Step one: attend The Modern Family Show 2021

BY MICHAEL JOHNSON-ELLIS

The Modern Family Show 2021 is the only LGBTQI family building show of its kind in Europe. Taking residency at 8 Northumberland, just off London’s Trafalgar Square on 18 September, it’s designed to help provide our community with the confidence to achieve parenthood, no matter the route.

Meet Michael and his modern family

I’m Michael, and I’m married to Wes. We have two children together via UK Surrogacy. We campaign for the LGBTQI community to receive fair and equal treatment when it comes to family building and have helped shaped government policy, NHS processes and more recently the Surrogacy Law Reform. Since 2017 we’ve helped over 325 people become parents by offering free support and guidance.

Fertility treatment & adoption stats: what you need to know

Historically, most patients in same-sex relationships and single patients have used donor insemination (DI), as these patients are likely seeking treatment to access donor sperm rather than for infertility reasons. Though DI has been the main treatment for both single patients and patients in female same-sex relationships, IVF has increased in use over the last decade. In 2008, 27% of treatment cycles for patients in female same-sex relationships were IVF. This increased to 45% in 2018 and is continuing to follow a similar trend.

When LGBT+ Adoption Week started in 2012, just one in 22 adoptions were to same-sex couples. Latest figures from the Department for Education (DfE) show that one in six (16.6%) adoptions in England during 2020 were to same sex couples.

Why we created The Modern Family Show

In 2019 we exhibited at a fertility expo. Whilst the event was well managed there was a distinct lack of LGBTQI representation, from exhibitors, educational content and tailored support. Throughout the day several lesbian couples and trans people approached us and expressed there was a lack of visibility of our community and a lack of understanding of the road we needed to take. It was clear there was a community of people still desperately wanting advice and needing signposting to professionals that could authentically help. This is when we knew we had to create The Modern Family Show

Helping more LGBTQI people have a family

LGBTQI events like The Modern Family Show aren’t new. The Alternative Parenting Show was successful from 2013 – 2017, launched by Sarah Garrett MBE, but since it closed its doors nothing has filled the void to support the intended parent/carer community. Whilst it’s partly true that the boom in social media has allowed more people to freely connect, and the popularity of podcasts has played an important role in raising awareness of queer families and the way they are created – it still wasn’t enough. Throughout 2017/18 there was a rise in LGBTQI parenting bloggers and platforms such as LesBeMums, The LGBT Mummy Tribe, Our Big Gay Journey and ours, TwoDadsUK. All of these accounts helped others understand that LGBTQI people are raising families and doing a great job too! 

The Modern Family Show: A fresh approach

We wanted to create a show that not only looked different but also took a different approach to reaching our community. We wanted to utilise social media parenting influencers, whom we call our Advocates. All of them have lived experience and have been on the journey too. These people will offer advice and guidance to those attending the show and via their channels and blogs. We also wanted a variety of educational zones that had specialist content created to support guide and bring confidence. You can expect to speak to organisations that support Adoption, Fostering, IVF/IUI, Sperm Banks, Surrogacy, Fertility Preservation and even family lawyers. The show also proudly offers non-binary bathrooms and sign language interpreters throughout the educational zones. We also chose two charity partners. 50% of our ticket sale revenue is split between Mermaids and Diversity Role Models. 

Get your tickets, complete with a DIVA discount

We’re offering DIVA readers a unique discount code entitling you to 25% off. To book, simply click here.

You can also reserve your space onto as many free seminars as you like. Some of the sessions you may find interesting could be How To Choose A Sperm Donor, IVF And IUI Treatment, Adoption – The Process, P3 – The Birds And The Bees, or Fertility Preservation For Trans patients. More details of the seminars can be found here.

So, if you’re free on the 18 September 2021, come along and talk to those than genuinely understand and want to help at The Modern Family Show – a safe space to talk about all your parenting/caring options.

Find out more at themodernfamilyshow.co.uk and follow The Modern Family Show on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter

DIVA magazine celebrates 27 years in print in 2021. If you like what we do, then get behind LGBTQI media and keep us going for another generation. Your support is invaluable. 

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