Do It: Family Matters

A conference for LGBT parents

Philadelphia Family Pride is hosting its Third Annual Family Matters Conference this month (Oct. 20)

Dr. Graciela Slesaransky-Poe will help parents create inclusive schools for LGBT students and families (courtesy of Arcadia University)

at Arcadia University (9 a.m. – 4 p.m.). The conference, which aims to reach adoptive parents, single parents, prospective parents, trans-parents, partnered/married parents and grandparents, features three themes this year: Welcoming Schools, Knowing Your Rights and Growing Your Family.

Many LGBT families enjoy a wonderful partnership with their children’s schools, where they feel welcomed, visible, affirmed and valued. But others are not so fortunate. Keynote speaker Dr. Graciela Slesaransky-Poe, an associate professor of education at Arcadia, will discuss how to approach and collaborate with your school to create an inclusive and safe place for LGBT families.

There are 13 workshops being held at the conference, including a panel of teenagers and adults from several local LGBT families who will discuss their experience in school. families to discuss their experiences in school.

Here are a few other highlights:

What Does Saying “I Do” Mean for You?: Relationship Recognition and the Legal Confusion over Marriage, Civil Unions and Domestic Partnerships: This workshop will address the legal issues surrounding gay marriage and civil unions with Rebecca Levin, an attorney with Jerner & Palmer.

Adrian Shanker will discuss legislation aimed at making schools more tolerant for LGBT families (courtesy of Equality PA)

Creating Safe and Bully-Free Public Schools: This session will provide an overview of current rights parents have when advocating for safer schools, as well as a discussion about pending legislation aimed at making schools safer for LGBT students and students with LGBT parents with Adrian Shanker, president of Equality Pennsylvania, and Louis Ortiz from the Mazzoni Center.

Adoption Options: A panel of parents and experts will help prospective LGBT parents understand the options available when it comes to adoption.

There will also be a “Know Your Rights” Drop-In Legal Clinic with attorneys David Rosenblum and Barrett Marshall from the Mazzoni Center. They’ll be available to discuss legal issues that affect LGBT parents and families, including adoption, advanced planning documentation, relationship recognition, name changes, youth issues, employment matters, benefits and insurance.

Click here for a full schedule of events.