The Lesbian Moms' Network was "officially" founded by three local women, who mailed the first newsletter in January 2000 to approximately 50 families. The organization was created to pull together the larger community of lesbians who have chosen to become parents in the Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti Area within Washtenaw County. We wanted to create a network that will be easily accessible for all the lesbian moms, their children, women in the process of choosing children, and their allies, and also, a way to welcome new families into our wonderful community.
The non-profit organization has grown to over 250 area families! LMNetwork provides a variety of community services including, but not limited to, an annual educational parenting conference, monthly social events, a local newsletter, family care including meals for families with new additions, general resource support, smaller support group coordination, play groups, babysitting and resource exchanges, and an active email loop for information sharing. And one of the most important aspects of the organization is a way to connect with other families, and find information about lesbian parenting from local parents. We answer between 10-50 emails of inquiry a month.
As an organization we have provided the following types of social events for family connections and fun: annual labor day family picnic, gymboree play days, summer private pool time, fall orchard trips, fishing, theatre and museum trips, and zoo explorations. All social events are coordinated by members who have an interest in the theme, or by the social event coordinator, in conjunction with the Board of Directors.
As an organization we have organized the following small support groups for family and parent support: Trying to Conceive group, International Adoption group, Moms of Older Kids (MOOK) group, Divorced / Separated Support group, Solo Parenting group, COLAGE (Children of Lesbian and Gays Everywhere) Teen Group, and others. Members request small group topics, and self-organize.
January 2002 was the beginning of a more formalized structure with an official Board of Directors with elected positions including a Chair, Vice-Chair, Membership Coordinator, Treasurer, Secretary, Social Coordinators, Small Group Coordinator, Care Caravan Coordinator, and the Educational Programming Coordinator. This has allowed the organization to grow, and more women to become involved in planning and creating the organizational direction.
Board of Directors
The LMN Board of Directors comprises 9 - 11 members who serve the various roles of Chair, Vice-Chair, Treasurer, Secretary, and Membership Coordinator. We have assign individuals to coordinate the following: Events, Newsletter Committee, Small Groups , Care Caravan, Educational Programming, Business Meetings, and our Annual Labor Day Picnic. Also, a board member coordinates the local COLAGE Chapter (Children of Lesbian and Gays Everywhere). We also send representatives to CARE (Coalition for Adoption Rights Equality) and WRAP (Washtenaw Rainbow Action Project.)
Our annual board of director's retreat occurs in January, where new Board Members are introduced to the organization.
Monthly business meetings are held from 6:30pm to 8:30pm, the third Monday of every month. All members are welcome to attend! You can join in the conversation, volunteer for tasks, help with the kids, or just stop by to feel connected. We meet at one of our board member's house, so the kids can utilize the playrooms. Child Care is usually provided.
If your family is expecting a new member, or have a special urgent need, we can provide a few meals, known as a Care Caravan, to make the transition easier.
The LMNetwork Members' Yahoo Group
We have an e-mail group where members tell stories, ask for and receive support and advice, share information and announcements, and plan events. The administrator of the e-mail group will send you an invitation to join and you will need to respond to the invitation and create a Yahoo ID to complete the registration process. Just follow the instructions in the e-mail.
To send an e-mail to the entire group, once you are a Yahoo Group member of LMNetwork, address the e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Replies go to the ENTIRE group, NOT just the individual sending the original e-mail. Be forewarned!
LMNetwork, P. O. Box 2113, Ann Arbor, MI 48106-2113