“Maybe Baby” is an eight-week class designed for LGBT prospective parents, single or partnered, who are considering parenthood and interested in learning more about the options for building a family. We offer a men's group and a women's group, and we welcome trans-gender members of our community.
The class covers a wide range of topics, including “readiness,” overview of adoption and assisted reproduction; financial and legal issues; building a support network; decision-making as a couple; considerations in single parenting; and the joys and challenges of being an LGBT-headed family. The class is designed to provide a balance of active discussion and sharing, as well as to gain practical, accurate information that helps set the foundation for moving forward.
Upon completion, RFDC class leaders will direct you to support groups and other resources that will help you through your next steps if you choose to continue on the path to parenthood. Maybe Baby classes are offered twice a year, or based on demand, and typically meet late Sunday afternoons.
Costs $125 per individual/$250 per couple, includes one year free membership in RFDC. For current members, the price for the Maybe Baby group is reduced by $25 to $100 per individual/$225 per couple.
See below for a story about how Maybe Baby started over 25 years ago!
Donor Insemination Support Group
Rainbow Families DC runs a support group for lesbians doing donor insemination. The group meets the second Thursday of each month at Takoma Park Community Center.
Adoption Support Group
For LGBT prospective parents who are currently in the process of pursuing adoption, including "waiting" families, we offer a monthly meet-up that is facilitated by a licensed clinical social worker and an experienced adoptive parent. In addition, we offer a discussion forum for prospective adoptive parents as an option for ongoing communication and information sharing on-line.
RFDC Play Groups
The First Maybe Baby Group - by Michele Zavos
(Picture above: Author Michele Zavos with her daughter Addie)
It was 1981 and my then partner, Libby Leader, and I, had just turned 30. Somehow our biological clocks took over and we began talking about having a child together. Before then both of us had thought we wouldn’t have kids because we were worried about what it would mean as lesbians to raise children. Would it be fair to them? How hard would it be for them? Did we have the right to raise children? This was 1981 after all. We didn’t know anyone who had had children as lesbians. Sure, we knew women who had children in straight relationships and later came out, but no one who decided, as a lesbian, to have a child.
And, this being 1981, everything we did or thought was political. We had groups for everything – Jewish lesbian groups, communist groups, socialist groups. So, one day I looked at Libby and said, “Let’s start a group!” We knew we had lots of questions about having kids, political questions, how to questions, were we ready questions, did we really want to do this questions.
So, we put the word out, and pretty soon we had 50 women in the basement of our Brookland home talking about having kids. Over the next few months that group distilled down to about 20 women. We met every other Tuesday for over 10 years, I think. We talked about everything – whether it was appropriate to have a “known” donor, was that mimicking the straight world, shouldn’t we all adopt, where should we adopt from, what was the meaning of gender, how should we dress our kids, what toys should we give them, was there a fertility center that would give sperm to a single woman, much less a lesbian, if we used a known donor, what about AIDS, what should our kids call us, what last names should we use, was any of this important? You can talk about a lot of things every other Tuesday for over 10 years.
Eventually the women who stayed in the group all had children. Of course those who decided not to have children dropped out. Our kids came to us in many ways – unknown donors, known donors, domestic adoption, adoptions from Latin American countries. I think our oldest is 29.
We even had the first “Family Week’ in Provincetown. Our whole group and our kids went to Provincetown for a week. Parts of the trip were wonderful, and parts were a disaster. Everyone had strong opinions about parenting by that time, and few of us were shy about expressing them. We were like this big extended family, warts and all.
One of the most important things about our group was the support our kids found in each other. There was no Rainbow Families back then, there weren’t LGBT caucuses in schools, schools didn’t reach out to our community for students. The Director at one school where a number of our children applied told us that the school had “lots of children with problems” when she explained that the school could deal with lesbian parents. Interestingly, none of our children were accepted into that school, which now has a strong gay families contingent.
Everything we did felt revolutionary and different. Meeting with teachers every year to explain our families, telling our kids that we were their real parents when they were teased at school, discussing all of this with our group. While we were raising our kids, we were raising ourselves as lesbian parents.
Later, the Whitman-Walker Clinic Lesbian Services Program started Maybe Baby groups. Gay men started having children together. Fertility centers welcomed lesbian parents. Couples could jointly adopt. Laws changed. And now my daughter is 26. When she was about 17, she told me that she had something important to tell me. She said she was straight, and it wasn’t my fault. Attitudes have changed too.