Media Trail

Single surrogate fatherhood growing

CNN reports a growing number of single men, both gay and straight, are opting to become fathers alone, through gestational surrogacy.

Surrogacy experts say because the practice is not regulated, many surrogacy arrangements are handled privately.

Celebrities like Ricky Martin and Clay Aiken have recently had babies with the help of surrogates, and the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology reports that the number of gestational surrogate births quadrupled between 1996-2006.

Surrogacy experts say gestational surrogacy has increased steadily because it provides emotional and legal protection for the client. The egg donor usually does not know the client and the surrogate is not giving birth to her genetic child.

‘Sopranos’ actor dead in apparent suicide

USA Today reports the 47-year-old actor who starred as the gay firefighter and lover of a closeted mobster on “The Sopranos” was found dead of an apparent suicide.

John Costelloe was found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound inside his Brooklyn home Dec. 18 after family members were unable to reach him, said police spokesperson Lt. John Grimpel.

Costelloe gained a measure of fame in 2006 when he was cast as Jim “Johnny Cakes” Witowski opposite his longtime friend, actor Joseph Gannascoli, who played gay mob capo Vito Spatafore on the HBO series.

Mom appeals ban on same-sex partner

The Washington Blade reports a same-sex couple is asking the Tennessee Court of Appeals to lift a judge’s restriction in a child-custody agreement that prevents the divorced mother’s female partner from staying overnight.

The ACLU filed a brief Dec. 22 with the Court of Appeals in Jackson on behalf of Angel Chandler, a divorced mother with two kids.

Chancellor George Ellis of the 28th Judicial District imposed the restriction in May despite an evaluation that showed the children were not in harm’s way.

Following the restriction, Chandler’s partner moved into a duplex near Asheville, N.C. Chandler and her daughter, now 13, moved to the opposite side of the duplex.

ACLU spokesperson Paul Cates said such clauses affect lesbians and gays because same-sex civil unions are not recognized in Tennessee.