As part of this year’s Pride events, the theme being ‘Family: Where love matters more’, MGRM (the Malta Gay Rights Movement), along with Aditus Foundation and the Faculty of Social Wellbeing at the University of Malta organized the conference aptly entitled ‘Perspectives of Rainbow Families in Malta’.
The aim of the conference was to discuss aspects related to LGBTI (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or intersex) families. The conference included five different breakout sessions which dealt with issues such as LGBTI children, youth and parents, as well as transgender and intersex issues and a session on family structures.
The keynote address was given by Professor Susan Golombrok, who is a professor of family research as well as the director of the centre for family research at the University of Cambridge. Professor Golombrock has conducted various research which examines the impact of new family forms on parenting and child development. She focused specifically on lesbian mother families and gay father families. She also looked at families headed by single mothers by choice and families which had used assisted reproductive technologies such as IVF, donor insemination, egg donation and surrogacy.
Professor Golombok emphasised how Malta has become a pioneer for the rights of same-sex people by giving couples of the same-sex the right to jointly adopt children.
Throughout the conference various speakers, including Gabi Calleja, the president of MGRM, as well as Professor Angela Abela, emphasised the role of teachers and educators in decreasing the stigmatisation on children who are raised by same-sex parents.
Nevertheless, as Professor Golombok stated, after presenting around thirty-five years worth of research relating to same-sex parents and the development of their children, one can only conclude that yes, “the kids are alright”.