“It is commonly assumed that the more a family deviates from the norm of the traditional two-parent heterosexual family, the greater the risks to the psychological well-being of the children. But is this really the case?”
— Susan Golombok, long-time researcher of non-traditional and LGBTQ families
Years ago I had the pleasure of talking with students at the University of Cambridge in the U.K. about the structure of Choice Mom families, and my own experience building a family in a non-traditional way. Susan Golombok had by then been leading efforts at Cambridge for years, as a professor of family research and Director of the Centre for Family Research.
Golombok has written extensively about the research she has conducted, and reviewed, over the past several decades. As the 2015 author of Modern Families, she provides overviews of what the research says about LGBTQ families, as well as about the impact of methods to parenthood ranging from surrogacy to egg and sperm donation, and the impacts of the single mother by choice structure.
She and Cambridge University Press gave me permission to excerpt from her excellent book, which forms the foundation for this new 33-page Choice Mom EGuide: Choosing Family: What research and experience says about LGBTQ families and the inclusion of ‘birth others.’
As she writes in the Preface of her book: “As attention turned from custody disputes to adoption by lesbian women, to access to assisted reproduction by lesbian women, to same-sex marriage, the same questions about the well-being of children arose, over and over again. These very same questions are now being asked about the children of gay fathers. In the intervening period, as a result of scientific advances in reproductive technologies, other new family forms have emerged, including heterosexual parent families created through in vitro fertilization (IVF), donor insemination, egg donation, embryo donation, and surrogacy. The aim of this book is to bring together the findings of research on parents and children in all of these new family forms.”
In Choosing Family we include excerpts from Golombok’s book, as well as information from:
- Kristin Kali of Maia Midwifery about “Timing Insemination With Ovulation”
- Elaine Gordon and Deborah Simmons about “Reciprocal IVF: Is It Right for You?”
- Steven Snyder about “Remaining Vigilant About State Law”
- Alice Ruby, executive director, The Sperm Bank of California (whose sponsorship enable me to create this e-book), “The Birth ‘Others’: Building families of choice”
- Personal stories on “Transgender Transitioning and Parenting,” “Me and My Donor,” “Keeping Touch With Extended Family,” “Meeting Diblings,” and “A Role Model for Our Sons”
- Related Resources, including a very comprehensive and detailed bibliography about resources for non-traditional parenting, compiled by Patricia Mendell