As birth workers, we often interact with LGBTQ families struggling to find support in forging their path to parenthood. Obstetricians, hospitals, and birth support organizations usually lack the necessary information to assist these families. We came together to devise a plan to increase access to information on quality conception, pregnancy, and parenting resources for LGBTQ families. Our goals are:
1) To create a Resource Directory of LGBTQ-friendly conception, pregnancy, and parenting resources in New Orleans. We plan to spark this process with a listening session/focus group with 5-8 families who have gone through the birth or adoption process. We will then supplement this with community surveys, existing lists, and organizational connections. We plan to print several hundred copies of the directory and to distribute it electronically, making the resource freely available.
2) To create Doula Continuing Education Workshops to develop a better system of support for LGBTQ families in the path to parenthood. This will consist of a three-part training on a) Legal Issues in Adoption/Parenting for LGBTQ Families, b) Conception/Fertility Options for LGBTQ Families, and c) Doula Support for LGBTQ Families. In this, we plan to center the experiences of families of color.
3) To create a Doula Training Addendum. This will synthesize key points from the Directory and workshop process and incorporate them into future doula trainings in the region.
Our immediate next step: As mentioned, we plan to conduct – this May – a listening session with a small group of 5-8 LGBTQ families who are conceiving, pregnant, or parenting. This will be a chance for us to learn about the resources that were helpful to them and to identify the support they wished they had.
We are also in conversation with a number of local organizations, including NO/AIDS, Planned Parenthood, the LGBT Center, the Women’s Health and Justice Initiative, BreakOUT, and NOLA Baby Parenting.
Funded by New Orleans, LA (April 2014)