This weekend we attended the Rainbow Families Conference in the DC area. It was fantastic, we learned a lot and met some great people, including a few friends from blog-land. Out of the over 40 session topics that were offered we went to:
Donor Insemination 101— led by an RE and a woman who has a 10 month old son after a full year of insemination. It was very informative from a medical and procedural perspective and it was a great place for those of us at the beginning of the process.
Budgeting for Baby and Beyond — led by a financial planner. It turned out to be a session on general financial planning and we really only got 5 minutes of baby related financial education at the very end, because one of the participants asked her to address it in the time left. The entire session left me feeling like I was never going to get ahead financially and that I should just lock myself in my house and never leave.
and finally 2nd Parent Adoption — led by 2 lawyers from the top 2 firms in the DC area that do 2nd parent adoptions for same sex couples. It was very specific info, including time frames, pricing, documents required and it was excellent. It makes me really glad that I live in Maryland, where the process can take a little as 6 weeks after birth to finalize.
Overall, the conference was a huge success from my perspective and I am looking forward to it in the years to come. If I had to guess I would say that there were about 200 people in attendance. There were families of all make-ups and identites. One problem with the conference as it is currently being done is that there is a “Kids Camp” for children over the age of 2.5 years. However, participants were asked not to bring any child over 6 months to the sessions. This leaves a HUGE gap for familes that would like to participate but would need to find alternate childcare. I really hope that someone steps up and finds a creative solution for next year. It seems like there could easliy be programming that was inclusive of parents and children between 6 months and 2.5 years. I know that there is a community that would love to join in and they are now excluded.