This blog was intended to be the final in a series of four on Psychology Today about talking to children about polyamory focuses on finding community support for children who are growing up in polyamorous families. It contains too many specific links so Psych Today did not want to publish it. Here it is on my blog instead!
The first blog explored factors that influence when parents might – or might not – want to come out to their children as polyamorous. The second blog offered some tips on what parents might want to say to kids if and when they do come out as polyamorous, and the third blog gave some ideas about how to manage information about the polyamorous family in the kids’ lives. This fourth and final blog in the series lists some resources parents can use to find friends with diverse families where kids from polyamorous families can be themselves and not worry about who knows what.
There is a lot of support for polyamorous folks and their families online. Facebook has quite a few groups dedicated to polyamory, and some of them like the Polyamorous Parenting group specialize in polyamorous families and parents with children. The Meetup site has a wide range of social events for all kinds of people — especially those living in large cities and urban areas with high concentrations of people and activities. Casting a wide net for not only polyamorous families, but also searching Meetup for events related to queer families, LGBTQ parenting, alternative families, and chosen family.
Anyone looking for polyamorous fun might consider checking out Alan’s List of Polyamory Events for an updated list of polyamorous happenings around the world. Loving More is perhaps the oldest polyamory advocacy organization in the United States. Every year they host a family camp out in the gorgeous mountains of Colorado. In 2022 the Rocky Mountain Campout is scheduled in the beautiful Maroon Bells range outside of Aspen, Colorado, but July 7 to 11.
Poly Big Fun happens April 14-17 2022 at the Bastrop State Park in Texas. This is a family-friendly community event (with some purely adult times too) that is less expensive than a lot of conventions and offers workshops and socializing.
Because the gay liberation movement started before the polyamorous identity coalesced in the early 80s, LGBTQ+ families have a longer history of creating family support structures than do most polyamorous families. Rates of consensual nonmonogamies (CNM) are higher among LGBTQ+ populations than among heterosexuals, so polyamorous families are more likely to be recognized and accepted among LGBTQ folks who share some similar impacts of stigma and have also had to construct their families outside of conventional models. If polyamorous parents can’t find poly specific events in their area, they might have better luck with LGBTQ family events.
Rainbow Families has lots of different events, from online events like support groups for Non Gestational parents, families facing grief and loss, or parents who are single by choice, to in-person meet-ups like an LGBTQ+ family conference in Silver Spring Maryland to a Family Camp Weekend over Labor Day and a weekend of fun at Great Wolf Lodge in Arizona in October of 2022.
Spiritual and/or Religious Congregations
Finally, if polyamorous parents are seeking some form of spiritual community and support, they might consider checking out the Unitarian Universalist (UU) congregation near them. The UUs tend to be open-minded, supportive of sex education, and some have conducted commitment ceremonies among three or more people. They even have the Unitarian Universalists for Polyamory Awareness (UUPA) that could help polyamorous families connect with other polyamorous UUs. Pagans, Wiccans, and other Earth Based spiritualities are also generally welcoming of polyamorous folks, though they can be much more difficult to find than the UU congregations. Finally, LGBTQ friendly congregations of any denomination – especially liberal Christians and Jews — are often more welcoming of polyamorous families than are more conventional religious congregations.
Do you have other resources to suggest? Help update and expand this blog of resources by contacting Elisabeth Sheff via Psychology Today to recommend additional resources.