Framing Family

“When a mommy and a daddy love each other very much….”

Hold up.

We are in a different frame. A time and reality where we have long ago (and more and moreso all the time) recognized that families can be single parent ventures, grandparents raising their grandkids, gay dads, queer moms, aunts, uncles, foster parents, adoptions from near and far, blended brady bunches and even friends parenting together in non-conjugal relationship.


Kids can find their ways into families in a plethora of ways. Babies can find their way to the parents who are excited to love and support them by so many routes, it is an obvious disservice to families when we operate with narrow and out-dated frames of how families come together.


And, as is the nature of queerness and queering (the verb)- as we build families we are left with the labour of defining who is a part of things, what they get called and how we negotiate labour sharing, levels of support and how relations grow and evolve with our little ones.


My family structure has changed and evolved over the years. Sometimes it’s been a bit heart breaking and messy. Other times it’s been unexpectedly beautiful. From where I sit now I am incredibly grateful to feel supported as a single parent. The extended rings of our family include room mates, dates (and kids of those that have some), dear friends/exes turned aunties and uncles, space cousins and their parents (space cousin is a term invented to explain the relationship between Sea and the other kid(s) that share a sperm origin, without sharing parents.), the other kids I’ve helped parent and their new little brother, my blood family of origin and a series of neighborhood grandmothers who ensure that Sea gets the behind the scenes view at the coffee shop, cafe, post office, gas station, law office and store. Some of these relationships don’t have easy names yet. Some of them are still fleshing themself out to what they might be. The “family tree” is more like a network of vines. Or a dense hedge. Or I guess even more suited for baby sea,  a rich and vibrant kelp forest.




I am excited to be working with Birthing Beyond the Binary to be presenting an upcoming webinar session that is a part of our ‘Sequence Series’. All of the focus sessions are delivered twice, once for service providers (midwives, doulas, nurses, social workers, community support people) and then again for queer and trans folks and families on conception journeys. This Friday’s session is called “Preparation”. It follows the “Intention” sessions that we led last month, but participants are welcome to join in the sequence without having been a part of the last webinars. We will be exploring together pieces involved in the preparation leading to a pregnancy, including mapping out family + support structures, attachment styles and models of care.


You can sign up for these offering by going to


If you and/or your family team are preparing a pregnancy:


Additional Listening on this Topic:

  1 comment for “Framing Family

  1. !b
    March 28, 2017 at 8:20 pm


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