Rainbow Families parenting conference Oct. 16

By |2018-01-16T13:37:53-05:00October 13th, 2005|News|

By Dawn Wolfe Gutterman

ANN ARBOR – The Lesbian Moms’ Network of Washtenaw County will present their second annual parenting conference for LGBT families on Sunday, Oct. 16, beginning at 9 a.m.
“Given the challenges faced by LGBTQ people in today’s political climate, it’s more important than ever that we come together and celebrate our families,” said Kelly Hammill of the Lesbian Moms’ Network.
The conference’s keynote presentation, “Being the Parent You Wanted to Have” by the Birmingham Temple’s Rabbi Tamara Kolton, will focus on the ways in which parents can “heal intergenerational cycles of parenting” and become exceptional parents.
According to the conference website, “Our parents did the best they could. In doing so, they created both joy and sorrow. Now we are parents and we want to bring more joy than sorrow to our children. We do not want to be adequate parents. We want to be excellent parents.” In addition to her rabbinical ordination, Kolton holds a Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology, a Ph.D. in Judaic Studies and Humanistic Psychology, and is a licensed clinical psychologist.
Bev Davidson, president of the Coalition for Adoption Rights Equality will also be speaking at this year’s conference.
“I think it’s wonderful when the community can get together and celebrate our families and when we can offer a conference like this where the greater public can come and see and learn about our families,” she said. “It’s a way to bridge the gap between same-sex and opposite-sex parents. And it’s a great way to get the gay parenting community together so we can learn about ways to support our families and celebrate each other.”
Parents attending the conference will not only be able to celebrate but will also learn valuable skills and get sound advice about everything from advocating for their children in the larger community to keeping love alive between parenting partners.
In addition to the keynote address, there will be workshops for parents throughout the day. Workshop titles include “Adopting through the Foster Care System,” “Whole Family Wellness: Naturopathic Home Remedies for Children & Parents” and “Co-Parenting after Separation.” There will be a workshop for lesbian parents raising boys, opportunities to discuss the role of birth parents/donors in adoption and donor insemination, and a look at parental worrying. Parents will also have an opportunity to bring their children to an interactive karate demonstration led by the Okinawan Karate Club.
A professional day care coordinator and student volunteers will provide childcare for children ages 3-10. But the kids won’t be left out – the conference is also hosting a Kid’s Keynote Session. The Amazing Clark, a 25-year veteran magician and puppeteer, will present a 45-60 minute magic, comedy and audience participation show.
The day will end with a family dance, complete with pizza and soda, from 4:30-6 p.m.

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Between The Lines has been publishing LGBTQ-related content in Southeast Michigan since the early '90s. This year marks the publication's 27th anniversary.