Bibliography for lgbt parents of children conceived through assisted reproductive technologies

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Patricia Mendell, LCSW

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Aizley, Harlyn. Confessions of the Other Mother: Non-Biological Lesbian Moms Tell All. Beacon Press. The book is a group of personal stories, including the author’s own, about lesbian two mom families (biological and non-biological) struggling to redefine motherhood, parenting and reshaping the view of a two-parent family. Free Press, 2006.
Ball, Carlos A. The Right to Be Parents: LGBT Families and the Transformation of Parenthood. University Press, 2012.

Bernstein, Robert A. Families of Value: Personal Profiles of Pioneering Lesbian and Gay Parents. Marlowe and Company, Imprint of Avalon Publishing, 2005.

Brill, Stephanie & Sacks, Preston. The New Essential Guide to Lesbian Conception, Pregnancy, and Birth. Alyson Publications, 2006.

Bucatinsky, Dan Does This Baby Make Me Look Straight?: Confessions of a Gay Dad. From actor/writer/producer Dan Bucatinsky, executive producer of NBC’s Who Do You Think You Are?, a collection of funny and serious stories about parenthood that will obliterate the boundaries of gender and sexual orientation. The book, while about adoption, is a story for all couples, recounting their road to adopting their two children but sharing, as well, the realities of raising children in a predominantly straight world. Simon and Schuster, 2012.

Burns, Jan & Pettle, Sharon. Choosing to be Open about Donor Conception: the experience of parents, Based on interviews with 52 heterosexual, single and lesbian parents about their experiences being open with their children. Donor Conception Network, 2002.

Clifford, Denis, Hertz, Frederick, and Doskow, Emily, a Legal Guide for Lesbian and Gay Couples. Nolo Press, 2007. 

Daniels, Ken, Building a Family with the Assistance of Donor Insemination. Based on the experiences of parents who recount their journeys from discovering infertility, making the decision to use DI, to having a family. Useful for people considering egg donation. Palmerston North New Zealand: Dunsmore Press, 2004.

Ehrensaft, Diane. Mommies, Daddies, Donors, Surrogates: Answering Tough Questions and Building Strong Families. A book for anyone who has used, or is thinking of using, a donor or surrogate to have a family. Guilford Press, 2005.

Fine, Katherine, Ed. Donor Conception for Life, Psychoanalytic Reflections on New Ways of Conceiving the Family. The book is about the psychological experiences of women and men who have used donor conception to create their families. The authors from various backgrounds offer diverse accounts of their clinical, research, and personal experiences. They each describe the challenge of the conscious and unconscious fantasies that can be aroused and how these may re-awaken early anxieties and developmental struggles. How the sensitive management of these differing genetics and emotional challenges are negotiated is reflected in how parents talk with their children about their genetic origins. Karnac Books, 2015.

Freeman Tabitha, Graham, Susanna, Ebtehaj, Fatemeh and Richards, Martin Eds., Relatedness In Assisted Reproduction, Families, Origins, and Identities. ART challenges and reinforces traditional understandings of Family and kinship. This is a book that explores from a multiple disciplines the traditional relatedness in ART families. The book with the help of an International team of academics and clinicians explores the complex meanings of origins, identities, kin connections in ART families through their personal, professional and research based studies reflecting on a range of social, legal, and bioethical perspectives. Cambridge University Press, 2014.

Goldberg, Susan & Rose, Chloe Brushwood, Eds., And Baby Makes More: Known Donors, Queer Parents, and Our Unexpected Families. Explores the role of the "known donor in the queer family structure: what happens when would-be lesbian moms or gay dads ask a friend or acquaintance to donate sperm or an egg, or to act as a surrogate”? A collection of personal essays by donors and/or their partners, biological and non-biological parents, donor-conceived offspring, and friends of all of them reflecting on their experiences; offering both an intimate look at the relative risks but also the unexpected rewards of queer, do-it-yourself baby-making as they build their unique family. Given that there are really no clear models to follow, the essays create their own version of the queer family addressing questions such as: What's the difference between being a donor and being a parent? What happens to non-biological parents when a known donor is also part of the picture? When and how does biology count-or does it? Why do parents choose known donors, and what happens if things get ugly? Insomniac Press, October, 2010.

Golombek, Susan. Modern Families Parents and Children in New Family Forms. Combines research on parenting and child development in new family forms including lesbian mother families, gay father families, families headed by single mothers by choice, and families created through ART via IVF egg donation, sperm donation, embryo donation, and surrogacy. Tests the myths of our society revealing that the quality of family relationships and the wider social environment are more influential in children’s psychological development than are the number, gender, sexual orientation or biological relatedness of their parents or the method of their conception. Cambridge University Press, 2015.

Guichon, Juliet, Mitchell, Ian, Giroux, Michelle, Eds. The Right to Know One’s Origins. This book is a series of chapters by various authors with the singular focus on children of assisted conception. It focuses on the rights of donor conceived to know their origins and the repercussions of being created by a third party and the effect it has on the emotional, psychological and social environment of this person and their family. It blends both the professional perspective with the personal perspective (donor conceived themselves) changing the claim that “the kids are alright”. ASP NV (Academic and Scientific Publishers NV) , 2012

Henderson, Kristen, & Ellis, Sarah. Two Women in Love and the Happy Family They Made. The book is the story of two women, meeting falling in love and then deciding to have children; both becoming pregnant at the same time. They talk about their adventure and the realities of raising two children in a lesbian family where the children are half siblings to one another. Free Press, 2011.

Kramer, Wendy & Cahn, Naomi. Finding Our Families: a First-of-Its-Kind Book for Donor Conceived People and Their Families. Co-authored by the Founder of the Donor Sibling Registry and a family and reproductive law professor, this book offers a step-by-step comprehensive guide for donor conceived families looking for information on how to raise children created with the help of a third person. The book includes: looking at the new meaning of kinship; the need for openness over secrecy; how to talk with your child and others about their origins; and helping your child search for information about their origins. Penguin Group, 2013.

Lev, Arlene Istar. The Complete Lesbian and Gay Parenting Guide, Berkley Trade, 2004.

Lorbach, Caroline. Experiences of Donor Conception: Parents, Offspring and Donors through the Years. Based on interviews with parents, she looks at the process of deciding to use donor conception, choosing a donor, and discussing the decision with others. Jessica Kingsley Publishers; 2003 (updated second addition 2009)

Mahoney, Jerry. Mommy Man: How I Went from Mild-Mannered Geek to Gay Superdad. The book is about one person’s journey from teenager to coming out to meeting his partner and plunging into parenthood through surrogacy using humor and emotions in describing his journey through the uncharted waters of gay fathers and surrogacy. Taylor Trade, 2014.

Mattes, Jane. Single Mothers by Choice: A Guide for Single Women who are considering or Have Chosen Motherhood. Three Rivers Press, 1997.
McCarry, Kevin. Fatherhood for Gay Men: An Emotional & Practical Guide to Become a Gay Dad. 2003.

McPhee, Pamela. Delivering Hope, the Extraordinary Journey of a Surrogate. Heartset, Inc., 2005.

Mendell, Patricia, LCSW. Path2Parenthood, Top Ten Fertility Myths. Mental Health Advisory Council,

Miller, Amie Klempnauer. She Looks Just like You: A Memoir of (non-biological Lesbian) Motherhood, Beacon Press, 2010.
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