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Lesbians, Gays, and Bisexuals Becoming Parents or Remaining Childfree Confronting Social Inequalities by Cara Bergstrom-Lynch

Lesbians, Gays, and Bisexuals Becoming Parents or Remaining Childfree Confronting Social Inequalities


Lesbians, Gays, and Bisexuals Becoming Parents or Remaining Childfree Confronting Social Inequalities by Cara Bergstrom-Lynch

This book recognizes that intense public battles are being waged in the U.S. over the rights of LGB people to form legally and culturally recognized families. Their families are under a kind of sociopolitical scrutiny at this historical moment that compels us all to take stock of our strategies of family-building and, more broadly, the meaning of family in the U.S. today. Through in-depth, open-ended, qualitative interviews with 61 self-identified lesbian, gay, and bisexual people regarding how they came to have children or remain childless/childfree, this book reveals the challenges posed by homophobia and discrimination and showcases the creative strategies, resilience, and resourcefulness of lesbians, bisexuals, and gays as they build families (with or without children) after coming out. From descriptions of how the early process of coming out affected the desire to parent or remain childfree, to stories about the impact of homophobia and discrimination on the decision-making process, to the dynamics within couples that lead to becoming parents or remaining childfree, to examining how cultural notions of the strength of biology are employed when having children, to accounts of how the closet can be used strategically when bringing children into a family, their voices form the heart of this book. In a sociopolitical context in which gay, lesbian, and bisexual people often have to struggle to access the array of rights and opportunities that are afforded to most heterosexual people without question, addressing the questions raised in this book is an urgent and necessary endeavor.


Bergstrom-Lynch has written an insightful and well-researched book on some gay men's and lesbians
pathways into parenthood. One of the most refreshing aspects of her research and approach is that she focuses not only on individuals

and couples
processes toward becoming parents, but on voluntarily opting out of parenthood or remaining childfree as a matter of circumstance as well. Whether you view twenty

-first century queer spawn as a gayby boom or gayby doom, you'll find plenty of fresh perspectives and food for thought in the narratives Bergstrom-Lynch presents and analyzes.--Carla A. Pfeffer, University of South Carolina Bergstrom-Lynch offers a compelling and important examination of how gay and lesbian couples decide to remain childless or become parents. Through extensive quoting of in-depth interviews, she captures the complexities that LGB couples face and the strategies they develop to combat institutional inequalities, reproductive obstacles and adoptive challenges. These rainbow strategists draw upon a cultural tool kit of queer empowerment rooted in the gay rights movement.--Rosanna Hertz, author of Single by Chance, Mothers by Choice: How Women are Choosing Parenthood without Marriage and Creating the New American Family Deciding to have children is intensely personal and, as Cara Bergstrom-Lynch highlights, also historically and socially shaped. This carefully researched book delves into the stories lesbians, gays, and bisexuals tell about choosing to parent (or not) and how they chose their particular paths to parenthood or nonparenthood. The deeply moving accounts are presented with rich analysis so as to paint a complex picture of the work it takes people to construct their rainbow families. --Karin A. Martin, University of Michigan

About the Author

Cara Bergstrom-Lynch is associate professor of sociology at Eastern Connecticut State University.

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Book Info

Publication date

1st August 2017


Cara Bergstrom-Lynch

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Lexington Books


224 pages


Sociology: family & relationships



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