"What makes a family? For generations, lesbians and gay men have been left out of any idea of family and burdened by the notion that homosexuals and children can't mix. That era is over. From the thousands of parents who came out in the early 1970s to those already out as openly gay people, who in record numbers are choosing to have children, lesbians and gay men are creating what psychologist Laura Benkov calls a "cultural earthquake."" "Drawing on the stories told by parents and children themselves, as well as thorough research into case law and the psychological literature, Reinventing the Family creates a compelling portrait of those on the forefront of some of the key battles of our time. Even as debates rage over whether they should be allowed to raise children at all, lesbian and gay parents are challenging society with a host of vital questions. Can a child have two mothers? Is a sperm donor a father? Should schools include curriculum on lesbian and gay family life? As lesbians and gay men reinvent the family, we as a society must look more deeply at our ideas about family life. Same-sex couples dividing the work of parenting, for example, revises our concepts of gender and childrearing. Even an issue as seemingly simple as what a child calls a parent - or what a child's last name will be - reveals the complex relationship between language and family life." "Creating a plethora of families that don't fit existing legal definitions, lesbian and gay parents force us to examine the role of the state in defining family life. What happens to children of lesbians and gay men when parents split up or when the biological or adoptive parent dies? Is a family defined only by biological connection and heterosexual union? Eight-year-old Danielle, the daughter of lesbians and gay men, suggests an alternative definition: "people that love each other, help out, and understand each other.""
"Like the families who are its subject, Reinventing the Family breaks new ground. A landmark book about the changing American family, it points the way to a society that honors a multiplicity of families created out of commitment, care, and love."--Jacket.