Entries in Children (3)


Senators’ Kids Steal the Show at Mock Swear-In

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- They have been sworn into the Senate Thursday, but for Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and Ted Cruz (R-Texas), their kids were the ones who stole the show.

First was Gillibrand’s son, held atop his mother’s hip as she lightly touched the Bible during a mock swear-in with Vice President Joe Biden.

Midway through the oath, Gillibrand’s son reached out his hand and ruffled his mom’s hair.  With a big smile, Gillibrand proceeded with the oath as she tried to tamp down her hair.

Then came Murphy, who carried his son in one arm as he participated in the mock swear-in. (The real swearing-in occurs on the Senate floor; this particular one is a re-enactment for families, friends and photos.) As Murphy lifted his hand to take the oath, the toddler raised his hand as well, providing a perfect photo op for Murphy and his young son together being sworn in as a senator.

And as Catherine Cruz, the youngest daughter of the new Republican senator from Texas, started to cry, Biden quickly picked her up and joked about himself, “That’s a Democrat, I know but that’s O.K.”

Cruz’s wife Heidi quipped back, “She cries loudly for Republicans too.”

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Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Romney Consistent in Support of Gay Adoption

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Mitt Romney has consistently opposed same-sex marriage, but he again expressed support for gay adoption on Thursday, calling it “fine” and noting that it’s legal in his home state of Massachusetts. But he also stated his preference for every child to have a mother and a father.

“I believe marriage has been defined the same way for literally thousands of years by virtually every civilization in history and that marriage is literally by its definition a relationship between a man and a woman,”  he told Fox News’ Neil Cavuto. “And that if two people of the same gender want to live together, want to have a loving relationship and even want to adopt a child, in my state individuals of the same sex were able to adopt children. In my view that’s something that people have the right to do, but to call that marriage is, in my view, a departure of the real meaning of that word.”

Romney has made statements in the past in support of gay adoption, something social conservatives oppose. He has been consistent in supporting it, but has called for an exemption for religious institutions that have adoption services.

At a debate in Arizona in February he defended the Catholic Church’s stance in Massachusetts that would only place children up for adoption in homes with a mother and father. The state law declared it discrimination and the church stopped its adoption services.

“We have to have a president who’s willing to say that the best opportunity an individual can give to their unborn child is an opportunity to be born in a home with a mother and a father,” Romney said at the CNN debate. “We battled, for instance, to help the Catholic Church stay in the adoption business. The amazing thing was that while the Catholic Church was responsible for half the adoptions in my state — half the adoptions — they had to get out of that business because the legislature wouldn’t support me and give them an exemption from having to place children in homes where there was a mom and a dad on a preferential basis.”

In the past and even Thursday, Romney has made statements that are more open to the idea.

In October 2006, CNN’s Wolf Blitzer asked Romney if “gays and lesbians should be able to adopt children.”

Romney answered, “Well, they are able to adopt children,” before Blitzer followed up and asked if he thinks “that’s good?”

Romney answered, “And I’m not going to change that.”

That same year, while governor of Massachusetts, Romney told the Boston Globe that gay couples have “a legitimate interest in being able to receive adoptive services.”

Last October, Romney’s campaign said it should be a state issue, something Romney seemed to infer in Friday’s interview.

CNS News asked the campaign in October what the candidate’s thoughts were on gay adoption, and Romney spokesperson Ryan Williams said it was an issue Romney believes “should be assessed on a state-by-state basis” and referenced several statements the candidate has made on the matter.

That’s something Romney also said in 1994, telling the Boston Herald he would leave it up to the states and saying he “would not oppose it or require it.”

There are instances of a different attitude. In a 2003 speech in South Carolina, Romney told a conservative audience about same sex couples, “some are actually having children born to them.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


On Capitol Hill, Nick Cannon Talks Online Privacy for Children

Gary Gershoff/WireImage(WASHINGTON, D.C.) -- Music and television personality Nick Cannon appeared on Capitol Hill Wednesday to endorse a bill aimed at increasing online privacy for children. Appearing at a press conference hosted by Representatives Ed Markey, D-Mass., and Joe Barton, R-Tex., the entertainer said he was concerned about websites and smartphones storing information on young consumers without their knowledge or parental consent.

“Most at that age don’t have the judgment or the maturity to protect themselves from those capable of taking advantage of them by tracking their whereabouts on the Internet,” Cannon said, but he warned it was still a parent’s responsibility to teach the fundamentals of online safety.

“Parental supervision should extend from the playground to the Internet.”

Congressmen Markey and Barton are co-sponsors of the Do Not Track Kids Act, a bipartisan piece of legislation that if passed by Congress would require the FCC to enforce strict guidelines limiting the ability of websites, cellular providers, or advertising agencies to use children’s personal data. Specifically, it would prohibit companies from tracking minors and restrict the use of ads targeted to children. It also introduces an “eraser button,” which would allow parents to remove information on their child already circulating the Web. The lawmakers are co-chairs of the Congressional Privacy Caucus.

Outside moral questions of targeted advertising, the lawmakers shared concern over the long-term ramifications of the data storage.

“Children are young and impressionable,” Markey said. “What they say or do online should not haunt them for the rest of their lives. Kids’ personal information can easily be turned and used without their knowledge or turned and used against them.”

The congressman used hypothetical examples to illustrate his point: A young girl bombarded by weight loss ads, or a 21-year-old being denied a job after photos surface of them engaging in underage drinking as a teenager.

“I need some of my online activity erased too,” Cannon later joked.

Cannon, who currently hosts NBC reality show America’s Got Talent, was picked up as a spokesman for Safe Communications, Inc., in February. Some of the company’s products are designed to filter children’s emails and texts for inappropriate content or unknown contacts.

The Do Not Track Kids Act is an amendment to the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998, an era the lawmakers were quick to point out came long before a wired generation raised on social media. A recent Consumer Reports survey says of the 20 million minors on Facebook, over a third are younger than 13, the minimum age to use the site.

The bill has slowly gained traction since it was first introduced to the House of Representatives in May 2011 but critics say the legislation is over-broad and unenforceable. Justin Brookman of the Center for Democracy and Technology says that if the bill were to pass, even general-purpose websites such as would require a user’s credit card or other strong ID form to verify their age. He doubts it would stand up to scrutiny in federal court.

“It would be extremely expensive for companies to even try to comply with it, which might be technically impossible,” Brookman told ABC News. “Many services would probably just stop operating out of liability concerns.”

In an email interview, Brookman says the “eraser button” would cause the most difficulty given the complex landscape of the Internet.

“Data is so easily copied and repurposed you can’t reasonably expect permanent and persistent deletion of your record.”

Brookman says an easier approach would be wider protections for consumers regardless of age. The theme coincides with a recent call from the White House for a “Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio