The Lesbian Parenting Book: A Guide to Creating Families and Raising Children


Written by two experienced lesbian therapists and parents, this second edition of Lesbian Parenting has been updated to reflect the contemporary cultural and political landscape, as well as current trends in parenting. Drawing on the real-life experiences of lesbian families and the latest information from family specialists, the authors present detailed, chapter-by-chapter information on each stage of parenthood and child development. New material includes information on circumcision, Internet safety, legal ...

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Written by two experienced lesbian therapists and parents, this second edition of Lesbian Parenting has been updated to reflect the contemporary cultural and political landscape, as well as current trends in parenting. Drawing on the real-life experiences of lesbian families and the latest information from family specialists, the authors present detailed, chapter-by-chapter information on each stage of parenthood and child development. New material includes information on circumcision, Internet safety, legal hoops for non-custodial parents, the facts about late-in-life pregnancies, moms working inside and outside of the home, and more. An essential text for every lesbian who is involved in—or considering—raising a family.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781580050906
  • Publisher: Avalon Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 5/15/2003
  • Edition description: 2nd Edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 403
  • Sales rank: 692,773
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 8.92 (h) x 1.08 (d)

Table of Contents

Note to the New Edition ix
Introduction: Navigating the Journey of Lesbian Parenting 1
Section 1 Our Lives as Lesbian Families 7
1 We're Here to Stay: Our Unique Families 9
What's It Like Being a Lesbian Family?
Structure and Language
Coming Out
The Strengths of Our Families
A Challenge to Sexism
Egalitarian Arrangements
More Room at the Table
A Wide Support Network
A Broader Perspective
Our Evolving Families
2 Starting Out: Alternative Insemination, Foster-Parenting and Adoption 19
Children--To Have or Not to Have?
Pregnancy via Alternative Insemination
An Insemination "Prep Talk"
A Word About HIV and AIDS
The Great Lesbian Sperm Chase
A.I. with a Known Donor
Romancing the Syringe: At-Home Insemination
Getting Pregnant the Old-Fashioned Way
When You Can't Conceive
Loving and Letting Go
Crossing Ability, Cultural and Racial Lines
Agency Adoption
Foster-Adopt Programs
Independent Adoptions
International Adoptions
How Do I Know If I Like Having Children in My Life?
3 Branches on Our Family Tree: Partners, Fathers, Siblings and Others 41
What's in a Name?
Beyond Our "Job Descriptions"
Fathers and Other Men in Our Lives
Fathers via Marriage
Donors: Anonymous or Known?
Fathers via Chosen Family
Father Fantasies
Male Role Models
Changing Relationships
Extended Family: From "Goddess-Parents" to Grandparents
The Significance of Siblings
New Visions
4 Coming Out to Our Children and Families 61
Defining Our Terms: Coming Out, Heterosexism and Homophobia
The Advantages of Coming Out to Our Children
Intimacy vs. Secrecy
Open Communication
The Risks of Coming Out to Our Children
How to Come Out to Children
"But What's a Lesbian?": Coming Out to Young Children
"What If She Hates Me?": Considerations with Adolescents
Coming Out to Adult Children
Coming Out Transgendered
Navigating in the World: Our Children's Issues
Full Circle: Coming Out to Our Family of Origin
When Lesbian Becomes Parent
When Parent Becomes Lesbian
5 Engaged Parenting: Communication and Conflict Resolution 86
Caring Communication
Listening So Children Will Talk
Talking So Children Will Listen
Setting Limits
Resolving Conflicts Constructively
Parents as Models
Resolving Conflicts with Young Children
Sibling Rivalry
Resolving Conflicts with Adolescents
The Tradition of Family Meetings
When to Get Help
6 Helping Our Children Through Loss and Divorce 112
The Stages of Grief
Supporting Your Child Through the Grieving Process
Helping Your Child Face Death
Death of a Child
Navigating Divorce: The Challenges for Parents
What Divorce Does to Kids: Short Term
What Divorce Does to Kids: Long Term
Telling Your Child About Divorce
Lesbian Divorce
7 Confronting Racism and Building Rainbows 132
How Racist Are We?
Defining Our Terms
How Racism Affects Individuals
How Racism Affects Families
Thinking About Adoption and Race
Living in an Interracial Adoptive Family
"You Picked Me Out!": How Children Perceive Race and Adoption
Interracial Couples with Children
Raising Bias-Free Children
Building Self-Esteem and Positive Racial Identity
Confronting Racist Comments
When Your Child Practices Racism
When Your Child Experiences Racism
Walking Our Talk
8 Celebrating Our Lives: New Family Traditions 153
Reclaiming Rituals and Building Traditions
Everyday Rituals
Earthly Delights
Holiday Celebrations
LGBT Pride Holidays and Celebrations
Spur-of-the-Moment Gatherings
Birthdays and Rites of Passage
While We're Apart
Creating Your Family Traditions
Section 2 Parenting Our Children as They Grow 167
9 At the Very Beginning: Pregnancy and Childbirth 169
Great Expectations
A Pregnancy Preview
Getting Support
A Word for Adoptive Parents-to-Be
Days in the Lives of Pregnant Lesbians
Getting Quality Prenatal Care
Birthing Issues for the Pregnant Mother
... and Her Partner
Labor Preparation: From Birthing Classes to Popsicles
Giving Birth at a Hospital
At a Birthing Center
A Home Birth
Miscarriage and Stillbirth
10 Your New Baby: The First Eighteen Months 186
Development Guideposts
Newborn to Six Months: Pee, Poop, Tears ... and Smiles
Six to Eighteen Months: Learning Through Movement
Parenting Issues
Who Does What?
Family and Friends: Help or Hindrance?
Out in the World
Child-care Choices
11 Parenting the Toddler: Eighteen Months to Thirty-Six Months 203
Development Guideposts
Physical Skills
Cognitive Advances
Social Development
Parenting Issues
Becoming Independent
"I Go Potty!"
The Gentle Art of Discipline
She Said ... She Said: Being Consistent as a Couple
Support Groups and Play Groups
Out in the World
Toddler "Outings"
Out at Work
Couple Time
12 The Emerging Child: Three to Six Years 220
Development Guideposts
Spirals of Change
Physical Skills
Cognitive Advances
Social Development
Gender and Sexuality
Parenting Issues
Moms as Mirrors
The "Why" Years
Out in the World
Structured Environments: Preschool and Kindergarten
Religious Groups
International and Interracial Adoptions
Time Out for Relationships
You and Your Partner
Educating Your Extended Family
13 Logic and Rules; Fairness and Morals: Six to Ten Years 239
Development Guideposts
The Logical Child
Rules and Moral Reasoning
Social Development
Physical Skills
The Playing's the Thing
Parenting Issues
Playing by the Rules
Values--Yours, Mine and Ours
Vacations Without the Kids
Out in the World
Sex Education
The World Wide Web
Moving and Making Friends
14 The Journey of Adolescence: Not Necessarily a Nightmare 259
Four Myths About Adolescence
Adolescent Development: An Overview
Early, Late or on Time
Skills: Now You See Them, Now You Don't
Raising Boys ... and Raising Girls
The Damaging Messages Our Daughters Hear
Putting Your Own Adolescence in Perspective
Keeping Adolescents Safe
Shifting the Parenting Gears
Engaged Parenting ... Adolescent-Style
15 On the Road to Adulthood: Ten to Fourteen Years 277
Development Guideposts
Physical Changes
Sexual Awakening
Intellectual and Moral Development
Emotional Growth
Is This Problem Serious?
Eating Disorders
Parenting Issues
Separation and Independence
School and Social Life: Get Involved or Steer Clear?
16 Independence and Identity: Fourteen to Eighteen Years 303
Development Guideposts
Intellectual and Moral Development
Emotional Growth
The Social Scene
The Golden Age of Friendship
Parenting Issues
Is Your Teen's Having a Job Good or Bad?
Sex, Drugs and Rock 'n' Roll
Is This Problem Serious?
Drug and Alcohol Problems
The Academic Slide
Other Behavior Problems
17 Stepping into New Roles: Our Adult Children 330
The Launching Years
Family Occasions: Fun or Fearful?
Meeting Your Child's Partner
The Challenge of Weddings
From Moms to Grandmoms
Hey, Mom, I'm Home Again
Resources 347
Appendices 352
A Second-Parent Adoption 352
B Alternative Insemination and Infertility Workups 354
C Sample Parenting Agreement 358
D The Test of Twelve 360
Notes 361
General Bibliography 369
Selected Bibliography 386
Index 394
Acknowledgments 402
About the Authors 405
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