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Everything you need to know about starting your gay family

Whether you are gay, bisexual or straight – if you need help starting your family you’ll find it at the Alternative Parenting Show thanks to its seminars
The Alternative Parenting Show offers a host of experts to help you start your family whether you are LGBT or not.

The Alternative Parenting Show returns to London on Saturday (21 September), and organizers have released the full list of seminars taking place during the event.

This annual show, which will take place at the Grand Connaught Rooms in Covent Garden, is aimed at anyone – gay, bisexual or heterosexual – who may be having trouble starting a family.

With headline sponsorship from London Women’s Clinic, and Dawson Cornwell as legal partners, the show not only allows those attending to talk with a wide range of exhibitors and experts in the fields of family planning, but also to attend seminars where issues are discussed in greater depth.

These can include legal concerns, surrogacy, egg donation, co-parenting arrangements, fertility in older women, adoption and fostering.

Celebrity ambassadors for the event are actors Charlie Condou and Sophie Ward, who have both talked before about being gay parents. Visitors will be able to speak to both about their own experiences of raising children.

It will cost £8 to attend the Alternative Parenting Show, and then £3 per seminar – with all monies raised from the seminars being donated to lesbian and gay equal rights charity, Stonewall.

Among the 40+ exhibitors already signed up to attend are The Fertility Center of Las Vegas (surrogacy partner), Bright Horizons (Childcare Partner), CT Fertility, North East London Adoption Group, New Family Social, Surrogate Baby, My Alternative Family, the London Egg Bank, Field Court Chambers, Brilliant Beginnings and First 4 Adoption, among others.

Seminars scheduled to take place during the day include the following:

Inseminar – With Dr Shailaja Nair and Venessa Smith of The London Women’s Clinic
The London Women’s Clinic’s popular Inseminar events offer a great chance to learn more about treatment with donor sperm. This session examine the process of selecting a sperm donor, the legal implications of using donor sperm, women’s fertility issues and possible treatment options such as donor insemination, IVF, egg-sharing and egg donation.

A guide to finding the ideal surrogate – presented by the Las Vegas Fertility Centre
Finding the ideal surrogate: a comprehensive guide to finding the ideal surrogate and ensuring a healthy pregnancy. Finding your ideal surrogate is often an arduous task, but this presentation will discuss all of the important criteria used to assess and evaluate a surrogate to maximize the chance of the birth of a healthy child.

Surrogacy Arrangements For UK Residents, The Law and Process – With Anne Marie Hutchinson, partner at Dawson Cornwell solicitors, and Barbara Connelly, QC
A presentation on the importance of completing the required legal arrangements when entering into any surrogacy arrangement – and the legal ramifications of bringing your new-born baby back to the UK for the first time.

Contemplating Single Motherhood – With Tracey Sainsbury, of The London Women’s Clinic, and Professor Susan Golombok of the Centre for Family Research, University of Cambridge
This seminar focuses on the various fertility treatments available at the London Women’s Clinic, including donor insemination, IVF, egg-sharing and egg donation. Age-related fertility and investigations necessary before treatment will be discussed, as well as the procedures for selecting a sperm donor and the legal implications involved.

Fertility for the over-40s – With Mr Michael Summers, Consultant in Reproductive Medicine, and Karen Stage, both of The Bridge Centre
The Bridge Centre’s experts in fertility treatment and genetics will inform you how fertility is affected by age and discuss the various treatment options available for women over 40 including IVF, IVF with genetic testing or IVF with donor eggs.

Different Families, Same Love – With Luke Tryl of Stonewall, Charlie Condou (actor) and Sophie Ward (actress)
Children come from a variety of different backgrounds and may have gay siblings, aunties, uncles, godparents, parents or carers. This seminar will look at how acknowledging and celebrating different families is crucial to make all children feel welcome and enable them to learn how to value and respect those who are different or come from different backgrounds and families.

Optimizing Fertility: Conception and Fertility Support – with Emma Cannon (health specialist and author), and Anya Sizer, of the London Women’s Clinic
Using her 360 degree approach to fertility looking at mind, body and fuel (food), Emma Cannon will talk on how to optimize fertility and what you can do to help yourself. Anya Sizer will discuss how to use the support networks around you and how to access support from the LWC and other organizations.

For more details about the Alternative Parenting Show, to register to attend or sign up for a seminar, click on the show’s site here.

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