Friends in Adoption participates in the 2018 Annual LGBTQ Family Building Expo at The Center!
By Deirdre Graham, Community Outreach Manager
On Saturday, May 5th I had the privilege of participating the 2018 annual LGBTQ Family Building Expo on behalf of Friends in Adoption. The Expo is held every year at the LGBTQ Community Center in Manhattan. I have to say, I am always so impressed by the robust supports The Center has to offer the LGBTQ community—and this year’s Expo was no exception to that! To recap: the LGBTQ Family Building Expo is a yearly event and opportunity for LGBTQ folks to learn and collect information about a wide range of family building providers and methods. It is a full day of workshops, lectures, panel/group discussions, and medical clinics all regarding various forms of family building and specific to the LGBTQ community. In addition to the engaging sessions there is a room full of family building providers: adoption agencies, foster care organizations and programs, surrogacy organizations, fertility specialists, and more. And this event is FREE to the community! It’s a wonderful opportunity to gather a great deal of information regarding family building. Some of the days’ events included: The Evolution of Transracial Families: Honoring the Burden & Dignity of Difference, TGNC Family Building: Parents Panel, Foster Care A to Z, Private Adoption Parents Panel, and On the Road to Parenthood. Highlights of The Expo for me include: 1) the opening session, “The Kids Are (More Than) Alright”, a panel of young adults from LGBTQ families, and 2) the opportunity to speak with many excited individuals who wanted to learn more about adoption. The Expo began with a bang in the welcoming panel “The Kids Are (More Than) Alright”. Three young people spoke candidly and powerfully about their experiences growing up in their families. I was blown away by just how articulate these young adults were! The moderator asked questions relating to their experiences in their schools and immediate communities, how they navigated conversation surrounding their families with friends, and with strangers, and much more. The attendees in the audience also had the opportunity to ask the panelists questions. There was laughter and much learning as well. I think everyone was incredibly thankful to hear from these young adults. I couldn’t think of a better way to begin the day! Speaking with attendees was my other favorite part of The Expo. At FIA, we are always so grateful for the chance to speak with potential prospective adoptive families. Whether folks are far along on their journeys to parenthood, in the beginning stages of deciding what is best for them, or somewhere in between- it is very special to be able to chat with these individuals and to share information about adoption and FIA’s compassionate services. We got to talk about what makes Friends in Adoption unique, the adoption process itself, openness in adoption, our upcoming Get Acquainted Workshop, and lots more! It is touching to know that there are so many lovely people interested in learning about adoption and possibly becoming parents through adoption one day. A huge thank you to the LGBTQ Community Center for including Friends in Adoption in this year’s Expo. We are honored to be part of this amazing day and cannot wait to participate again next year.