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Family Matters Conference Schedule & Workshops

PFP 8th Annual Family Matters Conference

Schedule and Workshops for LGBTQ Parents and Prospective Parents – REGISTER NOW!

October 7, 2017  9:00am – 3:00pm
University of the Sciences, McNeil Science and Technology Center
43rd Street and Woodland Ave., Philadelphia, PA 19104


Registration and Breakfast (8:30am- 9:30am)

Heath Fogg DavisKeynote Speaker, “Parenting Through the Bureaucracy of Gender” with Heath Fogg Davis (pictured)      (9:30am– 10:15am)

BREAK – (10:15am-10:30am)

Workshop Session I  (10:30am-11:30am)

*Adoption 101 – Meredith Rose, Open Arms Adoption and PFP parents
Learn about the adoption options available to LGBTQ parents and prospective parents from a panel of adoption agency employees and adoptive parents.

Even Though You’re Married… – Rebecca Levin and Tiffany Palmer, Attorneys
An LGBTQ family law update from the attorneys at Jerner & Palmer, PC regarding the importance of second parent adoptions after marriage equality and more.

Knowing & Protecting your Rights: Protesting & Police  – Naiymah A. Sanchez – American Civil Liberties Union of PA
Join the ACLU of PA’s Transgender Advocacy Coordinator for a discussion of your rights to protest and your rights when interacting with police, both local and school forces.

Maintaining Intimacy for LGBTQ Parents – Jessica Floresta, MSW, MEd., LSW and PFP parents
The transition to parenthood comes with a lot of changes from sleep deprivation to new routines and schedules. This session will discuss ways to maintain intimacy between parents whether you are welcoming a new baby into your home, adopting an older child, or already a parent and looking to get that spark back in your relationship. This session will be led by Jessica Floresta, MSW, MEd., LSW and will include parent stories including PFP board member Angel Brice and her fiancee.

Jessica Floresta earned her Master’s of Education in Human Sexuality and Master’s of Social Work from Widener University.  Jessica has growing practices in Center City Philadelphia and Jenkintown, PA where she specializes in parenting, relationship issues, sexual development, trauma, and childhood sexual abuse. In addition to providing generalist clinical services, she centers her work within LGBTQIA, Kink and Poly communities. You can find more information about her at

Supporting Your Child’s Identity with the Donor Sibling Registry – PFP parents 
Come hear stories from families who have connected with their kids’ biological half-siblings through the DSR. Ask questions and learn how and when parents are talking to their kids about their half-siblings and why families are supporting their children’s identities by connecting with other families who used the same donor.  

BREAK (11:30am-11:45am)

Workshop Session II  (11:45am-12:45pm)

*Building Blocks: Interactive Conversations with LGBTQ-Led FamiliesLaura Zaylea, Documentarian
Please join us for a screening of “Building Blocks: Interactive Conversations with LGBTQ-Led Families”! This is a documentary for and about LGBTQ-led families, designed to be a resource guide for LGBTQ parents-to-be. In the documentary, LGBTQ parents talk about choosing parent names and family-making method (with focus on pregnancy/sperm donors & surrogacy), relevant legal matters (like donor contracts and second parent adoption), dealing with heteronormativity, and talking with children about how they came to be.

*Becoming a Foster Parent – Yvonne Downey, Turning Points for Children
Whether you already have kids or are still a prospective parent, come and learn about the process of becoming a foster parent, including information on adopting through the foster care system, needs of LGBTQ youth and adopting adults aging out.

Update from Harrisburg Rep. Brian Sims
Hear an update from openly gay state representative from Philadelphia, Brian Sims on the policy situation in Harrisburg regarding the LGBTQ community and what you can do to help.

Trans and Genderqueer Parent Conversation HourChloe Harris
Get together with other trans and genderqueer parents and prospective parents during this free-form session.

Spiritual Spaces for LGBTQ+ Families: What does it look like to foster inclusive faith communities?Lucinda Megill Legendre
Led by members of Tabernacle United Church in University City, this session will be a facilitated time of sharing, exploring and discussing what it looks like to be an LGBTQ+ family in a faith community. Participants will have opportunities to share stories and discuss the benefits and challenges they have had (or that they anticipate). As a group we will also be discussing and generating ideas of best practices for creating inclusive, safe and nurturing community for all families. This will be a time for sharing stories and visions.

LUNCH (12:45pm-1:45pm)

Suggested seating by affinity group in the campus cafeteria.

Workshop Session III (1:45pm-2:45pm)

*LGBTQ Baby Making Options Dr. Jaqueline Gutmann, RMA of Philadelphia, Michele Ottey from Fairfax Cryobank and TJ Henderson of Surrogacy Services International
A panel of professionals detail the Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) options available for LGBTQ prospective parents and the medical considerations for each choice.

*On the Journey to Parenthood – Dr. Danna Bodenheimer, founder and director of Walnut Psychotherapy Center
This session is for prospective parents who are currently trying to conceive or waiting to adopt to discuss ways of keeping your relationship healthy, coping strategies and building support structures on your journey to parenthood.

Adoption, Race and Privilege: Learning to Be Better ParentsAmber Hikes; Rich Marino, PFP parent; and Gina Cline, PFP parent and board member; Kaley Fry, COLAGE
Trans-racial adoption is the topic of this panel discussion with PFP parents and Amber Hikes, Executive Director of the Mayor’s Office for LGBT Affairs for the city of Philadelphia who has studied this topic.

Gender & Parenting – Heath Davis, keynote speaker and Sandra Telep, PFP board member and parent
Join a discussion of gender roles and parenting, raising kids outside gender norms and more.

Family Play TimeGreg Hedler, MSW, LCSW, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
Get together with your 0-6 year olds for some family play time with PFP board member Greg Hedler for some fun movement, music and a story time.

CLOSING and RAFFLE DRAWING (2:45pm-3:00pm)
Raffle is a free drawing for a night at the Hotel Palomar, a Kimpton Hotel. Enter the drawing by filling out the vendor raffle card and visiting the tables in the vendor area. Must be present to win.
At the end of the conference, we strongly suggest taking the 11 trolley on Woodland Ave. to Kahn Park (1111 Pine Street) in Center City to attend Philly Trans March 2017, hosted by the Trans Equity Project, a program of GALAEI.
*Indicates session specifically for LGBTQ prospective parents.