Sending Mother's Day and Father's Day cards has been a tradition in many countries for decades and more. But what if you have two dads or two mums? Do you send two cards, or just the one?
The gay lobby group Stonewall in the United Kingdom has come up with a novel idea: cards specially designed for same-sex parents, under the slogan, "Different Families – Same Love."
"The inventive new cards come in three designs – lesbian mums, gay dads and a card showing many different types of families," says the group in a news release today.
"Part of Stonewall’s ground-breaking Education for All campaign, the cards have been devised to ensure all different families are celebrated – at home and at school."
Stonewall quotes Alice, aged seven, who was interviewed for research conducted by the University of Cambridge and Stonewall and has two gay mothers. "She says of her family: ‘Everybody loves each other in my family and we always care for each other and watch out for each other,’" says Stonewall.
Mother's Day and Father's Day fall on different days in different countries.
Mother's Day will be on April 3 in the UK this year. In Australia, Canada and the USA, it falls on the second Sunday of May, which will be the 8th.
Father's Day is celebrated on the third Sunday of June in the UK, Canada and the USA; in Australia it's marked on the first Sunday of September.
Gary Nunn of Stonewall told this reporter today: "Stonewall's been doing a lot of work with children of same-sex families, so we did a report called 'Different Families,' which told the experiences of children with same-sex parents, and we did that with the University of Cambridge.
"What we found is that children who have lesbian mums or gay dads enjoy the exact same quality of upbringing as other children, although they do sometimes feel that their families get excluded from lessons in school, and they can receive bullying for having gay parents.
"They don't want their families to change, but sometimes wish that other people were more accepting."
He said that children were often asked in school to make a Mother's Day or Father's Day card.
"If you've got two mums, that might be difficult," said Nunn. "Or, for Father's Day, if you've got two dads."
The cards are being given away free. But did he hope they might go on general sale in stores in the future?
"There are no plans to do that as yet," he said. "But we'd hope that a card manufacturer would consider this kind of thing. But we thought that, rather than wait for this to happen widespread, we'd do it ourselves.
"We know, having done that research – and working a lot, as we do, in schools – we thought we'd be the best people to bring them out. We'll wait and see how they go down this year."