Reconceptions: Modern Relationships, Reproductive Science, and the Unfolding Future of Family

Reconceptions: Modern Relationships, Reproductive Science, and the Unfolding Future of Family

by Rachel Lehmann-Haupt
Reconceptions: Modern Relationships, Reproductive Science, and the Unfolding Future of Family

Reconceptions: Modern Relationships, Reproductive Science, and the Unfolding Future of Family

by Rachel Lehmann-Haupt


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New choices and emerging technologies in reproductive science aren’t just changing the ways we become parents—they’re playing a key role in the evolving definition of “family.”

Traditional family structures are adapting to make room for children conceived in previously unimaginable ways. Whole industries and internet-enabled communities are being built around reproductive technologies. And there’s more change coming as science continues to move forward. Combining intimate personal stories with cutting-edge research, Reconceptions invites readers to reconsider their own ideas about parenthood and embrace a new vision of the meaning of family.

In 2012, Rachel Lehmann-Haupt, an award-winning journalist, chose to begin a family on her own as a single mother by choice. In the years since her son was born, Rachel’s interest in collaborative reproduction has only grown—leading her to search for pioneers in reproductive science and the different permutations of families that this science is making possible. In Reconceptions, she shares intimate stories from the bleeding edge of society’s redefinition of family—including her own experience of creating a new kind of tribe with her son’s “dosies,” or donor siblings, and their parents. In these pages, readers will meet:

  • Tyra, the egg donor and professional surrogate who doesn’t want kids of her own, but stays in touch with several of the families she’s helped in the conception of their children.
  • Sam, the single father by choice who worked with a surrogate and donor egg to conceive his son who he is now raising with his girlfriend.
  • Rob and Scotty, the gay couple whose egg donor is now a friend and fixture at family social gatherings.
  • The author’s Facebook group of mothers who conceived their children with the same sperm donor—and how the group served as a much much-needed support system through the worst of the COVID pandemic.

Reconceptions offers a compelling vision of what advances in reproductive science mean for the definition of family in the 21st century and beyond, and imparts a modern story for anyone looking to better understand their own familial relationships—no matter what their family looks like.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781637742433
Publisher: BenBella Books, Inc.
Publication date: 04/04/2023
Pages: 244
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.19(h) x 0.63(d)

About the Author

Rachel Lehmann-Haupt is an expert on the future of family life, career timing, and the influence of science and technology on fertility, pregnancy and family. She is also founder of StoryMade Studio, a boutique storytelling studio.

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

“The best elements of narrative writing with fresh cultural observations about the dynamics of modern families and the growing influence of reproductive science. A moving, personal, and deeply researched read.” 
Peggy Orenstein, New York Times bestselling author of Girls & Sex

Reconceptions is an important and propellant work that prompts readers to think in fresh ways about the meaning of family. Rachel Lehmann-Haupt is an energetic, capable guide through this personal and well-reported book, on a subject that will only become more resonant as political sanctions on family structure and reproducing bodies build.” 
Rebecca Traister, New York Times bestselling author of All the Single Ladies
“Rachel Lehmann-Haupt integrates substantive scientific and psychological research with powerful personal stories . . . This thoughtful book will be helpful to anyone wishing to chart their own route to building a family—and to anyone who seeks to understand how to help all of today’s diverse families thrive.”
Stephanie Coontz, director of research and public education for the Council on Contemporary Families and author of The Way We Never Were
“Engaging, illuminating, and sometimes shocking, Reconceptions gives a candid account of the impact of assisted reproduction on individuals, the family, and wider society in the US today. It will surely spark much needed debate about what is, and isn’t, conducive to the well-being of children.”
Susan Golombok, professor of family research and director of the Centre for Family Research at the University of Cambridge and author of We Are Family

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