Cover image for The lesbian parenting book : a guide to creating families and raising children
The lesbian parenting book : a guide to creating families and raising children
Clunis, D. Merilee.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Seattle, Wash. : Seal Press, [1995]

Physical Description:
378 pages ; 23 cm
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
HQ75.53 .C58 1995 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



- From the authors of Lesbian Couples: A Guide to Creating Healthy Relationships (more than 50,000 copies sold)

Author Notes

D. Merilee Clunis, Ph.D., and G. Dorsey Green, Ph.D. are lesbian psychologists in private practice with extensive experience in counseling lesbian parents. They live with their families in Seattle

Reviews 1

Library Journal Review

Clunis and Green have put together a wonderful guide for lesbian parents and parents-to-be. Drawing on their own and others' experiences, the authors address many of the problems that lesbian parents have to face. These problems vary from deciding how to get pregnant to dealing with homophobic ex-spouses, involuntary "outing" by children, and questions about why their family is so different. Clunis and Green devote much of the book to giving a quick but thorough rundown on the developmental stages children go through. They cover issues all parents have to face, lesbian or not, from prenatal care to how to live with an adult child who has returned home. The book does have a few problems-the chapter on dealing with confronting racism is unnecessarily preachy, for instance-but they do not detract from the overall quality. The appended list of parenting and gay and lesbian resources is particularly useful. This book deserves a place in every public library.-Pamela A. Matthews, Missouri Western State Coll., St. Joseph (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Note to the New Editionp. ix
Introduction: Navigating the Journey of Lesbian Parentingp. 1
Section 1 Our Lives as Lesbian Familiesp. 7
1 We're Here to Stay: Our Unique Familiesp. 9
What's It Like Being a Lesbian Family?
Structure and Language
Coming Out
The Strengths of Our Families
A Challenge to Sexism
Egalitarian Arrangements
More Room at the Table
A Wide Support Network
A Broader Perspective
Our Evolving Families
2 Starting Out: Alternative Insemination, Foster-Parenting and Adoptionp. 19
Children--To Have or Not to Have?
Pregnancy via Alternative Insemination
An Insemination "Prep Talk"
A Word About HIV and AIDS
The Great Lesbian Sperm Chase
A.I. with a Known Donor
Romancing the Syringe: At-Home Insemination
Getting Pregnant the Old-Fashioned Way
When You Can't Conceive
Loving and Letting Go
Crossing Ability, Cultural and Racial Lines
Agency Adoption
Foster-Adopt Programs
Independent Adoptions
International Adoptions
How Do I Know If I Like Having Children in My Life?
3 Branches on Our Family Tree: Partners, Fathers, Siblings and Othersp. 41
What's in a Name?
Beyond Our "Job Descriptions"
Fathers and Other Men in Our Lives
Fathers via Marriage
Donors: Anonymous or Known?
Fathers via Chosen Family
Father Fantasies
Male Role Models
Changing Relationships
Extended Family: From "Goddess-Parents" to Grandparents
The Significance of Siblings
New Visions
4 Coming Out to Our Children and Familiesp. 61
Defining Our Terms: Coming Out, Heterosexism and Homophobia
The Advantages of Coming Out to Our Children
Intimacy vs. Secrecy
Open Communication
The Risks of Coming Out to Our Children
How to Come Out to Children
"But What's a Lesbian?": Coming Out to Young Children
"What If She Hates Me?": Considerations with Adolescents
Coming Out to Adult Children
Coming Out Transgendered
Navigating in the World: Our Children's Issues
Full Circle: Coming Out to Our Family of Origin
When Lesbian Becomes Parent
When Parent Becomes Lesbian
5 Engaged Parenting: Communication and Conflict Resolutionp. 86
Caring Communication
Listening So Children Will Talk
Talking So Children Will Listen
Setting Limits
Resolving Conflicts Constructively
Parents as Models
Resolving Conflicts with Young Children
Sibling Rivalry
Resolving Conflicts with Adolescents
The Tradition of Family Meetings
When to Get Help
6 Helping Our Children Through Loss and Divorcep. 112
The Stages of Grief
Supporting Your Child Through the Grieving Process
Helping Your Child Face Death
Death of a Child
Navigating Divorce: The Challenges for Parents
What Divorce Does to Kids: Short Term
What Divorce Does to Kids: Long Term
Telling Your Child About Divorce
Lesbian Divorce
7 Confronting Racism and Building Rainbowsp. 132
How Racist Are We?
Defining Our Terms
How Racism Affects Individuals
How Racism Affects Families
Thinking About Adoption and Race
Living in an Interracial Adoptive Family
"You Picked Me Out!": How Children Perceive Race and Adoption
Interracial Couples with Children
Raising Bias-Free Children
Building Self-Esteem and Positive Racial Identity
Confronting Racist Comments
When Your Child Practices Racism
When Your Child Experiences Racism
Walking Our Talk
8 Celebrating Our Lives: New Family Traditionsp. 153
Reclaiming Rituals and Building Traditions
Everyday Rituals
Earthly Delights
Holiday Celebrations
LGBT Pride Holidays and Celebrations
Spur-of-the-Moment Gatherings
Birthdays and Rites of Passage
While We're Apart
Creating Your Family Traditions
Section 2 Parenting Our Children as They Growp. 167
9 At the Very Beginning: Pregnancy and Childbirthp. 169
Great Expectations
A Pregnancy Preview
Getting Support
A Word for Adoptive Parents-to-Be
Days in the Lives of Pregnant Lesbians
Getting Quality Prenatal Care
Birthing Issues for the Pregnant Mother
... and Her Partner
Labor Preparation: From Birthing Classes to Popsicles
Giving Birth at a Hospital
At a Birthing Center
A Home Birth
Miscarriage and Stillbirth
10 Your New Baby: The First Eighteen Monthsp. 186
Development Guideposts
Newborn to Six Months: Pee, Poop, Tears ... and Smiles
Six to Eighteen Months: Learning Through Movement
Parenting Issues
Who Does What?
Family and Friends: Help or Hindrance?
Out in the World
Child-care Choices
11 Parenting the Toddler: Eighteen Months to Thirty-Six Monthsp. 203
Development Guideposts
Physical Skills
Cognitive Advances
Social Development
Parenting Issues
Becoming Independent
"I Go Potty!"
The Gentle Art of Discipline
She Said ... She Said: Being Consistent as a Couple
Support Groups and Play Groups
Out in the World
Toddler "Outings"
Out at Work
Couple Time
12 The Emerging Child: Three to Six Yearsp. 220
Development Guideposts
Spirals of Change
Physical Skills
Cognitive Advances
Social Development
Gender and Sexuality
Parenting Issues
Moms as Mirrors
The "Why" Years
Out in the World
Structured Environments: Preschool and Kindergarten
Religious Groups
International and Interracial Adoptions
Time Out for Relationships
You and Your Partner
Educating Your Extended Family
13 Logic and Rules; Fairness and Morals: Six to Ten Yearsp. 239
Development Guideposts
The Logical Child
Rules and Moral Reasoning
Social Development
Physical Skills
The Playing's the Thing
Parenting Issues
Playing by the Rules
Values--Yours, Mine and Ours
Vacations Without the Kids
Out in the World
Sex Education
The World Wide Web
Moving and Making Friends
14 The Journey of Adolescence: Not Necessarily a Nightmarep. 259
Four Myths About Adolescence
Adolescent Development: An Overview
Early, Late or on Time
Skills: Now You See Them, Now You Don't
Raising Boys ... and Raising Girls
The Damaging Messages Our Daughters Hear
Putting Your Own Adolescence in Perspective
Keeping Adolescents Safe
Shifting the Parenting Gears
Engaged Parenting ... Adolescent-Style
15 On the Road to Adulthood: Ten to Fourteen Yearsp. 277
Development Guideposts
Physical Changes
Sexual Awakening
Intellectual and Moral Development
Emotional Growth
Is This Problem Serious?
Eating Disorders
Parenting Issues
Separation and Independence
School and Social Life: Get Involved or Steer Clear?
16 Independence and Identity: Fourteen to Eighteen Yearsp. 303
Development Guideposts
Intellectual and Moral Development
Emotional Growth
The Social Scene
The Golden Age of Friendship
Parenting Issues
Is Your Teen's Having a Job Good or Bad?
Sex, Drugs and Rock 'n' Roll
Is This Problem Serious?
Drug and Alcohol Problems
The Academic Slide
Other Behavior Problems
17 Stepping into New Roles: Our Adult Childrenp. 330
The Launching Years
Family Occasions: Fun or Fearful?
Meeting Your Child's Partner
The Challenge of Weddings
From Moms to Grandmoms
Hey, Mom, I'm Home Again
Resourcesp. 347
Appendicesp. 352
A Second-Parent Adoptionp. 352
B Alternative Insemination and Infertility Workupsp. 354
C Sample Parenting Agreementp. 358
D The Test of Twelvep. 360
Notesp. 361
General Bibliographyp. 369
Selected Bibliographyp. 386
Indexp. 394
Acknowledgmentsp. 402
About the Authorsp. 405