birth, they hadn’t been able to retrieve a full sample. There wasn’t enough blood in the cord.
So I made sure all the paperwork was in order again when I gave birth to Leah and hoped that this time they’d be successful. They were.
I had an elective caesarean so I didn’t even see when they took the cord away. But it doesn’t matter how you give birth, you can still donate.
Once they cut the cord and establish mum and baby are OK the cord blood team take the placenta and cord. The cells in cord blood can be sent all over the world to help cure patients of life-threatening diseases such as blood cancers and immune disorders.
It’s wonderful that something so useless to you could save a life.”
/For more info about hospitals with a cord blood team or to register to be a donor visit http://cord.blood.co.uk or call 0800 783 5870 or 020 8437 1740.
Infertility is a challenging and rewarding field of nursing, and one that is evolving rapidly and dramatically, requiring nurses and other healthcare practitioners to constantly remain current with the latest state-of–the ART technology. Those in practice, as well as nurses in transition, accept that this ever changing arena requires an ongoing commitment to pursue new information, techniques, and best practices. And, equal in priority, is the IVF nurse’s sensitivity to parents’ quest to create families and the fragility of early embryonic life.
The Annual REI Nursing Congress: Scientific & Therapeutic Approaches To Assisted Reproductive Technology (STARTARTSM) provides a unique and comprehensive educational opportunity, featuring critical updates on the latest advances in reproductive medicine, from procedures and protocols to psychosocial and legal issues. The goal of this Congress is to provide late-breaking information and cutting-edge techniques to improve ART outcomes - a goal that is matched by the IVF nurses’ skills, compassion, and caring that make this field so remarkable.
This activity is intended for the education of nurses, nurse practitioners, and other healthcare professionals specializing in reproductive medicine and assisted reproductive technology. (It's great for surrogacy and egg donation agency owners too!)
During lunch on both Thursday, August 4 and Friday, August 5, participants will have the opportunity to join accredited sessions of interactive roundtable discussions. Topics will be posted at the meeting registration desk, where participants may sign up for discussions of issues of special interest. A moderator or faculty member will lead each group. (I am, once again, planning to lead a round table on the topic of Gestational Surrogacy.)
Register HERE https://www.123enroll.com/STARTART
I hope to see you there!!
Posted at 07:32 AM in Assisted Reproductive Technology, Current Affairs, Egg Donation, Embryo Technology, Fertility, Infertility, Male Factor, Medical, Pregnancy, Sperm Donation, Surrogacy, The Making of a Surrogacy Agency | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)
| | | | |
Another trip to Olympia on March 15th for the public hearing on HB 1267 to legalize surrogacy in the great state of WA. This time there were many people and groups in opposition to the bill...some wearing bright orange NOT FOR SALE stickers (men as well as women). I wanted to stand up and say that no one is for sale here but that would have landed on ears attached to a mind that was already made up. I learned first hand by trying to have a conversation with Senator Pam Roach. She is the mother of 5 and I believe has 13 grandchildren and has no intention, it seems, to vote yes on HB 1267. Upon hearing the little "vignettes" (her words) she seemed to be an active listener but those true experiences, as told from the Intended Parents point of view, didn't seem as important as her own agenda. One of many statements she made was that because heterosexual couples are required to have a medical reason to "pay" a surrogate then so should homosexuals. (Even the NOT FOR SALE people around me snickered at this for obvious reasons.) She also asked if the bill covered the carrying of "cloned embryos". Yes, we really went there...briefly.
There was also a mother and her son testifying, Jennifer and Jon, and they both did a wonderful job of explaining why a surrogate was needed to bring Jon into the world. I was really impressed by Jon's willingness to speak up for surrogacy and I know from previous testimony that this family has a loving friendship with their surrogate and family in CA.
Some of the people featured in this Seattle Times report from Monday March 14th were at this public hearing. Although this article states that I think the bill "goes overboard" that isn't the case. There are quite a few provisions in this HB 1267 that you would see in a very well written contract between surrogates and intended parents. Those same issues are simply reiterated here, however the one thing I would remove from this bill is the entire section pertaining to Traditional Surrogacy. (Where a woman uses her own eggs.) I just feel that the state is borrowing trouble with the way it is worded here. Traditional Surrogacy, in my opinion belongs under the adoption laws. (But that's just me...)
I am hoping that this bill at least makes it to the senate floor for a vote...that didn't happen last year. And if it doesn't pass this year there is always next but that is cold comfort to those who need surrogates now and really don't have the means to travel out of state.
Time flies and before we know it the time has come to spring ahead and set our clocks! Usually we set them Saturday night before we go to bed but the official time is 2 am on Sunday March 13th. Read below if you want to know WHY we do this in the first place...
Rationale and original idea
If you live near the equator, day and night are nearly the same length (12 hours). But elsewhere on Earth, there is much more daylight in the summer than in the winter. The closer you live to the North or South Pole, the longer the period of daylight in the summer. Thus, Daylight Saving Time (Summer Time) is usually not helpful in the tropics, and countries near the equator generally do not change their clocks.
A poll conducted by the U.S. Department of Transportation indicated that Americans liked Daylight Saving Time because "there is more light in the evenings / can do more in the evenings." A 1976 survey of 2.7 million citizens in New South Wales, Australia, found 68% liked daylight saving. Indeed, some say that the primary reason that Daylight Saving Time is a part of many societies is simply because people like to enjoy long summer evenings, and that reasons such as energy conservation are merely rationalizations.
According to some sources, DST saves energy. Studies done by the U.S. Department of Transportation in 1975 showed that Daylight Saving Time trims the entire country's electricity usage by a small but significant amount, about one percent each day, because less electricity is used for lighting and appliances. Similarly, in New Zealand, power companies have found that power usage decreases 3.5 percent when daylight saving starts. In the first week, peak evening consumption commonly drops around five percent.
The rationale behind the 1975 study of DST-related energy savings was that energy use and the demand for electricity for lighting homes is directly related to the times when people go to bed at night and rise in the morning. In the average home, 25 percent of electricity was used for lighting and small appliances, such as TVs and stereos. A good percentage of energy consumed by lighting and appliances occurred in the evening when families were home. By moving the clock ahead one hour, the amount of electricity consumed each day decreased.
In the summer, people who rose before the sun rises used more energy in the morning than if DST were not in effect. However, although 70 percent of Americans rose before 7:00 a.m., this waste of energy from having less sunlight in the morning was more than offset by the savings of energy that results from more sunlight in the evening.
In the winter, the afternoon Daylight Saving Time advantage is offset for many people and businesses by the morning's need for more lighting. In spring and fall, the advantage is generally less than one hour. So, the rationale was that Daylight Saving Time saves energy for lighting in all seasons of the year, but it saves least during the four darkest months of winter (November, December, January, and February), when the afternoon advantage is offset by the need for lighting because of late sunrise.
In addition, less electricity was thought to be used because people are home fewer hours during the "longer" days of spring and summer. Most people plan outdoor activities in the extra daylight hours. When people are not at home, they don't turn on the appliances and lights.
Although a 1976 report by the National Bureau of Standards disputed the 1975 U.S. Department of Transportation study, and found that DST-related energy savings were insignificant, the DOT study continued to influence decisions about Daylight Saving Time.
The argument in favor of saving energy swayed Indiana, where until 2005, only about 16 percent of counties observed Daylight Saving Time. Based on the DOT study, advocates of Indiana DST estimated that the state’s residents would save over $7 million in electricity costs each year. Now that Indiana has made the switch, however, researchers have found the opposite to be the case. Scientists from the University of California, Santa Barbara, compared energy usage over the course of three years in Indiana counties that switched from year-round Standard Time to DST. They found that Indianans actually spent $8.6 million more each year because of Daylight Saving Time, and increased emissions came with a social cost of between $1.6 million and $5.3 million per year. Commentators have theorized that the energy jump is due to the increased prevalence of home air conditioning over the past 40 years, in that more daylight toward the end of a summer’s day means that people are more likely to use their air conditioners when they come home from work.
However, the Indiana research findings don’t necessarily apply elsewhere. In cooler climates, for example, energy savings may well occur.
In addition, some argue that there is a public health benefit to Daylight Saving Time, as it decreases traffic accidents. Several studies in the U.S. and Great Britain have found that the DST daylight shift reduces net traffic accidents and fatalities by close to one percent. An increase in accidents in the dark mornings is more than offset by the evening decrease in accidents.
However, recent research indicates that pedestrian fatalities from cars soar at 6:00 p.m. during the weeks after clocks are set back in the fall. Walkers are three times as likely to be hit and killed by cars right after the switch than in the month before DST ends. Researchers from Carnegie Mellon University, who found a 186 percent jump in the risk of being killed by a car for every mile walked, speculate that drivers go through an adjustment period when dusk arrives earlier. Although the risk drops in the morning, because there are fewer pedestrians at 6:00 a.m., the lives saved in the morning don’t offset those lost in the evening.
This research corroborates a 2001 study by researchers at the University of Michigan, which found that 65 pedestrians were killed by car crashes in the week before DST ended, and 227 pedestrians were killed in the week following the end of DST.
There may also be an economic benefit to DST, as daylight evening hours encourage people to go out and shop, potentially spurring economic growth.
Idea of Daylight Saving Time
The idea of daylight saving was first conceived by Benjamin Franklin (portrait at right) during his sojourn as an American delegate in Paris in 1784, in an essay, "An Economical Project." Read more about Franklin's essay.
Some of Franklin's friends, inventors of a new kind of oil lamp, were so taken by the scheme that they continued corresponding with Franklin even after he returned to America.
The idea was first advocated seriously by London builder William Willett (1857-1915) in the pamphlet, "Waste of Daylight" (1907), that proposed advancing clocks 20 minutes on each of four Sundays in April, and retarding them by the same amount on four Sundays in September. As he was taking an early morning a ride through Petts Wood, near Croydon, Willett was struck by the fact that the blinds of nearby houses were closed, even though the sun was fully risen. When questioned as to why he didn't simply get up an hour earlier, Willett replied with typical British humor, "What?" In his pamphlet "The Waste of Daylight" he wrote:
"Everyone appreciates the long, light evenings. Everyone laments their shortage as Autumn approaches; and everyone has given utterance to regret that the clear, bright light of an early morning during Spring and Summer months is so seldom seen or used."
Early British laws and lax observance
About one year after Willett began to advocate daylight saving (he spent a fortune lobbying), he attracted the attention of the authorities. Robert Pearce - later Sir Robert Pearce - introduced a bill in the House of Commons to make it compulsory to adjust the clocks. The bill was drafted in 1909 and introduced in Parliament several times, but it met with ridicule and opposition, especially from farming interests. Generally lampooned at the time, Willett died on March 4, 1915.
Following Germany's lead, Britain passed an act on May 17, 1916, and Willett's scheme of adding 80 minutes, in four separate movements was put in operation on the following Sunday, May 21, 1916. There was a storm of opposition, confusion, and prejudice. The Royal Meteorological Society insisted that Greenwich time would still be used to measure tides. The parks belonging to the Office of Works and the London County Council decided to close at dusk, which meant that they would be open an extra hour in the evening. Kew Gardens, on the other hand, ignored the daylight saving scheme and decided to close by the clock.
In Edinburgh, the confusion was even more marked, for the gun at the Castle was fired at 1:00 p.m. Summer Time, while the ball on the top of the Nelson monument on Calton Hill fell at 1:00 Greenwich Time. That arrangement was carried on for the benefit of seamen who could see it from the Firth of Forth. The time fixed for changing clocks was 2:00 a.m. on a Sunday.
There was a fair bit of opposition from the general public and from agricultural interests who wanted daylight in the morning, but Lord Balfour came forward with a unique concern:
"Supposing some unfortunate lady was confined with twins and one child was born 10 minutes before 1 o'clock. ... the time of birth of the two children would be reversed. ... Such an alteration might conceivably affect the property and titles in that House."
After World War I, Parliament passed several acts relating to Summer Time. In 1925, a law was enacted that Summer Time should begin on the day following the third Saturday in April (or one week earlier if that day was Easter Day). The date for closing of Summer Time was fixed for the day after the first Saturday in October.
The energy saving benefits of Summer Time were recognized during World War II, when clocks in Britain were put two hours ahead of GMT during the summer. This became known as Double Summer Time. During the war, clocks remained one hour ahead of GMT throughout the winter.
To read more visit: http://www.webexhibits.org/daylightsaving/c.html
Washington State is giving another stab at passing a great bill into law (in my humble opinion), House Bill HB 1267. On Monday, January 24th, I arrived early at my states capitol in Olympia, ready to be heard. (Yes it was rainy but it is WA!)
Just in case you are drawing a blank, last year we tried to pass this same bill under different numbers, HB 2793. It didn't pass and so here we go again! Just a recap of what this bill stands for; HB 1267 expands and clarifies the rights and obligations of state registered domestic partners and other couples related to parentage AND establishes consistent standards and procedural safeguards for the protection of all parties involved in a surrogacy contract in this state and to confirm the legal status of children born as a result of these contracts. As things stand now, 'commercial' surrogacy is illegal but compassionate (unpaid) surrogacy arrangements are fine. However even women who are 'unpaid' are not protected and can be exploited. This law, the surrogacy portion of it, reads like a contract drawn up in any of the states that have laws and statutes regarding surrogacy already in place. But in Washington State issues that are 'suggested' in those contracts will be Mandated here. (read page 37).
I do have a couple of concerns here in regard to Traditional Surrogacy portion of this bill and in regard to the mandated disability insurance clause. But I think that those items will be discussed and hopefully cleared up before this bill hits the senate for a vote. (assuming it passes the House!)
Below is my testimony but know that I did ad lib a bit. I couldn't help myself after seeing several Intended Parents speak emotionally before me about the rigors and expense of going out of state in order to build their families via surrogacy. I could certainly agree with them, as you will read below!
"My name is Sharon LaMothe and I am the owner of an educational website on building a family through Assisted Reproduction Technology (ART) called Infertility Answers plus I am owner of LaMothe Services, a Reproductive Business Solutions Service and LaMothe Surrogacy Consulting, a Washington based consulting program to assist Intended Parents here in Washington (and other states) learn about the surrogacy process and what they need to do to make their dream of having a family via surrogacy a reality. I also owned a surrogacy agency in Florida which stopped taking new clients when I moved to the Seattle area in 2007.
Briefly, I am a past 2x Gestational Surrogate. I resided in New York State during my first surrogacy experience and because of the legalities in NY (very similar to WA states current laws) I was forced to leave the NY weeks before the twins were due and fly to Florida (where the laws are favorable for married couples) and give birth there in the Tampa Bay area. I gave birth via C-section so that operation added recovery time which kept me away from my husband and two young children a total of 6 weeks. Not only is it not wise to travel while pregnant, recuperating without your own family and friends around wasn't easy or desirable. However I was compelled to help my friends, the Intended Parents in this case, have the family that they always wanted. The contracts were drawn up in Florida and included some compensation. The psychological and medical screenings were done there as well as the actual embryo transfer. As you can see this took me out of NY state quite often at the IP's expense. I DID volunteer to be their Gestational Surrogate however it would have been MUCH less expensive and easier if I could have stayed in my home state not to mention my home town. (but we knew each other and they didn't want to work with a 'stranger')
My second surrogacy was for a same sex couple from Manhattan and although I had moved to Florida to run my now successful surrogacy agency with my business partner and to give birth, CT had passed a law where both fathers could be placed on the birth certificate. Because that was a favorable outcome for THEM I agreed to travel to CT for the birth of this second set of surrogate twins. I was away from my family once again for approximately 4 weeks and most of that in a hotel room at the Intended Parents expense. Needless to say that if Florida allowed both fathers to be on the birth certificate it would have been wonderful for all involved.
Because of my past experiences and those of other Surrogates and Intended Parents whom I had matched through my Florida Surrogacy Agency and knowing that Washington State does not allow compensated surrogacy arrangements, I have been working with couples who have been told that the only way they can have a biological child is via surrogacy. Often times the clinics have no further information to share and these intended parents feel like they are on their own with no guidance or information. They will turn to the Internet but swiftly find that they are overwhelmed with information that isn't understandable or pertinent to their unique circumstances. I have helped find agencies in states that they have family or friends in, find clinics that are cost effective, locate attorneys who are knowledgeable and experienced in contract negotiations and find mental heath professionals to help them through this emotional process. Some Intended Parents have family members or friends here in WA state who will waive any compensation and carry a baby for them. These people still need to have all the support and education they need to make an informed decision UP FRONT and that's where my expertize comes into play.
I feel that if this bill is finally passed into law we will see less travel out of our state and perhaps more people coming to WA to use the facilities that already offer services to families using assisted reproductive technology without the surrogacy component. (egg donation, IVF, IUI etc.) It would be more convenient, less expensive and conducive to great surrogacy relationships between IPs and the woman carrying a baby for them here in a state that would be supportive and have laws in place that would protect one and all."
I hope all my readers will support HB1267 and I will keep you posted on the results.
Here are a few facts about Thanksgiving Day! Enjoy!
Thanksgiving Day is a harvest festival celebrated primarily in the United States and Canada. Traditionally, it is a time to give thanks for the harvest and express gratitude in general. While it may have been religious in origin, Thanksgiving is now primarily identified as a secular holiday.
In the United States, Thanksgiving Day falls on the fourth Thursday of November. In Canada it is celebrated on the second Monday in October.
The precise historical origin of the holiday is disputed. Although Americans commonly believe that the first Thanksgiving happened in 1621, at Plymouth Plantation, in Massachusetts, there is strong evidence for earlier celebrations in Canada (1578) and by Spanish explorers in Florida (1565).
Expecting 411, Baby 411 and Toddler 411 by Michele Hakakha, MD and Ari Brown, MD are wonderful books for the first time parent and for those with lots of experience! Not only are these books written by doctors they had an advisory board to help them and trust me, no detail is left out! These books are very well organized with sections and chapters and a clear question and answer format along with icons to indicate Helpful Hints, Red Flags, Old Wives Tales and Disturbing Material Ahead to name a few. The Baby 411 and Toddler 411 books have Insider Secrets and Feedback from the Real World. I highly recommend this entire set!
Do you want to WIN your own BRAND NEW set of these great 411 books? Here's how you do it! Visit Infertility Answers, look over the website and recommend it to someone you know(the recommendation button is at the bottom of each page) and then sign into the Guest Book! Leave a comment about the site and your name and e-mail address along with the date and you will be put in a drawing to have this entire set delivered to you by December 17th! This Contest starts today and will end on December 7th 2010. You will be contacted by e-mail on December 11th! Expecting 411 is signed by both authors!
Thank you and GOOD LUCK!
November is National Adoption Month, a month set aside each year to raise awareness about the adoption of children and youth from foster care. This year's National Adoption Month initiative targets adoption professionals by focusing on ways to recruit and retain parents for the 115,000 children and youth in foster care waiting for adoptive families.
Activities and celebrations are kicked off with a Presidential Proclamation, and while efforts made at the national level certainly help build awareness of adoption, participation in local programs, events, and activities by those of us with a direct connection to adoption can often be the most effective way to promote positive perceptions, debunk the myths, and draw attention to the tens of thousands of children in foster care who wait and hope for permanent families.
Made from your table scraps (except meats and seeds) and yard waste, composting is the key to sustainability and organic gardening. It reduces your trash and the amount of junk that ends up in landfills, that is, if you aren't a big fast food fan and you actually eat fresh food.
There is little to no actual trash in my garbage bin. I recycle any paper products or glass and throw all vegetable, fruit, and table scraps into the compost bucket under my kitchen sink. Once full, I take the bucket of scraps and head out to the far corner of the yard where I dump it into a big pile. I toss in a few leaves and the pile turns itself into the most amazing, dark, rich soil I've ever seen.
I was quite truly astonished when I first witnessed food and leaves turn into healthy soil. I had no idea of the method in which nature quickly breaks down organic matter, turning it into a lush product. Those of you who garden will understand my use of "lush" when referring to soil. Those of you who don't tend to the earth and grow a few things, you must start, even if it's a small pot of something near a window.
The soil you create yourself can be used as mulch around trees and bushes, it can go into flower pots, and of course, can be mixed into soil in your garden. It enriches and feeds the earth while repelling the bugs that destroy your beloved plants.
Strong, healthy soil is the key to organic gardening and to keeping plants thriving so they are not attacked by pests. This makes the use of caustic pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides on our precious earth all the more ridiculous, since these chemicals deplete the soil. This weakens the plants, strips them of nutrients, and brings on even more pests.
Composting is an amazing, wonderful way to help heal this precious earth. It is one way to give back to this planet which has provided us with all we need. And once you start, you won't want to see another banana peel or broccoli stalk go into the trash, because you will know what it's capable of becoming.
My friend Rosanne (an earthy Taurus, naturally) taught me how to make a compost pile. I was finding it all mysterious and complicated, but she changed this. Her method follows.
Use a bucket under the sink for your kitchen scraps. Outside, dig a hole about two feet deep and two to three feet wide. Put your cast-off food scraps in it with some leaves. Cover these with some dirt. Every few days, turn the pile a bit with a shovel or pitchfork to aerate it. If it's dry, add some water so it becomes like a wrung out sponge.
Keep adding to the pile. When it’s fairly large, dig another hole next to it and begin adding fresh scraps to this new pile, allowing the older one to cook and do its thing.
Out of the few methods I've tried, Rosanne's is the best and easiest. I've heard people say you have to do it in layers, adding food, then leaves, then dirt, and so on. But it's too complicated. All you need do is toss your scraps in and cover them with dirt. Add a few leaves and cuttings from plants or grass, mix once in awhile, and add some water occasionally. In very cold climates you would need to use alternatives. In this case, check with your local waste management company to see if they offer compost bins.
In the past couple of years, I have used a black compost bin instead of making my pile on the ground. This has served to keep Rami, my Labrador-German Shepherd foodie, from eating everything in the pile. But it doesn't work as well. It isn't as fast or efficient. My next step will be to put a little enclosure around the pile, so it keeps the critters out.
If you live in an apartment or a place where an outdoor pile isn't possible, there are now counter top compost makers. To find out more about them, you can do an internet search of counter top composters. You’ll see there are many styles and a wide price range to choose from.
Even if you aren't a gardener or don’t have a green thumb, just spreading your homemade compost onto the earth, perhaps around a few trees in your neighborhood, will help repair this place we have for so long treated with disregard.
Dr. Christina Grant is a holistic healer, teacher, and intuitive counselor. You are welcome to visit her blog, contact her, and sign up for her e-newsletter at: www.christinagrant.com.
Breast Cancer can sneak up on you...it did for my mother, who over 7 years ago underwent a double mastectomy. She is doing fine now however if she had been diligent with her self examinations and mammogram's (she always refused when her Dr. dare suggest she have one) her outcome may have been different. She is one of the lucky ones though, to have fought the battle and won.
The best way to fight breast cancer is to have a plan that helps you detect the disease in its early stages. Start your Early Detection Plan today.
Some useful statistics to know as Breast Cancer Awareness Month begins:
| | | | |
"Brief Summary of Substitute Bill: 2793 Amends the Uniform Parentage Act to:
(1) incorporate state-registered domestic partnerships and same-sex couples throughout its provisions;
(2)adopt changes made by the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws; and
(3) make it gender-neutral.
Establishes standards for gestational surrogacy contracts and sets forth requirements that intended parents and the woman acting as a gestational surrogate must meet to have a valid gestational surrogacy contract."
Thursday the18th was a very exciting day for me here in Washington State. I was asked to Testify in front of the State Senate regarding the bill HB 2793 Legalizing Gestational Surrogacy. Not only would HB 2793 legalize surrogacy but it also makes a strong positive statement to the Gay and Lesbian community regarding the Uniform Parentage Act.
My part in all this was small yet I did have an impact and a voice for Gestational Carriers in this state and others regarding our commitment to the Intended Parents we give birth for.I spoke with two of the HB 2793 bill supporters after, Senator Kessler and Representative Pedersen, who both stated that while reading in black and white about issues faced while living in a state that makes surrogacy illegal, hearing first hand about the impact and tolls it puts on Intended Parents and Gestational Carriers who must leave this state to realize their dream of building families through surrogacy made all the difference.
Most of you know that I moved to the Seattle area only three years ago. However, when I was a Gestational Carrier, I lived in NY where commercial surrogacy is also considered illegal. I used my own personal experiences to drive home the need to legalize surrogacy here in WA State. My Intended Parents were in Florida and I had to travel there several times for testing and transfers. During the pregnancy the IPs had to travel to NY to see me as well. A lot of money was spent on travel. When I was about 32 weeks I had a gallbladder issue that threw me into premature labor. Once stabilized I had to once again travel to FL because, God forbid, I could NOT give birth in NY. I was unexpectedly away from my own husband and children much longer then I intended after giving birth to twin girls at 34 weeks via an unplanned c-section. All told I was gone from my home for about two months.
I have a similar story of flying all over kingdom come for the same sex couple I ended up giving birth for in 2005 so that both of the Intended Fathers could be on the birth certificate. Now with the possibility of these new surrogacy and parentage actions in WA state it will be SO much easier for a surrogacy arrangement to happen between family, friends and, yes, strangers.
I now am looking toward Spring and early Summer in hopes that all the signatures required are collected and that the Governor signs it ASAP.
I would also like to acknowledge the two WA state Intended Mothers who also testified and who missed out on a lot of the joys of sharing a pregnancy with their out of state Gestational Carriers and the one Gestational Carrier who actually resided here in WA State and gave birth out of state for one couple and delivered in WA State for another Intended Parent for zero compensation. All the stories were heart wrenching yet joyous because they all ended up giving and getting what they wanted the most: the chance to build a family via surrogacy!
To read this bill yourself please visit: HB 2793
U.S. Census Scam-Scammers impersonating as U.S Census employees!
Personal information of any individual is a data which if gets into the wrong hands can not only harm that particular individual, but the society on a whole also stands at a risk.
One of the most important work that needs to be carried out by the U.S government every 10 years is the U.S Census process. It is a process which spans between 15-18 months during which U.S census employees will reach out to every household recording important information such as details regarding age, address, gender, race, birth date, marital status etc.
Every person who holds a U.S citizenship (by birth or acquired) is bound by law to provide information to census officials. This data will then be used for determination and allocation of funds to citizens in need.
The U.S census department can use a variety of methods to reach out to citizens for collection of personal information eg personal visits, phone calls etc. This is also a golden opportunity for scammers to collect important personal information for their census scam. Census scam is one of the most simplest of scams wherein scammers can easily represent themselves as employees of U.S census department. Scammers impersonating employees of the U.S census department poses a greater risk since there is no single way in which U.S census employees might contact the citizens. This serves as a blessing in disguise for all scammers. Now, the big question that pops up in the mind of every citizen is-how to differentiate a legitimate U.S census employee from a scammer? Some guidelines mentioned below can be of help:
1.Though U.S census employees contact citizens either through personal visits or by phone calls, they will never ask for your personal information through the internet. Never provide any personal details to anyone through email.
2.Social security number, credit card details and account information is something which any legitimate U.S census employee will never ask or is not entitled to ask. Do not provide any such details to a person, even if that person is from the U.S census department.
3.Employees of the U.S census department can never ask for money or tell you that you owe the government (even if you do).
4.Employees of the U.S census department are specifically instructed to be polite with each and every citizen or non-resident that they contact. If anyone does come across an official who is trying to be aggressive or trying to intimidate/coax you into something, citizens have the right to refuse giving any information and are advised to report the matter to the authorities.
5.Lastly, and the most important detail to be kept in mind by every citizen is to ask for a device or document or both for the purpose of verifying the identity of the person representing the U.S census department. It is the duty of every U.S census employee to provide his/her identification to every individual that is being visited. It is also the fundamental right of every citizen to ask for and verify the details regarding identification, from any person representing the U.S census department.
| | | | |
As promised, here are the time lines from the beginning of our country's census-taking days! Again all the credit goes to the Readers Digest.
(To the right is a cartoon from the late 1800's called the 'census man' for those of you wondering!)
The Time Line
1787 / The U.S. Constitution mandates that a national census be conducted every ten years to determine seats in the House of Representatives and to guide tax policy.
1790 / The first census records the head of household’s name and counts occupants (slaves are tallied as three fifths of a person). Total cost: $44,000.
1810 / To get a sense of the national economy, Congress orders census takers to tally manufacturers too.
1830 / Census-taking marshals and their assistants are finally given officially printed census forms so they won’t have to use whatever blank paper they find handy.
1840 / Census grows to more than 70 questions, including the number of “insane and idiotic” in each household.
1850 / All free household residents are now recorded, in addition to the head.
1860 / The census, especially its industrial statistics, will prove useful in assessing the relative strengths of the North and South during the Civil War.
1880 / The government gives federal marshals a break and hires “enumerators.”
1890 / Hands-free! Electronic punch-card machines are introduced.
1930 / Census takers begin to mea¬-sure unemployment. Jobless respondents not hard to find.
1950s / Gigantic UNIVAC I computer helps tabulate results; still relies on punch cards to do so.
1980 / The ever more exact census becomes ever more politicized: States, local governments, and civil rights groups file lawsuits challenging the results.
1998 / Cities and states that lost funding after the ’90 census support a suit to use statistical sampling to adjust for under- and overcounts, with President Clinton’s endorsement. The Supreme Court rules against them 5 to 4 in 1999.
2010 / In March, more than 120 million census forms will be mailed out. If you don’t reply, expect to hear from one of the Census Bureau’s 1.4 million temporary hires.
While we are all talking about HOW to add babies into our world the politicians are working out how to COUNT all of us here in the good ole US of A! I thought that I would share a few Census facts with you. You can be sure that you will be a little more informed when one of these census takers knocks on your door! Thanks to the Readers Digest for the following information:
Every ten years, the U.S. government essentially takes attendance, using results to distribute seats in the House of Representatives and $400 billion in federal aid. Will this year’s census make some people angry? We can count on it.
Winners, losers: The 2000 census results were good news for Arizona, Florida, Georgia, and Texas: Each state gained two seats in the House of Representatives, thanks to population gains. Illinois, Ohio, and New York lost seats. For 2010, experts predict that the Northeast will lose four congressional seats and the Midwest will shed six, with five seats apiece heading to the South and West.
No citizen left behind? Accuracy is a big issue. In one study, the U.S. Census Monitoring Board used projections and statistical sampling of the 2000 census to determine that the final tally missed three million people, causing the District of Columbia and 31 states to lose $4.1 billion in federal funding. This drives Democrats nuts, since the undercounted are most likely to be part of their constituency: poor people and minorities, who might be difficult to track down or wary of government.
Math and class: Given that one person’s statistical-sampling-based projections are another’s agenda-driven cooking of the books, Republicans have resisted efforts to adjust census results using mathematical tools. On the traditionalists’ side: the U.S. Constitution, which in mandating a census called for an “actual enumeration,” not a guesstimate.
Count me out: In June, Michele Bachmann, a Republican congresswoman from Minnesota, vowed not to fully respond to the 2010 census, calling it government intrusion. Participation, however, isn’t optional. Failure to fill out the census form is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $5,000. (Wrongful disclosure of confidential information, on the other hand, is a felony.)
The seed of controversy: Census “partners” help in counting harder-to-reach groups. One, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN), proved especially divisive—even before an undercover video surfaced, showing its workers offering advice to brothel owners on passing off underage prostitutes as legal dependents.
Measure for Measure: A snapshot of the tallies, then and now
Number in 1790: 650
Number in 2010: 650,000
67%: Mail-in response rate for 2000 census, after declining from 78 percent in 1970
Amount the government saves in door-to-door census worker salaries with each 1 percent increase in mail-in response rate.
1880: First year included on census forms
2010: First year same-sex married couples allowed to declare *Note*
Cities with the biggest gains, 2000–2008
... and with the biggest losses
Percentage of people living in an urban area in 2000—up from 51 percent in 1920
An Early Look Trends for 2010
The Census Bureau’s annual American Community Survey offers specifics you won’t find in the 2010 census. Some highlights:
*For the first time in a decade, the total number of foreign-born residents did not grow.
*The share of people who have never married increased 4 percent from 2000 to 2008.
*Real median household income declined nationwide, ranging from $37,790 in Mississippi to $70,545 in Maryland.
*he median price of a home fell to $197,600, with the biggest declines in Nevada and California.
We know where you live. Really. This year, many enumerators, or census takers, will carry handheld computers equipped with a Global Positioning System to help track down addresses. GPS use will make the searching go faster and increase productivity, but the big advantage, according to the Census Bureau, is that adding GPS coordinates for addresses to the bureau’s database will ensure that an accurate location is recorded for each resident. That will help officials redraw congressional districts if necessary.
Keeping it brief: There will be just ten questions on the 2010 census form—one of the shortest since the first enumeration, in 1790. (Question No. 1: How many people were living or staying in this house, apartment, or mobile home on April 1, 2010?) It will use 30 percent less ink than the 2000 census and be printed on 30 percent recycled paper. And there will be no long-form supplemental survey: These days, the bureau gets much of its most detailed information about us from the annual American Community Survey and the every-five-years Economic Census.
Oficina del Censo: The upcoming census will be the first to offer Spanish-language questionnaires—part of an effort to increase participation by Hispanics, many of whom fear filling out the government form if they are in the country illegally. (In fact, the census doesn’t ask about citizenship, only nationality. And cities benefit from having illegal, as well as legal, immigrants participate, since larger urban populations mean more federal aid.) Also encouraging a better count? Telemundo producers, who made a character in a popular Spanish-language soap opera a census worker to help ease fears of the count.
Bargain rate: U.S. officials may want to look to Switzerland. Its 2010 census will be the first that annually synthesizes information gleaned from local and regional population registers, records of buildings and dwellings, and other public information, supplemented by a sample survey of 200,000 people. The new approach, according to the Swiss Federal Statistical Office, offers “an excellent cost/benefit ratio.” Its cost? About $10 million per year. (They take their census annually.) The U.S. price tag for 2010? Nearly $15 billion.
Tomorrow I will share with you the time line!
We spend January 1 walking through our lives, room by room, drawing up a list of work to be done, cracks to be patched. Maybe this year, to balance the list, we ought to walk through the rooms of our lives... not looking for flaws, but for potential. ~Ellen Goodman
Wishing all of my readers an Happy and Healthy New Year!
|“Celebrate the happiness that friends are always giving, make every day a holiday and celebrate just living!”|
By: Amanda Bradley
Wishing you and yours a wonderful Holiday Season!
Thank you for voting for me and my blog(s) in the Wellsphere People's Health Blogger awards 2009, making the top 100 a second year in a row! Your confidence and comments are truly appreciated!
I wanted to share with you a trailer that was sent to me for a film made by Deirdre Fishel, a Brooklyn based independent documentary filmmaker. She recently made a personal film about her process (and that of three other women) to parent solo using donor sperm.
Apparently the film is nearly finished, but before she can put it out in the world where it can hopefully be a positive contribution to the changing family paradigm, they need to raise the last bit of money. For this purpose they have put a trailer on line and created the possibility for individuals to donate.
I would appreciate it if you would have a look at:
Frankly, I found it fascinating and well worth the few minutes it takes to watch. You have the option to donate if you would like as well.
Would love to hear your comments!
Infertility Answers, Inc.
Until I read the article, below, I have to admit that I never gave a second thought to what the poorest women in the world do during "that time of the month". I didn't think that girls would miss over 50 days of school a year because they had no sanitary supplies and it didn't cross my mind regarding the cost of buying sanitary products for these poor women. So I am bringing an awareness to all of us here in the USA...is there something WE can do to help these poor women? Read below to find out more.
Infertility Answers, Inc.
Affordable Sanitary Pads for World's Poorest Women
A company called Sustainable Health Enterprises (SHE), together with researchers from North Carolina State University, have joined forces to create economical and reliable sanitary pads for millions of women across the globe, who cannot afford the regular feminine products currently available.
Because of their periods, some young women who live in poverty stricken places, are forced to miss up to 50 days of school in a year. This is due to the unavailability of feminine products. Elizabeth Scharpf is founder and CEO of SHE, an organization that is led by women whose goal is to manufacture and distribute affordable, environmentally friendly sanitary pads of good quality, to women in the developing world. What a fantastic idea and mission! Scharph says: “In some …areas of Africa, a month’s supply of imported sanitary pads cost more than a day’s worth of wages. Our goal is to create affordable pads that are…easily manufactured for a low cost at the local level-and the research being conducted at NC State helps us do that.”
The making of these sanitary napkins involves knowledge of areas such as paper and wood science, medical textiles, biomedical engineering and textile engineering chemistry.
The raw materials used in the process are banana stems. The stems undergo a series of chemical treatments that convert the fibers into soft, billowy materials that can absorb liquid.
These sanitary pads can be reproduced at the local level. Dr. Lucian Lucia from the Department of Wood and Paper at the university says that their role in the project was to show that it is possible to turn banana stem fiber into an absorbent material, and that the average person, and one who is not necessarily a scientist, would be able to create the sanitary pads. Local production and distribution means that the sanitary pads can be sold by community health workers for 30 percent less than the available brand.
Dr. Marian McCord, associate professor of textile engineering chemistry, science and biomedical engineering, maintains that the project is just one example of how a university can have an important impact on global health. Very true.
Congratulations to everyone involved in the project, and to SHE for its plans to distribute this sanitary pad to girls and women, so their lives can be made easier when that time of the month rolls around.
Thank God every day when you get up that you have something to do that day which must be done whether you like it or not. Being forced to work and forced to do your best will breed in you temperance and self-control, diligence and strength of will, cheerfulness and content, and a hundred virtues which the idle will never know.
Enjoy your day with Family and Friends!
All my best from:
Infertility Answers, Inc.