30 Under 30: Emma Devin is labouring to redefine family structures

Brood Care, which launched in 2021, is a tech-enabled learning platform and in-person doula agency that has already served 400 families and babies.

Emma Devin, 29

Co-founder + chief people and product officer, Brood Care Inc.

Life Story: Emma Devin’s house may be full of children, but not their own (yet). Caregiving has always come naturally to the entrepreneur, who regularly looks after children in their community and whose business is built on advocating for alternative family structures.

Devin became a certified doula and caregiver after graduating from Pacific Rim College in 2015. They briefly worked at Bunky Bambino, a local doula agency providing birth and postpartum care, before buying the business in 2019 and rebranding it to Brood Care Inc. with co-founders Gillian Damborg and Lizzy Karp.

Born in Paris to an entrepreneur and a restaurateur, Devin spent their childhood and teenage years travelling all over the world, from living on boats and islands to spending time across the U.K., U.S. and Canada. They worked in the kitchen, scrubbed dishes and served and bussed to help their parents out, so when people asked what Devin wanted to be when they grew up, they knew for sure what they didn’t want to be: a restaurateur.

They were always drawn to family structures, what it means to expand and the transitions it encompasses for people. Studying doula care at Pacific Rim as a queer-trans person, it became even more compelling for Devin to explore what an ungendered approach to the profession could look like.

“There was no education, no care, no awareness of the spectrum of gender identities, of family structures,” they say. “So, it’s been a huge pillar for Brood to focus on the alternatives for family structures that we can nourish and nurture, because everyone from queer-trans folks to cishet families deserve to have the community they need.”

Bottom Line: Inspired by LGBTQIA2S+ families in their community, Brood Care’s co-founders officially launched the brand in 2021. Brood is a tech-enabled learning platform and in-person care service for pregnancy, birth, postpartum care and new parenthood with a focus on millennial/Gen-Z families. Its educational component offers online courses (developed by Devin) on topics such as miscarriages and feeding your baby. During the pandemic, the Vancouver-based doula agency added virtual birth and postpartum care to their operations, as well as an open phone line for new parents. As of 2021, it had already served 400 families and babies.