New books approach the particular concerns of queer prospective parents through the lenses of psychology and midwifery.
LGBTQ Family Building by clinical psychologist and Clark University professor Abbie E. Goldberg (APA, May) presents findings from the author’s 2020 survey of more than 500 queer parents. She explores the reasons some families choose donor insemination over adoption, attitudes toward inclusiveness in day care centers and elementary schools, and other subjects, and includes self-assessment tools such as checklists and questionnaires.
Goldberg’s previous books include Lesbian and Gay Parents and Their Children, also with APA. Senior acquisitions editor Christopher Kelaher calls the new book, part of the publisher’s LifeTools line, a companion text—albeit a more expansive one that addresses considerations for trans and nonbinary parents and prospective parents. “It’s designed to make scientific research accessible and actionable,” he says.
In Queer Conception (Sasquatch, May), fertility midwife Kristin Kali helps prospective parents navigate a heteronormative system. “The fertility industry is oriented toward heterosexual couples,” they say. “Many clinics put themselves out there as welcoming LGBTQ families, but then you get in the door and you realize this whole place is built around straight people.”
Queer Conception rejects the assumption of infertility. “Healthy people conceiving with donor sperm do not need high-tech fertility care,” Kali explains. “They simply need care that’s appropriate to their situation and takes into account that they aren’t just making a baby; they’re becoming parents.” The book helps readers identify potential donors and surrogates, describes methods of insemination, and prepares new parents for infant feeding, which may include lactation induction for trans women and nongestational parents.
Kali addresses a sidebar in each chapter to doctors, midwives, and nurses, encouraging providers to pay attention to social injustices and other barriers to health, and to take care with how they present information about legal matters relevant to parenthood. “If you just use the mantra, ‘Who are we centering and who are we allowing to be marginalized,’ ” they say, “it goes a long way toward improving the environment within which you’re providing care.”