On this page you will find:
1. Planning Parenthood Advice
2. A Brief Listing of SF Resources for Pregnant Lesbians and New Mothers

A Brief Bibliography of Current Lesbian and Gay Parenting Books
Alternative Insemination Basics
5. The Other Mothers

1. Planning Parenthood Advice
by Helen Smith

Are you part of the LGBT community and are considering parenthood? If so, you are not alone. LGBT parenting increased in the 1980s, and by the nineties this phenomena was nicknamed the Gayby Boom. Here is some advice on the beginning stages of parenthood.

Singles vs. Couples
Whether you are single or coupled, you may want figure our how to balance your personal needs and parenting time. Some lesbians have a support network that is willing to baby-sit so the mother(s) can have time alone or with friends. Sometimes single women find it more difficult to raise a child because parental responsibilities are not divided.

Support Networks
Many lesbians, as well as heterosexuals, find that it is beneficial to have strong support networks as parents. The support can come from friends or family members. Some lesbians feel it is helpful to join LGBT parenting groups and organizations because they feel having other LGBT parents as friends is helpful. Your friends who do not have children should understand you will probably not be able to do everything you did before the baby was born. This may sound obvious, but some friends may feel like you are rejecting them and expect you to do the same things you did before you became a parent.

Consider how a baby will impact the relationship with your partner, or if you are single, how it could affect your dating. Some lesbians find that their sexual intimacy decreases once a baby arrives. You may want to talk about this possibility before the baby arrives if you think it would cause any problems.

Family Types
Lesbians are expanding the meaning of family. Lesbians have created more family structures than the two-lesbians and a baby, or the single lesbian with children models. For example, often two couples join together to have a child, like two lesbian couples. Therefore the “family” would consist of four parental figures. In addition, a single mother could pair with a gay man to have a child. Both could share parental rights, and have equal time with the child(ren). There are other types of family structures, if you can think of a possibility, it probably exists.

For example, you may want to create a way you can spend time with your acquaintances and family with and/or without your child. In addition, you may want to determine how your work schedule and daycare work together.

Health Insurance
If you have insurance you should review your plan. Also learn what is covered and the policy costs to have your child added to your or your partners’ insurance.

2. A Brief Listing of SF Resources for Pregnant Lesbians and New Mothers
by Cheryl Deaner

Prepared for: UCSF Great Expectations Pregnancy Programs
Compiled by: Cheryl Deaner, MS, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist
415 282 2200 (or) Cheryl@cheryldeaner.com

Our Family Coalition 415 981 1960
Umbrella organization for Bay area lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered (LGBT), parents and prospective parents. Support, information, activities, www.ourfamily.org

Lesbians Considering Parenthood/Pregnant Lesbians 415 282 2200
6 week group for considering and pregnant lesbians. Covers such topics as:
Time, money, support systems, legal concerns, family concerns. Referrals.

Mamas and Papas mamaspapas.blogspot.com
Social group for LGBT parents - open to prospective parents. Meets every other Saturday morning at SF LGBT Center, 1800 Octavia. Free infant and childcare.

• National Center for Lesbian Rights 415 392 6257
Legal information and advocacy for Lesbians. Parenting forms, attorney referrals, latest information about lesbian family law, workshops.

• Children of Lesbians and Gays Everywhere, (COLAGE) 415 861 5437
Programming and advocacy for children growing up in LGBT households and information for parents about raising healthy children (www.COLAGE.org)

• Domestic Partnership Registry, San Francisco 415 554 4950

• Statewide Domestic Partnership Registry 916 653 4984*
(*Secretary of State’s phone number, you will be transferred from there)

• Women’s Building 415 431 1180
Women’s community organizations plus information and referrals

• A Different Light Bookstore 415 431 0891
Books, publications, LGBT parenting section, special orders

• EQUA - Equality California 415 581 0555
Organization promoting the equal treatment of all families in California

Cheryl Deaner, MS, LMFT• Individuals • Couples • Families • Children •
415 282 2200
3. A Brief Bibliography of Current Lesbian and Gay Parenting Books
by Cheryl Deaner

Clunis, D. Marilee and Green, G Dorsey. The Lesbian Parenting Book: A guide
to Creating Families and Raising Children
. Seal Press, 1995

Galluccio, Jon and Michael. An American Family. St. Martin Press, 2001

Glazer, Deborah and Drescher, Jack. Gay and Lesbian Parenting. Haworth
Press, 2001

Green, Jesse. The Velveteen Father - an Unexpected Journey into Parenthood. Ballentine Books, 1999

Harlyn, Aizley. Buying Dad: One Woman’s Search for the Perfect Sperm Donor. Alyson Press, 2004

Johnson, Suzanne and O’Connor, Elizabeth. For Lesbian Parents. The Guilford Press, 2000

Martin, April. The Lesbian and Gay Parenting Handbook. Harper Collins
Publishers, 1993

Pepper, Rachael. The Ultimate Guide to Pregnancy for Lesbians. Cleis
Press, 2005

Pies, Cheri. Considering Parenthood: A Workbook for Lesbians. Spinsters
Ink, 1985 (good and still in print!)

Savage, Dan. The Kid. A Plume Book, 1999

Toevs, Kim and Brill, Stephanie. The Essential Guide to Lesbian Conception,
Pregnancy and Birth.
Alyson Books, NY 2002

Wells, Jess, Ed. Home Fronts, Controversies in Nontraditional Parenting.
Alyson Books, 2000

Wright, Janet. Lesbian Stepfamilies, An Ethnography of Love. Harrington Park Press, an imprint of The Haworth Press, 1998

Prepared by:
Cheryl Deaner, MS, LMFT
4333 California Street
San Francisco, CA 94118
415 282 2200

4. Alternative Insemination Basics
by Cheryl Deaner

Insemination services are readily available for lesbians in the San Francisco Bay area. A good place for you to start is with a consultation with local, lesbian-friendly sperm bank. Since you will probably have many questions, and because the required medical steps toward insemination are often provided by different health care facilities, a consultation will help you to clarify the process and to figure out the most beneficial and cost-effective way for you or your partner/co-parent to become pregnant.

There are three basic types of donors:

Known Donors: these are donors who have agreed to become known to your child under certain circumstances, such as when your child turns 18 or if he or the child contract a life-threatening illness before the age of 18.

Personally Known Donors: also known as directed donors, this donor is someone with whom you have personal knowledge of and/or a relationship with before the insemination takes place.

Unknown Donors: These are donors are not willing to be known to you or to your child under any circumstance. Some sperm banks have discontinued the use of unknown donors.

When you use a doctor or sperm bank to conduct a donor insemination, this usually precludes your donor from becoming a legal parent to your child. However, that does not preclude a donor from suing for paternity at a later date, should he become aware of your child’s existence. Especially if you are considering using a personally known donor, consult a lesbian-friendly family law attorney. If you do not know of an appropriate attorney, call the National Center for Lesbian Rights, (NCLR) for a referral at: 415/392 6257 or visit them on the web at: www.NCLRights.org.

Note that sperm can be shipped almost anywhere in the world on dry ice and can be used for home insemination, although intrauterine inseminations at a sperm bank or other health providers’ office can reduce the average number of inseminations needed to produce a pregnancy.

Typically, a woman’s fertility begins to decline rapidly at or a few years before age 35. If you are in your mid-thirties, do not postpone booking a consultation for insemination services as medical tests and questioning may uncover health issues that could substantially delay or complicate your ability to become pregnant.

For insemination resources, such as sperm banks or considering parenthood groups, contact Our Family Coalition at 415/981 1960 or: www.Ourfamily.org.

Cheryl Deaner, MS, LMFT #36764
415 282 2200 or Cheryl@cheryldeaner.com


The Other Mothers

We're a group of queer women in the SF Bay Area who are the non-bio Mommy/Mama/Mother of a child (or soon to be child!).

We're looking for folks whose partners are pregnant or who are already the parent of a non-bio child who want to develop a support network with similar families.  Right now we're doing monthly evening meetings in the East Bay.  Want to join us?  Drop us a line at   the-other-mothers@googlegroups.com and we'll get you the time and location!


How to communicate with your Health Care Provider

Ask a Doctor

Access to Care

Breast Care

Cardiac Health

Coming Out

Coming Out Tips

Complementary Care




Pelvic Exams

Hormone Replacement

Sexual Health

Substance Abuse

Weight and BMI


Disclaimer: Please remember that medical information provided by the Lesbian Health Research Center, in the absence of a visit with a health care professional, must be considered as an educational service only. The information sent through e-mail should not be relied upon as a medical consultation. This mechanism is not designed to replace a health care provider's independent judgment about the appropriateness or risks of a procedure for a given patient. We will do our best to provide you with information that will help you make your own health care decisions. Privacy Statement
Copyright 2005 Lesbian Health Research Center - All rights reserved