Michael and Wes Johnson-Ellis, from Two Dads UK, are the founders of The Modern Family Show, created to inspire, inform and educate those in the LGBT+ community on their own parenting journeys. We’re proud to be sponsoring the main stage this year and with only a few days to go until the big day on 18th September, we caught up with the couple on all the exciting things you can expect.
Why was the Modern Family Show established?
After visiting the Fertility Show in 2019, it was evident there was a real lack of representation for the LGBT+ community, and we wanted to change that. So, we created The Modern Family Show, designed to help people understand what their family building options are. Whether that’s surrogacy, fostering, adoption or co-parenting, we have the components to educate you on what those routes are. It’s the only event of its kind in Europe too – which we are so proud of!
What makes the Modern Family Show special and what’s the aim of the show?
It’s special because it’s the only event of its kind and we have brought together a wide range of incredible organisations and charities. The amazing people involved in the show want to help our community understand what their options are, through education, key speakers and discussions. It’s also a place giving our community that safe space it needs to have those conversations with allies and people they can trust. Our main objective is to support and educate – knowing your options is really important so you can make the best decision on what’s right for you
What types of paths to parenthood can you find out about at the show?
There are lots of paths to consider. The main components that make up The Modern Family Show are surrogacy, adoption, fostering, co-parenting, IUI, IVF, trans fertility preservation, egg donation, sperm donation, and solo parenting.
What will be on the Silver Cross main stage at the show?
Silver Cross is our main stage sponsor this year and the stage itself is beautiful with a big LED screen alongside lots of our exhibitors. To give the stage a real presence, there’s a more informal feel with talks and presentations going on all day, making this the hub of the show.
There’s lots of talks and topics to listen to throughout the day. I’ll be talking about My Surrogacy Journey, Trystan Reese is flying in from the US for his inspirational talk ‘Pregnant Man vs The World’ and Stu Oakley from Some Families will be here talking about his LGBTQ+ parenting podcast, to name just a few. There will also be talks on other topics like Igenomix, home sperm testing, facial matching software for egg donation and fertility treatment.
You’ll be spoilt for choice with everything that’s happening, but don’t worry – all our educational content is being recorded so if you do miss anything, you can watch it back later!
When is the show taking place and where it is?
The Modern Family Show will take place on Saturday 18th September 2021 in London at a venue called 8 Northumberland, which is just off Trafalgar Square. It’s a great venue with a beautiful boutique feel to it and we’re so excited. It’s going to be a great show!
How can I get tickets and how much are they?
To buy your ticket, head over to www.themodernfamilyshow.co.uk and click buy tickets, or go to Event Brite and search The Modern Family Show 2021. Don’t forget, there is also an ‘add ons’ section that’s completely free so you can book all of the seminars that you’d like to see and you’ll receive a QR code for each of them. Tickets are priced at £50 including a booking fee and 50% of ticket sales will go to our two chosen charity partners, Diversity Role Models and Mermaids.
Other than shows like this, what social media profiles can I follow to learn more about LGBT parenting?
There are so many great accounts you can follow for advice and inspiration. A few of our favourites include @the_lgbt_mummies_tribe, @atwalbricefamily for fostering and adoption and @freddy.mcconnell who’s a solo trans dad. Another way to find these accounts is to search the hashtags #twodads or #twomums on Instagram.
What if I can’t make the show?
If you can’t make the event, some of the educational content will be recorded and available post-show. If there is a session that you’re particularly interested in, please get in touch and we’ll do our very best to get that to you. Keep an eye on our social channels too and be ready for lots of amazing content throughout the day