Working with Rainbow Families – best practices in working with sexual-minorities who are parents

20 Mar 2019
9:00 am - 10:00 am

Working with Rainbow Families – best practices in working with sexual-minorities who are parents

In recent years the accepted conceptual framework of what is a ‘family’ has come under greater scrutiny as social values and legal rights change. Power within political and social structures across the world have also greatly fluctuated causing progressive and regressive changes in the rights for sexual-minorities, often strongly enforcing or opposing long accepted heteronormative definitions of a family.

Often local laws/policies and accepted social-values impact and shape the path taken by sexual-minority adults wanting to become parents. Choices for this minority population are further limited, and potentially more contentious, as the law is either neutral or ignores them, and in many ways directly oppresses their possibilities. Additionally, service agencies, NGOs and other civil society supports, while wanting to be inclusive and responsive of sexual-minority headed families, often struggle to adapt their procedures, best practices and policies to facilitate the building of supportive relationships with such parents.

This presentation intends to positively contribute to finding and supporting effective ways for sexual-minorities wanting to parent. Through regional specific policy and legislative assessments coupled with qualitative data this research project details the ways in which sexual minority adults are actively pursuing parenthood in the Asia-Pacific. It is informed by data collected from participants attending the 2018 Asia-Pacific Rainbow Families Forum who represent 27-different countries from various countries in the Asia-Pacific region. They possess both personal and professional knowledge about the family formation practices, including the positive and negative experiences of sexual-minority adult’s, from a variety of countries that make up the Asia-Pacific Region.

Learning Objectives

  • Understand the unique ways in which Rainbow Families, those headed by sexual minorities, require and seek help from social workers, therapist and other helping professions;

  • Identify how helping profession professionals can adapt their work to be affirming, inclusive and supportive of adults of all sexual orientation, gender identity and expressions, and sex characteristics (SOGIESC);

  • Learn how Rainbow Families are being formed across the world with a focus on the Asia-Pacific region.