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Assisted Reproduction

Lesbian Motherhood

Salon interviews Amie Klempnauer Miller about her memoir, She Looks Just Like You:

There has been a rise of the celebrity gayby, but it’s really about more gay men and lesbians having children and becoming more visible. My sense is that it’s because the first generation of children of gay and lesbian parents have come into their mid-20s. It’s no longer that bizarre to know somebody who has gay and lesbian parents, or a gay and lesbian person with a child. And the numbers are going up. According to the census there are about 270,000 kids with gay and lesbian parents, but every census the numbers jump up. And as the numbers increase, so does the visibility.

More broadly, medical technology has become much more available and much more available to single women. Back in the day you had to have your husband approve it. In the past 25-30 years, there’s also been a lot research done on the outcomes for children of gay and lesbian parents. Most of that has focused on kids of lesbians, and the research has shown that the kids are turning out fine.

Non-biological lesbian moms, like gay fathers who use surrogates, we’re in this weird zone between motherhood and fatherhood. I had tried to get pregnant, but, in the end, it was my partner who carried the baby, and I found myself going, “Wow, so what’s my role here?” I was planning on taking maternity leave, but I wasn’t pregnant. I was there for the conception, and I was there for the ultrasound but I wasn’t going to get to do these things, like childbirth, that are so paradigmatic of what it means to be a mother.

The parents I ended up relating to the most were stay-at-home dads because they are bending the genre categories themselves. It’s interesting that some of the criticisms that have been made toward stay-at-home dads are not that different from the criticisms of gay and lesbian families. Is it natural? Will the kids turn out OK?

It is a fascinating read and worth reading in its entirety.


One comment for “Lesbian Motherhood”

  • Monica


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