The traditional concept of family as being exclusively heterosexual has resulted in myth-generation about lesbian parents as well as fostering limitations in the programs and benefits that support more diverse nontraditional families. Social Work with Lesbian Parent Families: Ecological Perspectives explores the variety of social systems with which lesbian parent families interact, with a focus on implications for improved, diversity-affirming service delivery and policy development. Unlike other literature on lesbian parent families, this revealing resource pulls together work on lesbian parenting from various researchers across a broad range of disciplines and presents this work from the ecosystems perspective so that the reader may view the experiences of lesbian parent families in a holistic way.
The research goes beyond simple comparisons between lesbian and straight mothers. This useful text provides more complex research data, including both a more sophisticated view of the diverse communities in which lesbian parents are found, and more innovative ways of studying the issues relevant to social service providers. Developmental and life issues negotiated by lesbian parent families are discussed in detail using a strengths-based approach to intervention with individuals, families, small groups, communities, and larger systems. This unique book has the strong potential to influence the policies that impact lesbian parent families.
Social Work with Lesbian Parent Families: Ecological Perspectives is a valuable resource for social workers, psychologists, sociologists, anthropologists, marriage and family therapists, public policy and administration professionals, students, and academics doing research on sexual orientation and family.
This book was published as a special issue of the Journal of Gay & Lesbian Social Services.
Table of Contents
- Preface: We Are Family: Lesbian Parenting Lucy R. Mercier and Rena D. Harold
- Becoming Parents: Lesbian Mothers’ Adoption Experience Scott Ryan and Courtney Whitlock
- Lesbian Parents and Work: Stressors and Supports for the Work-Family Interface Lucy R. Mercier
- A Model for Policy Analysis Applied to the Goodridge Case Misty L. Wall
- Lesbian Parent Activism and Meaning-Making in the Current Political Environment: One Community’s Story Barbara L. Jones and Tanya M. Voss
- How Heterosexism Plagues Practitioners in Services for Lesbians and Their Families: An Exploratory Study Sandra C. Anderson and Mindy Holliday
Lucy R. Mercier is Associate Professor of Social Work and Youth Services and Field Education Coordinator at Saginaw Valley State University.
Rena D. Harold is Professor and Associate Director of the School of Social Work at Michigan State University.