We know that families come in all shapes and sizes and that parents, children and other family members have different life experiences and make their own life choices. Our mediators are skilled at helping all families find solutions that are as unique as they are.
We also know that some people might be concerned about accessing Family Mediation. We are keen to find out how we can better support same-sex, trans, and non-binary parents in Family Mediation in particular. With this in mind, Relationships Scotland welcomed Dr Maria Moscati, an expert in this area of work Maria Moscati Profile | University of Sussex , to present a training event for mediators yesterday.
The event was an opportunity to hear about Dr Moscati’s research with family mediators across Europe and she shared examples of how mediators had provided support to parents.
In one family, the parents had separated, one of the parents had transitioned and there was a period where they didn’t see their children. Mediation helped the parents and the children to re-establish their relationships. Another example was where a child had two mums and two dads and mediation helped them manage the disagreements that had arisen after a separation.
Dr Moscati shared some of the challenges that same-sex, trans, and non-binary parents and their families can face. We also explored the importance of children’s voices being considered and heard when families are separating or relationships are going through a period of change.
We heard how mediators across Scotland already provide support to parents within the LGBTQ+ community. After the training one mediator reflected on working with a Mum and Dad who had separated and Dad was now in a same sex relationship. Mum was finding this difficult and they discussed how to explain the situation to their children in a positive and supportive way. Another situation was where parents who had separated wanted to mediate to discuss the care of their 12 year old who was struggling with school. During the mediation they talked about the 12 year old wanting to transition, and how they could both, as parents, support their child in this.
At the training event mediators shared ideas about how to encourage parents from the same-sex, trans and non-binary communities to consider mediation as a helpful way to support them and their children during the separation process. What could we do more of or differently?
It would be great to hear from same-sex, trans and non-binary parents who have separated about their thoughts on how we could make mediation more accessible for them. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any ideas.