LESBIANS WHO ARE MOTHERS RESOURCE LIST

There has been little research in Britain in regard to lesbians. The majority of the following articles are from the U.S.A. and are available through your local library (you will have to complete an order card and it will probably take about a month as they will have to send to the British Library for a copy; this should cost you about .50p).

ACADEMIC PAPERS

SOCIAL ATTITUDES, LEGAL STANDARDS AND PERSONAL TRAUMA IN CHILD CUSTODY CASES, DONNA HITCHENS, JOURNAL OF HOMOSEXUALITY, 1979/80, VOL 5(1/2), P89-95.

HETEROSEXUAL AND LESBIAN SINGLE MOTHERS: A COMPARISON OF PROBLEMS, COPING, AND SOLUTIONS, MILDRED D. PAGELOW, JOURNAL OF HOMOSEXUALITY, 1979-1980, VOL 5(1/4), P189-204.

Expertise regarding lesbian Mothers is increasingly necessary to members of the legal and helping professions, but there is little empirical research on which to base informed decisions. This paper describes an exploratory study undertaken in response to these needs. Descriptive data were gathered on the everyday experiences of heterosexual and lesbian single mothers. Research methods included participant observation in a wide range of discussion groups and group activities, in-depth interviews, and a questionnaire. Using a phenomenological perspective, comparisons are drawn between heterosexual and lesbian respondents' adaptations to three common concerns: child custody, housing, and employment. While both groups report oppression in the areas of freedom of association, employment, housing, and child custody, the degree of perceived oppression is greater for lesbian mothers. Lesbian mothers exhibit patterns of behavior that may be responses to perceived oppression and that may serve to counterbalance felt difficulties by developing relatively higher levels of independence.

LESBIAN WOMEN'S PERCEPTIONS OF THEIR PARENT-CHILD RELATIONSHIPS, EILEEN SHAVELSON, MARY K. BIAGGIO, HERB H. CROSS, ROBERT E. LEHMAN, JOURNAL OF HOMOSEXUALITY, VOL 5(1/4), 1979/80, P205-215.

Twenty-six self-identified lesbian women and a comparison group of twenty-six heterosexual women, who were either students in a human sexuality course, members of the National Organization of Women, or volunteers from a women's center, were administered the short form of Schaefer's Child Report of Parental Behavior Inventory, the Bem Sex Role Inventory, and an interview concerning family background relationships and sexual experiences and attitudes. Regression analysis revealed no significant family background variable or parental sex-role adherence variable that correlated with sexual orientation. Significant differences were found concerning sex-role adherence, with lesbian women being more masculinely sex-role typed than heterosexual women. Lesbian women were also found to be significantly more satisfied with their sex lives. It was concluded that there are no apparent family background variables that predict the development of a lesbian orientation.

THEORETICAL BASES FOR RESEARCH ON THE ACQUISITION OF SOCIAL SEX-ROLES BY CHILDREN OF LESBIAN MOTHERS, LONNIE G. NUNGESSER, JOURNAL OF HOMOSEXUALITY, 1980, VOL 5(3, P177-185.

The present study, which examines the socialization effects of lesbian mothers upon their children, begins with a discussion of the classification and measurement of sex-typed behaviors. Theories from developmental, behavioral, and social psychology are applied, in order to distinguish between the acquisition of sex-typed behaviors and the actual performance of those behaviors. The conditions affecting the modeling process are also discussed. Lesbian lifestyles and values are explored through a review of several descriptive studies of lesbian mothers. Finally, an application of theoretical models is presented to determine the socialization effects on the children. A theoretial base is provided for suggested experimental research.

THE CHILD'S HOME ENVIRONMENT FOR LESBIAN VS. HETEROSEXUAL MOTHERS: A NEGLECTED AREA OF RESEARCH, JUDITH ANN MILLER, R. BROOKE JACOBSEN, JERRY J. BIGNER, JOURNAL OF HOMOSEXUALITY, VOL 7(1), 1981, P49-56.

Much research on the lesbian experience has focused on assessing differences between lesbian and heterosexual adults. Less effort has been expended in analyzing the home environment of the child in a lesbian household. This study compares samples of lesbian and heterosexual mothers in terms of the home setting provided and the caregiver role vis-a-vis children. Results reveal a less affluent socioeconomic setting for the children of lesbian mothers. A strong child-development orientation was found among lesbian mothers, undermining the stereotype of lesbian as aloof from children.

CHILDREN IN LESBIAN AND SINGLE-PARENT HOUSEHOULDS: PSYCHOSEXUAL AND PSYCHIATIC APPRAISAL, SUSAN GOLOMBOK, ANN SPENCER, MICHAEL RUTTER, CHILD PSYCHOLOGY & PSYCHIATRY & ALLIED DISCIPLINES, 1983, VOL 24(4), P551-572.

BLACK MOTHERS AND DAUGHTERS: TRADITIONAL AND NEW POPULATIONS, G.I. JOSEPH, SAGE: A SCHOLARLY JOURNAL ON BLACK WOMEN, 1984, FALL VOL 1(2), P17-21.

FAMILY THERAPY FOR LESBIAN AND GAY CLIENTS, MICHAEL J. SHERNOFF,
SOCIAL WORK, 1984, VOL 4 JULY 29, P393-396.

THEY SAID BECAUSE WE WERE GAY THEY COULD NOT TAKE THE RISK, ANNE WHITEHOUSE,
COMMUNITY CARE, MAY 30, 1985, P20-22.

Anne Whitehouse examines the progressive policy of one London council towards homosexual fostering and adoption and also discusses the problems of such putative parents with two lesbian adopters.

GAY AND LESBIAN PARENTS, MARY B. HARRIS, PAULINE H. TURNER,
JOURNAL OF HOMOSEXUALITY, VOL 12(2) 1985/6, P101-113.

An anonymous survey of 23 gay and lesbian parents and 16 heterosexual single parents was conducted in order to see whether the parents' homosexuality created special problems or benefits or both, for their children. Both sets of parents reported relatively few serious problems and generally positive relationships with their children, with only a minority encouraging sex-typed toys, activities, and playmates. Heterosexual parents made a greater effort to provide an opposite-sex role model for their children, but no other differences in their parenting behaviors were found. Gay and lesbian parents saw a number of benefits and relatively few problems for their children as a result of their homosexuality, with lesbians perceiving greater benefits than gay men. Conversely, the gay males reported greater satisfaction with their first child, fewer disagreements with their partners over discipline, and a greater tendency to encourage play with sex-typed toys than did the lesbians. The findings suggest that being homosexual is clearly compatible with effective parenting and is not a major issue in parents' relationships with their children.

CLINICAL IMPLICATIONS OF LESBIAN MOTHER STUDIES, MARTHA KIRKPATRICK, JOURNAL OF HOMOSEXUALITY, VOL 14(1/2), 1987, P201-212.

LESBIAN DAUGHTERS AND LESBIAN MOTHERS: THE CRISIS OF DISCLOSURE FROM A FAMILY SYSTEMS PERSPECTIVE, JO-ANN KRESTAN,
JOURNAL OF PSYCHO-THERAPY AND THE FAMILY, VOL 3(4), 1987, P113-130.

LESBIAN MOTHERHOOD, MAAIKE DE KLERCK, PAPER PRESENTED TO THE CONFERENCE "HOMOSEXUALITY, WHICH HOMOSEXUALITY," AMSTERDAM, 1987.

Paper contains sub-headings: Orientation and formulation of the problem; Lesbian motherhood, a matter of free choice? Lesbian motherhood, an attack on traditional ideologies of education and motherhood; Formulation of the problem; Research on lesbian motherhood, the questions raised and the information they yield; Methodological account; Divorce, a far-reaching event; Reactions from the social environment; Questions concerning the emotional development of children of lesbian mothers; Research on lesbian motherhood; Which presumptions do play a role, which new research questions can be phrased?

It is unlikely that the British Library will have this paper; we acquired ours originally from the Lesbian Archive and Information Centre, Wesley House, Wild Court, London WC1; alternately we can provide you with a photocopy within the new Copyright Law.

GAY PARENTING: A COMPLETE GUIDE FOR GAY MEN AND LESBIANS WITH CHILDREN, JOY SCHULENBURG, ANCHOR PRESS/DOUBLEDAY, 1985, REVIEW BY FREDERICK W. BOZZEN, JOURNAL OF HOMOSEXUALITY, VOL 13(4), 1987, P135-138.

HOMOSEXUALITY IN THE FAMILY: LESBIAN AND GAY SPOUSES, NORMAN L. WYERS, SOCIAL WORK, 1987, VOL 32(2), P143-148.

A 1983-84 study of the marital and parental behavior of lesbian wives and mothers and gay husbands and fathers is reviewed. Differences between the men and the women were discovered in five areas: overall demographics, marital history, marital problems and their impact, parenting issues, and dealing with homosexuality. Many similarities also surfaced. The author posits that if social service providers are aware of the characteristics described they will be of more assistance to these lesbian and gay clients.

REVIEW OF GAY AND LESBIAN PARENTS, FREDERICK W. BOZETT (ED), 1987, PRAEGER, FAMILY RELATIONS, JULY 1988, VOL 37(3), P358-359.

A COMPARATIVE STUDY OF SELF-ESTEEM OF ADOLESCENT CHILDREN OF DIVORCED LESBIAN MOTHERS AND DIVORCED HETEROSEXUAL MOTHERS, SHARON L. HUGGINS, JOURNAL OF HOMOSEXUALITY, VOL 18(1/2), 1989, P123-135.

LESBIAN MOTHERS AND THE MOTHERHOOD HIERARCHY, ELENA MARIE DiLAPI, JOURNAL OF HOMOSEXUALITY, VOL 18(1/2) 1989, P101-121.

THE MARRIED LESBIAN, ELI COLEMAN
, MARRIAGE AND FAMILY REVIEW, VOL 14 (3/4), 1989, P119-135.

HIDDEN BRANCHES AND GROWING PAINS: HOMOSEXUALITY AND THE FAMILY TREE, ERIK F. STROMMEN, MARRIAGE AND FAMILY REVIEW, VOL 14(3/4), 1989, P9-34.

In reviewing the effects of having a gay or lesbian member in the family of origin, one is repeatedly drawn to the central role played by the social stigma surrounding homosexuality. The present paper suggests that social stereotypes and prejudices toward homosexuals create an image of homosexuality as incompatible with the family, and that the family's reactions to having a homosexual member depend upon their acceptance or rejection of these prejudices. When homosexual family members are discovered, heterosexual family members experience a conflict between their conceptions of homosexual persons and the familiar family role of the homosexual member. The origin and nature of this conflict, and differences among family members in their reactions are reviewed. Long-term resolution and possible models of positive and negative outcome are also described. It is suggested that the conflict experienced by family members is in many ways similar to the 'coming out' process of homosexual identity acquisition, and that this similarity may reflect common mechanisms for coming to grips with a pejorative, negatively labeled social identity.

CHILDREN OF GAY AND LESBIAN PARENTS, JULIE SCHWARTZ GOTTMAN, MARRIAGE AND FAMILY REVIEW, VOL 14(3/4), 1989, P177-196.

LESBIANS AND THE CHOICE TO PARENT, CHERI A. PIES, MARRIAGE AND FAMILY REVIEW, VOL 14(3/4), 1989, P137-154.

Lesbians have been having and raising children for a long time. Today, growing numbers of lesbians are having, adopting and raising children after 'coming out'. Some are parenting with their primary partner, others alone, and still others with a male or female friend, or a family of friends. There are many types of lesbian family situations, each one distinctively different from the next.

The subject of lesbians choosing to become parents frequently raises a number of compelling questions. For example, questions such as 'Why do lesbians want to have children?' and 'How will they do it?' are heard repeatedly. These are perhaps simple and straightforward questions to the curious observer. Placed in the context of childbearing and childrearing, however, such questions reflect what can be described as homophobic and antagonistic attitudes. Questions such as these are rarely, if ever, asked of a heterosexual woman and her partner choosing to become parents. Nevertheless, lesbians are expected to answer them, articulately and convincingly.

This article will address these questions, as well as a number of others, in an attempt to clarify the complex and challenging issues lesbians face as they grapple with the choice to parent. The quotations used in this article are from comments made by participants in the workshops on lesbian parenting that the author has conducted since 1976.

ADOPTION AND FOSTER PARENTING FOR LESBIANS AND GAY MEN: CREATING NEW TRADITIONS IN FAMILY, WENDELL RICKETTS, ROBERTA ACHTENBERG, MARRIAGE AND FAMILY REVIEW, VOL 14(3/4), 1989, P83-118.

WHEN MOM OR DAD COMES OUT: HELPING ADOLESCENTS COPE WITH HOMOPHOBIA, S. DEEVEY, JOURNAL OF PSYCHOSOCIAL NURSING - MENTAL ATTITUDES, 1989, VOL 27(10), P33-36.

AN EXAMINATION OF DEMOGRAPHIC VARIABLES, NURTURANCE, AND EMPATHY AMONG HOMOSEXUAL AND HETEROSEXUAL BIG BROTHER/BIG SISTER VOLUNTEERS, MINNIE M. WHITEHEAD, KATHLEEN M. NOKES, JOURNAL OF HOMOSEXUALITY VOL 19(4), 1990, P89-101.

Potential volunteers are often screened for sexual orientation and, in most circumstances, excluded if they are gay men or lesbians. This is especially true if the volunteer's work involves children. Big Brothers/Big Sisters of San Francisco deviates from this practice and screens volunteers based on other attributes. This study investigates differences in demographic variables, nurturance, and empathy among homosexual and heterosexual Big Brothers/Big Sisters of San Francisco. Two hundred nineteen questionnaires were returned and results indicated that there were no significant differences in demographic factors, nurturance, or empathy based on sexual orientation. Gender differences for the study variables were found and these are consistent with the results of earlier studies. Three significant factors were identified: stability, social support and personality attributes. Sexual orientation was not a significant factor.

WORKING WITH LESBIAN AND GAY PARENTS AND THEIR CHILDREN, JAMES W. CLAY,
YOUNG CHILDREN, 1990, VOL 45(3), P31-35.

GYNECOLOGICAL AND CHILDBEARING NEEDS OF LESBIANS, LAURA ZEIDENSTEIN,
JOURNAL OF NURSE-MIDWIFERY, 1990, VOL 35(1), P10-18.

This descriptive study explored how self-identification as lesbian ("coming out") affected gynecological and childbearing needs and experiences. Twenty interviews were conducted using a researcher-designed interview schedule. The majority of lesbians disclosed their sexual/affectional identity to providers ostensibly to negate heterosexual asumptions. Fear and the unpleasantness of coming out influenced the majority to postpone gynecological care or to seek lesbian-sensitive providers. Half of the participants had gone to ob/gyn appointments accompanied by the partner. Traditional health history questions about marital status, sexual activity, and birth control elicited inaccurate information from participants. Participants believed important qualities in providers to be: sensitivity, knowledge about lesbian sexuality, and female gender. Providers need to learn clues of lesbian identification or coming out; they should also strive to use inclusive gender words and remove heterosexual assumptions. Seventy percent of participants desired children; alternative insemination was an accepted method of conception to most. Midwives can play a special role with lesbians desiring pregnancy and children.

WHAT HAS GONE BEFORE: THE LEGACY OF RACISM AND SEXISM IN THE LIVES OF BLACK MOTHERS AND DAUGHTERS, BEVERLY A. GREENE, WOMEN AND THERAPY, 1990, VOL 9(1/2), P207-230.

The role of mother is an important one for many Black women, and it is accompanied by tasks not shared by their white counterparts, specifically, racial socialization of Black children. It is important therefore that psychotherapists understand the additional stressors brought to bear on Black women as mothers as well as the effect of those stressors on their parenting skills. This paper focuses on the legacy of adaptive strengths Black women have exercised in coping with an antagonistic environment; potential complications in the task of racial socialization; traditional resources found in Black families, as well as psychotherapeutic interventions which may enhance this process when problems occur.

COMPETENT CHILD-FOCUSED PRACTICE: WORKING WITH LESBIAN AND GAY CARERS, HELEN COSIS BROWN, ADOPTION & FOSTERING, VOL 15(2), 1991, P11-17.

HOMOSEXUALITY AND PARENTHOOD, MICHAEL B. KING, PAT PATTISON, BRITISH MEDICAL JOURNAL, 3 AUGUST 1991, VOL 303, P295-297.

DEFINITIONS AND DYNAMICS OF MOTHERHOOD AND FAMILY IN LESBIAN COMMUNITIES, JULIE AINSLIE, KATHRYN M. FELTEY, MARRIAGE AND FAMILY REVIEW, 1991, VOL 17(1/2), P63-85.

The purpose of this article is to explore the experience of motherhood and the definition of family in lesbian feminist communities.

FAMILY AND COUPLES THERAPY WITH GAY AND LESBIAN CLIENTS: ACKNOWLEDGING THE FORGOTTEN MINORITY, JANE M. USSHER, JOURNAL OF FAMILY THERAPY, 1991, VOL 13, P131-148.

Family and couples therapy in the main concentrates on heterosexual clients, and has thus been described as limited in its outlook, or discriminatory. It is argued that family and couples therapy is at present not offered to gay and lesbian clients because of an absence of appropriate referrals, the inability of therapists to recognize the sexual orientation of their clients, a belief that skills held by therapists are not appropriate for this client group, or because of the homphobia of the therapist. It is suggested that family and couples therapy should be more readily available for gay and lesbian clients, and a number of different problems associated with the gay adolescent and the gay or lesbian parent, as well as the gay or lesbian couple. It is concluded that established forms of intervention are effective with gay clients, provided that the specific needs and problems of the gay and lesbian community are addressed by the therapist.

THE LESBIAN CUSTODY PROJECT, JILL RADFORD
, HEALTH CARE FOR WOMEN INTERNATIONAL, VOL 13(2), 1992, P229-237.

In the United Kingdom the backlash against feminism in the late 1980s was initially directed at lesbians and was specifically focused on lesbians who are mothers, lesbians engaged in parenting, or lesbians wishing to do so. This backlash was initially orchestrated by a small group of far right politicians, well to the right of the Thatcher government, and was not contained in any political consensus but was developed into a major public issue by the media. This paper documents its effect in terms of a systematic legal attack on lesbian parenting. The aim of the paper is to alert readers to the backlash with a view to resistance. Our argument is that the backlash against lesbians is a first line of attack against all women as mothers.

CARING FOR LESBIANS IN A HOMOPHOBIC SOCIETY, SUSAN E. GENTRY, HEALTH CARE FOR WOMEN INTERNATIONAL,VOL 13(2), 1992, P173-180.

Lesbians and gays have suffered for centuries from stigmatization by homophobic, heterosexual people in Western society. It is critical for health care providers to have an understanding of alternative life-styles and the unique health concerns of homosexual people in order to provide sensitive and knowledgeable health care. Lesbian health issues such as assessing the sexual orientation of lesbians, parenting issues, lesbian battering, and the older lesbian woman are discussed. My intent in writing this article is to increase the sensitivity, knowledge and awareness of health care providers caring for lesbians in a homophobic society.

BREAKING THE SILENCES: LESBIAN AND GAY PARENTS AND THE SCHOOLS, VIRGINIA CASPER, STEVEN SCHULTZ & ELAINE WICKENS, TEACHERS COLLEGE RECORD, 1992, VOL 94(1), P109-137.

LESBIAN CHILDBEARING COUPLES' DILEMMAS AND DECISIONS, JANET W. KENNEY, DONNA T. TASH, HEALTH CARE FOR WOMEN INTERNATIONAL, 1992, VOL 13(2), P209-219.

In recent years, an increasing number of lesbian women have chosen to bear children. However, for lesbians, there are many obstacles and unique dilemmas during each phase of the childbearing process. Some of these dilemmas include how to conceive, where to find a healthcare provider who is sensitive to their concerns, and how to inform family members and friends about the pregnancy and elicit their support. Other dilemmas common to all women are where to give birth and how to assimilate new roles into their life and work. This article describes the potential dilemmas of lesbians during childbearing, with the aim of increasing health care providers' awareness of and sensitivity to the perinatal concerns of lesbian women.

CHILDREN OF LESBIAN AND GAY PARENTS, CHARLOTTE J. PATTERSON, CHILD DEVELOPMENT, 1992, VOL 63(5), P1025-1042.

This paper reviews research evidence regarding the personal and social development of children with gay and lesbian parents. Beginning with estimates of the numbers of such children, sociocultural, theoretical, and legal reasons for attention to their development are then outlined. In this context, research studies on sexual identity, personal develoment, and social relationships among these children are then reviewed. These studies include assessment of possible differences between children with gay or lesbian versus heterosexual parents as well as research on sources of diversity among children of gay and lesbian parents. Research on these topics is relatively new, and many important questions have yet to be addressed. To date, however, there is no evidence that the development of children with lesbian or gay parents is compromised in any significant respect relative to that among children of heterosexual parents in otherwise comparable circumstances. Having begun to respond to heterosexist and homophobic questions posed by psychological theory, judicial opinion, and popular prejudice, child development researchers are now in a position also to explore a broader range of issues raised by the emergence of different kinds of gay and lesbian families.

LESBIAN FAMILIES: CLINICAL ISSUES AND THEORETICAL IMPLICATIONS, JOANNA BUNKER ROHRBAUGH, PROFESSIONAL PSYCHOLOGY RESEARCH & PRACTICE, 1992, VOL 23(6), P467-473.

The influence of lesbian family structure on parenting is examined within the context of both psychodynamic and family systems theories by providing a review of the literature, as well as information based on the author's clinical work with lesbians and their families. The uniqueness of the lesbian family is considered, and the varieties of lesbian family structure are outlined (e.g. blended, single parent, couples having children together, donors, and noncustodial fathers.) The impact of parenting is discussed in terms of common issues in lesbian families: distance and boundary regulation, power/equality, shared parenting, relationships with extended families, lesbian friendship networks, and issues unique to lesbian "divorce."

THE INVISIBLE -ISM: HETEROSEXISM AND THE IMPLICATIONS FOR MEDIATION, ANNETTE TOWNLEY, MEDIATION QUARTERLY, 1992, VOL 9(4), P397-400.

The mediation field has made great strides in its commitment to multi-cultural understanding, but lesbians and gay men remain invisible within the conflict resolution community. There is virtually no dispute resolution literature, except anecdotal, to support this claim. However, there is evidence to support the fact that lesbians and gay men are a significant but often invisible portion of the US population. This article discusses ways in which the mediation field perpetuates this invisibility, explores whether mediation really provides an alternative dispute resolution process for lesbians and gays, assesses the impact of this exclusion on the practice of mediation, and suggests ways in which mediators and mediation programs can address homphobia and heterosexism.

ESSENTIALISM, WHICH ESSENTIALISM? SOME IMPLICATIONS OF REPRODUCTIVE AND GENETIC TECHNO-SCIENCE, SARAH FRANKLIN, JOURNAL OF HOMOSEXUALITY, 1993, VOL 24(3/4), P27-39.

New technologies, such as genetic screeening, artificial insemination, in vitro fertilization, and pre-natal diagnosis, have given new meaning to human reproduction. Such innovations make clear that marriage, procreation, and the biological family are not the sole "natural" means of perpetuating the human race. One would have hoped that these inventions would eventually have raised in public regard the gay/lesbian family to the same level as heterosexuality and the biological family. Franklin shows, however, that the old heterosexual essentialism is preserved by government restricting the use of the new technologies to two-parent families consisting of both mother and father. What should have resulted in the erosion of heterosexual privilege has, instead, led to its reinforcement. Franklin draws a parallel with the AIDS epidemic which could have been the opportunity to spread knowledge and acceptance of varied forms of sexuality but has instead been used to shore up a traditional sexual morality and a renewed vilification of homosexuality.

CHILDREN RAISED BY LESBIAN COUPLES, DOES CONTEXT OF BIRTH AFFECT FATHER AND PARTNER INVOLVEMENT? JAN HARE & LESLIE RICHARDS, FAMILY RELATIONS, 1993, VOL 423), P249-255.

This qualitative study examined patterns of father and lesbian partner involvement for two groups of children: those born in the context of a previous heterosexual marriage and those born in the context of a lesbian relationship. Twenty-eight lesbian couples participated in structured interviews. Involvement for both fathers and partners varied by the context of the child's birth. Implications for practice are offered.

THE FAMILY LIVES OF LESBIAN MOTHERS, L. LORR-WHITEHEAD, SMITH COLLEGE STUDIES IN SOCIAL WORK, 1993, VOL 63(3), P265-280.

Forty-five lesbians who are also parents provided information on their families of creation via a researcher-designed questionnaire. The purpose of the study was to gather descriptive data about the family lives of the women, using an ecological perspective for interpretation of results. The major findings revealed that the women were cognizant of the impact of their sexual orientation on their children, that they were vigilant about maintaining the integrity of their families, and that the stress they felt was buffered by social support networks.

VOICES FROM THE HEART: THE DEVELOPMENTAL IMPACT OF A MOTHER'S LESBIANISM ON HER ADOLESCENT CHILDREN, A. O'CONNELL, SMITH COLLEGE STUDIES IN SOCIAL WORK, 1993, VOL 63(3), P281-299.

This article is based upon a study exploring the impact of a divorced mother's lesbian orientation on her children, as they experience adolescence within a homophobic culture. Sexual identity issues and friendships are highlighted. Findings indicate profound loyalty and protectiveness toward the mother, openness to diversity, and sensitivity to the effects of prejudice. Subjects reported strong needs for peer affiliation and perceived secrecy regarding mother's lesbianism as necessary for relationship maintenance. Other concerns, abating over time, were unrealized fears of male devaluation and homosexuality. Pervasive sadness about the parental breakup remained and wishes for family reunification were relinquished when mother "came out."

THE CHILDREN OF HOMOSEXUAL AND HETEROSEXUAL SINGLE MOTHERS, GHAZALA AFZAL JAVAID, CHILD PSYCHIATRY AND HUMAN DEVELOPMENT, 1993, VOL 23(4), P235-248.

Children reared in homes headed by homosexual and heterosexual mothers were compared with respect to the mothers' and children's attitudes towards marriage, procreation and homosexuality. The mothers did not prefer their children to be homosexual; they desired them to marry and procreate. This was expressed more unambiguously for their sons. The children mirrored these expectations, boys with greater frequency than the girls. Most of the children expressed reservations about having a homosexual mother.

LESBIAN, SINGLE AND GERIATRIC WOMEN: TO BREED OR NOT TO BREED, LEAH L. CURTIN, NURSING MANAGEMENT 1994, VOL 25(3), P14-16.

CHAPTERS IN BOOKS

OUR RIGHT TO LOVE, A LESBIAN RESOURCE BOOK, EDITOR GINNY VIDA, PRODUCED IN COOPERATION WITH WOMEN OF THE NATIONAL GAY TASK FORCE, 1978, INCLUDES:

SHARING YOUR LESBIAN IDENTITY WITH YOUR CHILDREN, BETTY BERZON, P69-74.

*HOMOSEXUALITY: SOCIAL, PSYCHOLOGICAL AND BIOLOGICAL ISSUES, WILLIAM PAUL, JAMES D. WEINRICH, JOHN C. GONSIOREK, MARY E. HOTVEDT, 1982, INCLUDES:

CHILDREN OF LESBIAN MOTHERS, MARY E. HOTVEDT, JANE BARCLAY MANDEL, P275-265.

EVERYTHING IN ITS PLACE, THE COEXISTENCE OF LESBIANISM AND MOTHERHOOD, ELLEN LEWIN, TERRIE A. LYONS, P249-273.

*WOMEN-IDENTIFIED-WOMEN, EDITED BY TRUDY DARTY AND SANDEE POTTER, MAYFIELD PUBLISHING COMPANY, 1984, INCLUDES:

LESBIAN CHILDBIRTH AND WOMAN-CONTROLLED CONCEPTION, DEBORAH GOLEMAN WOLF, P185-193.

LESBIANISM AND MOTHERHOOD: IMPLICATIONS FOR CHILD CUSTODY , ELLEN LEWIN, P161-183.

STEPPING OUT OF LINE, A WORKBOOK ON LESBIANISM AND FEMINISM BY NYM HUGHES, YVONNE JOHNSON AND YVETTE PERREAULT, 1984, PRESS GANG PUBLISHERS, INCLUDES:

LESBIAN MOTHERS IN TRANSITION, MARY L. STEVENS, J.D., P207-211.

LESBIAN PSYCHOLOGIES, EXPLORATIONS AND CHALLENGES, EDITED BY THE BOSTON LESBIAN PSYCHOLOGIES COLLECTIVE
, UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS PRESS, 1987, INCLUDES:

LESBIAN FAMILIES: PSYCHOSOCIAL STRESS AND THE FAMILY-BUILDING PROCESS,
SALLY CRAWFORD, P195-214.

CHILD-REARING ATTITUDES OF BLACK LESBIAN MOTHERS, MARJORIE HILL, P215-226.

AMAZONES D'HIER LESBIENNES D'AUJOURD'JUI, NO 20, JUNE 1988, SPECIAL ISSUE: MOTHERHOOD REVIEWED AND REJECTED

PAPERS IN ENGLISH PUBLICATIONS:

GEN, CHALLENGING HETEROSEXISM, MARCH 1987, INCLUDES:

MY MUM'S A LESBIAN, ELLA BAHAIRE, P38-39.

LESBIAN MOTHERS CONFERENCE, A BLACK LESBIAN VIEW, ANGELA, P45.

SO YOU THOUGHT THEY'D BE WITH YOU TILL THEY'D GROWN UP! JUDITH COBLEY, P46-47.

LESBIAN CUSTODY CHARTER, P48

HOW DARE YOU ASSUME ... P49-50.

LESBIAN AND GAY ISSUES, POLICY DEVELOPMENT AND LEGISLATION, 1967-1987, LESBIAN AND GAY WORKING PARTY, LONDON STRATEGIC POLICY UNIT, 1988, INCLUDES:

LESBIAN MOTHERS AND CUSTODY ISSUES, PAPER 5 P17-19.

General introduction to the issue of custody in Britain

MARIE CLAIRE, SEP 1991, INCLUDES:

GAY FAMILIES, ANGELA MCROBBIE, P10-18.

BOOKS

Books can be ordered through local libraries; alternately they can be obtained by post from: Gays The Word, 66 Marchmont Street, London WC1N 1AB, telephone 0171.278.7654, or from a good, alternative, bookshop.

Amazon Mothers, Miriam Saphira Papers Inc, New Zealand, 1984.

Lesbian Mothers on Trial, A Report on Lesbian Mothers and Child Custody, £2, 1984, Rights of Women, 52-54 Featherstone Street, London, EC1Y 8RT.

Lesbian Mother's Legal Handbook, Rights of Women Lesbian Custody Group, The Women's Press, 1986.

Politics of The Heart, A Lesbian Parenting Anthology edited by Sandra Pollack and Jeanne Vaughn, Firebrand, New York, 1987.

Gay and Lesbian Parents, Frederick W. Bozett, Editor, Praeger Publishers, 1987.

We Are Everywhere, Writings by and about Lesbian Parents, ed. Harriet Alpest, Crossing press, 1988.

There's Something I've Been Meaning To Tell You, ed Loralee MacPike, Naiad, 1989.

The Final Closet, The Gay Parents Guide for Coming Out to Their Children, Rip Corley, editech press, 1990.

Lesbians, Custody Disputes and Court Welfare Reports, Moira Steel, University of East Anglia, 1990.

Lesbians and Gay Men as Foster Parents, Wendell Ricketts, University of Southern Maine, 1991.

Lesbians and Child Custody: A Casebook, Dolores J. Maggiore, Editor, Garland Pub, 1992.

The Lesbian and Gay Parenting Handbook: Creating and Raising Our Families, April Martin, Harper-Perennial, 1993.

Lesbian Mothers: Accounts of gender in American Culture, Ellen Lewin, Cornell University Press, 1993.

Challening Conceptions: Planning a Family by Donor Insemination, Lisa Saffron, Cassell, 1994.

The Guide to Lesbian and Gay Parenting, April Martin, Pandora, 1994.

The Lesbian Family Life Cycle, Suzanne Slater, Simon & Schyster, 1994.

Reinventing the Family: The Emerging Story of Lesbian and Gay Parents, Laura Benkov, Crown Pub, 1994.

WHAT ABOUT THE CHILDREN? SONS AND DAUGHTERS OF LESBIAN AND GAY PARENTS TALK ABOUT THEIR LIVES, LISA SAFFRON, CASSELL, 1996

LESBIAN MOTHERHOOD INEUROPE, ED. KATE GRIFFIN LISA A. MULHOLLAND, CASSELL, 1997.

VALUED FAMILIES, THE LESBIAN MOTHERS' HANDBOOK, THE WOMEN'S PRESS, 1997.

*Available through the Library Service
ORGANISATIONS

LESBIAN CUSTODY PROJECT AT RIGHTS OF WOMEN, 52-54 FEATHERSTONE STREET, LONDON, EC1Y 8RT. 0171.251.6577.

Contact this organisation to find out whether there are any Lesbian Mother Support Groups in your area and to find out whether there are any good solicitors in your area who have dealt with custody cases. They also produce a newsletter and several publications.

THE ALBERT KENNEDY TRUST, 23 NEW MOUNT STREET, MANCHESTER, M4 4DE. 0161.953.4059.

Many lesbian and gay youth are thrown out of the parental home when their parents find out about their sexuality; some are forced to leave home early because of their parents' physical and mental abuse.

The Albert Kennedy Trust (AKT) is named after a 16-year-old gay youth who died while absconding from local authority care. Albert Kennedy took to the streets to escape the hostility that lesbian and gay youth often experience when their sexuality becomes known to the people around them. His death demonstrated the need for something to be done to help such youngsters.

AKT was formed by lesbians and gay men, and by parents of lesbian and gay children. AKT gives homeless young lesbians and gays the opportunity to live with older lesbians and gay men. Potential 'big sisters' and 'big brothers' are chosen - and trained - because they can identify with the problems faced by the young people who go to AKT for help. The aim is to provide an environment in which young people can develop into mature, independent adults with a positive self-image. For further information write to the above address.

VIDEOS


Breaking The Silence
Lianna
A Question of Love

These films have been shown on television several times; they are often repeated.



© Lesbian Information Service 1995.