Parenting, Diversity and Inclusion

Ottawa Public Health wants to support parents of all gender identities and family structures. We embrace diversity at all levels including sexual orientation, gender identity, ethnic, racial and cultural identity, and immigrant status. The inclusive language used throughout the Parenting in Ottawa services (website, Facebook, twitter, phone, face-to-face, etc.) reflects the diversity of our clients. 

Not everyone caring for a child is a parent and not all children have a mom and dad. For this reason, we will use terms such as parents, caregivers and non-birthing parents along with mothers and fathers. In the same way, not all children are sons and daughters, nor do we want to assume the gender of a child.

Families also don’t always live together. The term family can include but is not limited to grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, anyone who cares for a child or is important for the family.  

Terms such as breastfeeding, chestfeeding and nursing appear in our pages and can be used interchangeably. The same applies to breastmilk and human milk. 

Chestfeeding is a term used by many transmasculine and non-binary parents to describe how they feed and nurture their children. Some prefer the term nursing instead, while others prefer breastfeeding. OPH will use all these words, and warmly accepts the term a family chooses for their own experiences.   

We are striving to use inclusive language as well as inclusive photographs throughout the website, so that all families, regardless of family composition, ethnic, racial and cultural background or preferred spoken language can see themselves as part of this community.

We want to thank Ottawa families for inspiring us on our diversity and inclusion journey and we welcome your feedback. 

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