The Network of European LGBTIQ* Families Associations (NELFA) was created on 1 May 2009 to unite European associations of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender parents (LGBT) and their children under one umbrella organisation. In the meantime, NELFA included “intersexual” and “queer” parents and their children as well, to illustrate the diversity of the rainbow family movement in Europe. The asterisk reinforces NELFA’s openness to all family constellations beyond LGBTIQ.
With 24 associations representing 15 European countries and thousands of LGBTIQ* families, NELFA promotes the exchange of information among its members and assists in creating and developing LGBTIQ* families associations.
NELFA works to ensure that children raised in LGBTIQ* families in Europe are granted the same rights as children from other families. NELFA encourages European governments to adopt legal systems and equal opportunity policies that do not discriminate against LGBTIQ* families, whether it be legally, financially, educationally or socially. NELFA also works to ensure the freedom of movement of LGBTIQ* families within the European Union without their family life being compromised by entering or settling in another member state. NELFA was incorporated under Belgian law as an international non-profit association (AISBL) on 12 March 2012. The official headquarters are located in the Rainbow House in Brussels. Meanwhile, NELFA became a member of ILGA-Europe and Transgender Europe (TGEU). In 2017, COFACE-Families Europe offered NELFA a supporting membership [the terms will be negotiated within this year].
In 2016, NELFA has been granted participatory status with the Council of Europe. The grant increases the ability to support family diversity in all 47 member states of the Council. NELFA has now the opportunity to contribute to emancipating civil society and reinforcing the participation in decision-making processes, as well as building a society based on equality, justice and human rights.
The Network of European LGBTIQ* Families Associations, works tirelessly to improve the living conditions of children with lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, intersex or queer parents. Board members (currently 10) are volunteers. They bear a large part of the costs (like travel expenses, event fees etc.) on their own. NELFA’s budget derives from two sources: membership fees and donations.
Besides the support for the International Family Equality Day, NELFA has some other major events and projects: i.e. the European Families Meetings (France 2010, in Spain 2012, in Germany 2013 and in Portugal 2015), own conferences as well as workshops and speeches for other organisations. In 2016/2017, NELFA took part in the Erasmus+ programme, granted by the European Union. The project “Adequate and equal legal protection for rainbow families” aimed at strengthening the network especially towards its educational work. In 2017/2018, NELFA Board members and other active volunteers will participate at the new project “Chances and challenges for rainbow families”.
DOWNLOAD: NELFA LEAFLET 2017 (to be updated)