Trans Parenting

Trans Family Law Project

Canada’s first major public legal education project focused on trans people!

  • More than 1 in 4 trans people in Ontario are parents
  • Many trans parents have lost access to their children, due to their transition
  • More trans parents will face family law challenges in the coming years

The Trans Family Law project helps keep trans parents and their children together, by providing family law information to trans people throughout Ontario.

We are also helping legal professionals become better equipped to provide family law services to trans parents.

Led by Dana Baitz, this project was a year long public legal education project focused on creating resources to help trans parents access legal information.

Resources developed through the Trans Family Law Project include:

  • Trans Parents’ Tip Sheet

    Parents' Tip Sheet

    download PDF from our library

    Basic family law information for trans parents and their families

  • Community Fact Sheet

    Community Fact Sheet

    download PDF from our Library

    In depth family law information for trans parents and service providers in Ontario.

  • Legal Backgrounder

    Legal Backgrounder on Trans Parents and Family Law in Ontario

    Download PDF from our library

    Detailed information to help legal professionals understand transgender lives and legal issues specific to trans parents.

As part of this project, we developed two sets of webinars. The community webinars were developed for trans parents, trans community members, and service providers to learn about family law.  The legal professionals’ webinars were developed for lawyers, mediators, and other professionals in family law to learn specific legal strategies in order to better serve trans parents in family law.

  • Community Webinar

    Archived webinar for trans parents, community members, and service providers

    In this 1 hour 40 minute video, learn about:

    • Common legal problems faced by trans parents
    • Important ways you can avoid, as well as prepare for, legal disputes
    • How to find and work with legal professionals more effectively
  • Legal Professionals’ Webinar

    Archived webinar for legal professionals.

    In this 1 hour 20 minute video, learn:

    • The demographics and common experiences of trans parents in Ontario
    • How to meet the specific challenges that trans identities can present
    • How to work more effectively with trans clients

These and other resources are available to download free of charge in our library. The Trans Family Law Project is an initiative of the LGBTQ Parenting Network. It is a Connecting Communities project, supported by CLEO (Community Legal Education Ontario). These materials were made possible by a grant from the Law Foundation of Ontario.

Transforming FAMILY – Film

Transforming Family Report

Transforming Family: Trans Parents and their Struggles, Strategies, and Strengths

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This project was informed by the principles of community-based research; the need for this research was identified through first-hand accounts from trans parents. The report fills a gap in knowledge by documenting the impact of transphobia on trans parents and drawing attention to the strengths that they bring to parenting. The goal has been to help trans parents articulate their experiences, strengths, and needs. By sharing this information, we aim to better position trans parents to respond to policies impacting their families. The data for the report was generated through four focus groups, held in Toronto in 2010, that included eighteen participants. Though not all participants in this study were transitioning, all were out or visible to some extent as trans or gender non-conforming people. The report describes the experiences of these parents, and presents findings from this research. The timing of when each participant had become a parent in relation to identifying as trans, was found to be very significant. Thus sections one and two of this report divide participants into two groups based on when they became parents. Sections three and four include all participants. In conclusion, the report describes the strengths that trans and gender queer parents bring to parenting, and presents recommendations to social service, legal, and educational institutions to address some of the needs identified by participants. Transforming Family was published in November 2012. It was launched at a community event that included trans and gender queer parents and some of the participants in this research in a conversation about how to disseminate this work and better meet the needs of trans and gender queer parents and their families.

The Transforming Family Project was led by the LGBTQ Parenting Network at the Sherbourne Health Centre in collaboration with the Re:searching for LGBTQ Health team at the Centre for Addictions and Mental Health (CAMH). Financial support was provided by the Centre for the Study of Gender, Social Inequities and Mental Health at Simon Fraser University and the Community One Foundation in Toronto.

Recommended citation:
Pyne, J. (2012). Transforming Family: Trans Parents and their Struggles, Strategies, and Strengths. Toronto: LGBTQ Parenting Network, Sherbourne Health Centre.

Download: Transforming Family – Executive Summary